On 7 January 2020, two gunmen shot human rights defender Gloria Isabel Ocampo dead, in the community of La Estrella de Puerto Guzmán, Putamayo.
Gloria was a community leader working to promote the voluntary substitution of illicit crops in Putamayo. She was also the secretary of the Junta de Acción Comunal, JAC, in the village of La Estrella. The substitution programme is part of a regional development strategy promoted by the President himself.
Gloria was the first human rights defender killed in 2020, which turned out to be one of the most violent years on record.
Gloria was at home when two men on a motorbike arrived at the house and asked for her by name. When she identified herself they opened fire shooting her multiple times.
According to people who knew Gloria she had started to receive threats the year before when she began to work on the crop substitution programme.
Heladio Moreno, a neighbour, who was in the house at the same time was also shot dead.
The national body for monitoring illicit crops, SIMCI, (Sistema de Monitoreo de Cultivos Ilícitos), has reported that at the end of 2018, Putamayo had 208,406 acres of coca production, making it the state with the third largest acreage of coca in Colombia. This production is fought over by dissident elements of the FARC.
According to members of the Red de derechos humanos del Putumayo (Network of Human Rights Defenders of Putamayo) 17 community leaders have received death threats because of their involvement in the crop substitution programme, and 5 were killed in one week in January 2020.