Seventy-two year old farmer, Eduardo Alarcón Córdoba was president of the Asociación Agropecuaria de Putumayo, (Association of Small Farmers of Putumayo) and a founder member of Acción Campesina Colombiana, (Peasant Action of Colombia). He was also a supporter of the Comité de Mujeres Campesinas, (Committee of Peasant Women) and a member of the Municipal Council of Campoalegre.
Eduardo had been campaigning for the rights of peasant communities since he was sixteen years old and over the years he had devoted a lot of work to the development of a bridge and road network between the villages to improve communications and facilitate economic development in the region.
According to the CGT (Confederación General de Labor), Eduardo had been facing serious threats for a number of years because of his human rights work. For this reason, during the Santos Government and thanks to the efforts of the CGT Human Rights Secretariat, he had been provided with protection measures which allowed him to be transferred to the department of Tolima and later to the city of Bogotá where the family was housed with the help of the Victims Unit.
During the presidency of Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018) two of his children were murdered by paramilitary groups with the collusion of the National Police and he remained a victim of constant threats and harassment. Once the Santos Government ended, Eduardo had to return to Campoalegre in Huila because he was not being provided with the protection that he needed.
At 09.30pm on the evening of 19 0ctober, 2020, Eduardo was watching television at home in the village of vereda Las Vueltas, in the municipality of Campoalegre, Huila when the dogs began to bark. He went out to investigate the noise and a few minutes later his son heard at least 5 shots. He died instantly.
Alias Balacas, a member of criminal gang “Los Chumas” has been charged with the killing and three other members of the gang have been identified as being involved in the crime. The “Los Chumas” gang is active is drug trafficking, robberies and extortion in the area.