Jesús Casanova Canticús was the leader of Unidad Indígena del Pueblo AWÁ (Indigenous Council of the Awá People), UNIPA, in the reservation of Pulgande, Campo Alegre in Tumaco. Between 1919-2019 he had been a member of the Guardia Indigena (Indigenous Guard) and was involved in numerous community development projects.
Early on the morning of 21 August, 2020, a group of armed men arrived in the village of La Guayacana and dragged Jesús and six other men out of one of the houses. According to reports they were all members of the same family. The gunmen tied their hands and took them to a wooded area where they proceeded to shoot them all dead. One of the 6 remains disappeared.
The gunmen had previously threatened the whole community. The killings took place in the context of a dispute between dissident elements of the FARC, the Oliver Sinisterra unit and Los Contadores.
Since then 4 people have been arrested and charged with the killings. A total of thirty-two people were killed in a series of multiple killings in a matter of weeks.