José Antonio Mendoza, 38, was Vice President of the Junta de Accion Comunal – JAC, (Community Action Board) of Puerto Nuevo, Arauca, in the period 2016-2020.
On 2 February 2020, when his two young sons arrived home from school, they found their father dead on the floor of their home. He had been stabbed to death.
There is an ongoing battle between dissident paramilitary/criminal groups Decimo Frente and the so called Tren de Aragua, originally from Venezuela. They had originally cooperated in controlling the drug trade along the border but a feud among the leaders has resulted in an escalating number of killings.
Community leaders and human rights defenders have been caught in the crossfire between the two groups.