José Antonio Riascos

On 25 January 2020, a unit of the Special Forces of the Colombian army carried out an attack on the Frente José María Becerra  of the ELN in the village of Betania in the municipality of El Tambo, Cauca. The area is home to a number of peasant, indigenous and afro-descendant communities.

According to La Red Por la Vida y los Derechos Humanos del Cauca (network for Life and Human Rights of the Cauca) three members of the community were arrested, nine were disappeared and one man was killed.

The dead man was Jose Antonio Riascos who was a member of the Junta de Accion Comunal (Community Council) of Betania. He was apparently killed when his house was riddled with bullets.

Unusually, the army did not issue any statement until 48 hours after the incident and Jose Antonio had been buried before any investigation could be carried out.

There is growing concern in the region about the increase in the number of killings carried out by the army without any subsequent investigation, in case this marks a return to the pattern of extrajudicial executions seen in the past.

Members of the Guardia Cimarrona Indigena (Indigenous Guard) carried out an investigation on the spot; they could find no information on the 9 disappeared.


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Date of Killing:25/01/2020

Previous Threats:No

Type of Work:Social leader

Organisation:Consejo Comunitario Afrorenacer del Micay.

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Afro Descendant Rights, Citizens' rights, Minority Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

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