Source Telesur English
Javier Ancizar Fernandez Rivera, teacher and union leader, was murdered Thursday in the Cauca department by a group of men who approached his vehicle and opened fire when he was returning home from work.
Javier was a member and leader of the Association of Teachers and Education Workers (Asoinca). According to local media, he left the municipality of Morales and settled in Suarez after receiving death threats in May. Five months later he was murdered in Suarez.
In 2016 the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace treaty to end decades of conflict. However, in rural Colombia, social and community leaders continue being targeted and murdered with impunity.
Local rights group Research Institute for Development and Peace, or Indepaz, places the number of victims between November 2016 and May 2018 at 385, while teleSUR’s own monitoring of these cases places the up-to-date number at over 400.
According to Camilo Bonilla, coordinator of the research department of the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ), it is difficult to know with certainty who is behind these murders due to a lack of investigation by a state that responds to political and economic motivations. Human rights defenders point to paramilitary groups that continue to operate in Colombian territory.
They have identified at least 13 active paramilitary organizations. Three with a national presence, including the Black Eagles that recently vowed to exterminate all members of the progressive political movement Humane Colombia, led by Senator Gustavo Petro.
A shadow report on human rights for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review showed that the General Attorney’s Office “lacks an investigation strategy that recognizes the existence of paramilitaries, the systematic character of the attacks, and that the fact of being human rights defenders constitutes a motive.”