55 year old Edilberto Cantillo Meza from Fundacion in the district of Magdalena, lived in the Copey area with some 20 other families. He was killed on the 4th of February at 7pm by two masked gunmen on a motor-bicycle who shot him three times causing his immediate death.
Cantillo Meza was the president of the Entrerrios Community Action Board and a member of ASVERVIC. According to local community leader and member of the local victims’ committee, Deyis Carmona Tejada, Cantillo Meza was a member of a community organisation working on a collective claim for the restitution of land to previously displaced communities. “People are working to create a collective reparation process, and faced with this kind of violence, we note that there is no guarantee of protection for us peasant victims. The government is talking about peace, however they are not protecting us who are the real victims” he said. Cesar police commandant, Colonel Mauricio Bonilla Mendez said that a suspect had been arrested in possession of the gun used in the killing and brought to Bosconia for questioning
The Cesar land restitution unit had mobilised the whole El Copey area on behalf the people who had been forced to abandon their land by the violence of armed groups in the three departments of Chimila, Caracolicito and San Francisco de Asis and another 71 areas. Even though no formal order has been issued for the restoration of the land to its rightful owners the local community, caught between hope and fear, continue their struggle to recover their land despite the fact that they are totally unprotected.