James Andrés Montaño Esterilla was a leader of the afrodescendant farming community and a signatory of the 2016 Peace Agreement He was also a spokesperson for the Consejo Comunitario Nueva Esperanza, (Community Council of Nueva Esperanza) in the village of Cofanía Jardínes de Sucumbíos, in Ipiales, Nariño.
On 2 July, 2020, James disappeared as he was travelling by boat on the San Miguel river. Two days later his body was found on the banks of the river in an area known as Limoncito, near the municipality of Valle del Guamuez, Putumayo.
The area where the killing took place is under the control of an armed criminal group know as “the Mafia” who are able to operate with total impunity. Community leaders have asked how criminals like “the Mafia” can move freely around an area with such a strong police and military presence.