On 21 January 2015, the body of human rights defender Carlos Alberto Pedraza Salcedo was discovered by members of the judicial police in an uninhabited area of San Bartolomé, Gachancipá Municipality, in the department of Cudinamarca.He had been shot in the head.
Carlos Alberto was a graduate of the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, a leader of the teachers’ movement, and a member of: the Nunca Más project, the Movement of Victims of State Crimes, the Central-Eastern Regional Association of the Political Movement of Social and Popular Masses of Colombia, and the Congress of the Peoples, which is a member organisation of the National Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic, and Peoples’ Summit.
Carlos Alberto was particularly focused on investigating crimes against humanity committed by state agents throughout Colombia, in addition to accompanying victims of such violations during the investigation. He was also involved in the ‘Campaña permanente contra la brutalidad policial, por la garantía de los derechos humanos y el desmonte del Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD)’ (Permanent campaign against police brutality, for the guarantee of human rights and the disbandment of the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron).
He was a member of the Congreso de los Pueblos (Peoples’ Congress), a social and political movement that opposes the effects of economic policies, such as those controlling the extractive industries, which lead to the displacement of people and the destruction of their communities as well as the contamination of the environment. The Peoples’ Congress is a member organisation of the National Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic, and Peoples’ Summit.
His colleagues believe the killing was politically motivated and have called on the authorities to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice