Edwin García Agudelo was a trade unionist and treasurer of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Gasolina (Union of Petrol Workers) – Sintragasolina in Tibú, Norte de Santander.
He also had a small petrol station and a car repair workshop. .
On 5 July, 2020, Edwin was having a beer with some friends in a bar in the Largo area of Tibú when two men on a motorbike pulled up outside the bar. One of them got off the bike and went into the bar before shooting Edwin twice. He died immediately.
Tibú lies close to the border with Venezuela and is the scene of high levels of violence because of a power struggle between the ELN, dissident elements of the FARC and criminal groups.
Community leaders and human rights defenders have repeatedly been targeted by paramilitary groups since the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016, as Catatumbo continues to witness high levels of political violence and instability due to the presence of these armed groups and increased militarisation.
On one day alone,18 July, 2020, paramilitaries killed eight people in the Tibú zone of Catatumbo,
While armed groups have targeted community leaders, the army has been implicated in several extrajudicial killings. Tensions between the military and rural communities has grown over the army’s ongoing forced eradication of coca crops, despite the 2016 peace agreement’s stipulation that communities are to receive state support to voluntarily remove the crops themselves.
Community leaders often get caught in the cross fire btween the army, paramilitaries and criminals.