Gracelio Micolta was an adrodescendant leader and spokesperson for the Consejo Comunitario in the town of Alto Guapi. In that role he had worked to develop the Plan de Caracterización (Mission Statement) for the organisation.
On 18 June, 2020, Gracelio was travelling by canoe to attend a meeting of the Community Council in the Yantin sector when he was overtaken by a group of armed men, allegedly dissident members of the FARC, and disappeared.
Two days later his body was found nearby.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the wave of violence against community leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia shows no sign of diminishing.
According to Programa Somos Defensores, there were 824 attacks on human rights defenders in 2019 of which 124 were killings. 2020 was no different with 63 killings reported by Indepaz in Cauca alone, in the firsts 6 months of the year
Apart from the FARC, the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, (AGC), and other paramilitary and criminal groups are active in the drug trade in the area. The violence is fuelled by the struggle to reclaim land and to control the major routes for the shipping of drugs.