On 23 January 2020, Fernando Quintero Mena was shot dead in the municipality of Convención. in the heart of north-eastern Catatumbo,
Fernando Quintero was a leader who had dedicated his life to the community for the last 23 years. He had been president of the Junta de Accion Comunal – JAC, (Community Action Board) of Guasiles village, president of the Association of Boards of the town of La Trinidad and former councilor (2012 – 2015) of Convención.
There is a high level of paramilitary activity in Catatumbo and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly called on the government to take effective action to protect the communities.
Recently local people have reported that masked members of an armed group have been seen checking houses and asking for people by name. They are worried that there will be a repeat of the massacre carried out by a paramilitary group in 1999.