Franco Nativel Salamanca was a well respected community leader and member of the Council in San Sebastián, Timbio, Cauca.
He was active in many organisations including,the Asociación de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras Campesinos de San Sebastián (Association of Peasant Workers of San Sebastián), the Coordinadora del Proceso de Unidad Popular del Suroccidente Colombiano,(the Coordinating Body of the Process for Popular Unity in South West Colombia),PUPSOC.
He was also a member of Marcha Patriótica and a representative of the Movimiento Campesino de Cultivadores de Coca, Amapola y Marihuana (the Peasant Movement of Growers of Coca, Poppy and Marijuana), COCCAM.
At around 03.00AM on the morning of 18 December, 2020, Franco was driving along the Panamerican Highway towards El Rosal in the municipality of San Sebastián in the south of Cauca when his car was intercepted by two men travelling on a motorbike.
They made him get out of the car and shot him multiple times.
The police confronted the gunmen and there was an exchange of gunfire between police and the attackers which left one of the killers and one policeman injured.
In a statement expressing concern at the level of violence against community leaders in Colombia, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said: “Sadly, violence has been trivialised in Colombia after decades of armed conflict, but no one should accept it. (…) I call on the Colombian authorities to take stronger and much more effective measures to protect people from this abject and widespread violence.”