José Olmedo Obando was a leader of the Afro Nueva Esperanza Community Council in the department of Nariño. Just 33 years old, Obando was known for working on behalf of the department’s black communities.
José Olmedo Obando was killed with seven shots in the village of Las Brisas del Rumillaco, municipality of Sucumbíos, department of Nariño, on the outskirts of the municipality of Orito, department of Putumayo. Obando was a respected leader of the Afro Nueva Esperanza Commentary Council and a native of the village of San José de los Pinos.
The communities in Sucumbíos are dismayed by this bloody act perpetrated against one of their fellow citizens. By the end of December 2018, there had already been four other killings that have not been investigated by the Sijin Judicial Investigation Section of the Police in Nariño. Likewise, social organisations and human rights defenders have called on the local, departmental and national governments for urgent support for this municipality in Nariño.
Last December the Association of Afro-Amazonian Community Councils from the San Miguel River area in the municipality of Ipiales, Nariño – Asoccafrain lodged formal complaints about intimidation, harassment and threats, both in the region where José Olmedo was murdered, as well as in other parts of the border area between the departments of Nariño and Putumayo.
Initial inquiries by the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office have not identified many clues about the motives of the crime, but they are already working on statements and testimonies to enable them to identify key aspects of the case.