Juan Mena was assassinated in the capital of Chocó, which he had previously fled, knowing his life to be in danger because of his work on behalf of the city’s residents. Juan was killed mere days after returning there.
Juan was president of his local Community Action Board (junta de acción comunal) and a merchant in the Los Álamos neighborhood. The area is the site of territorial disputes by different drug lords. Police presence there is limited. A theory not corroborated by the agents handling the case indicates that Juan had refused to pay a type of “revolutionary” tax requested by the armed groups and criminal gangs operating nearby.
The leader’s family honours his commitment to peace and remembers him with great affection. His son Kenny Mena offered the murderers “absolute forgiveness. There is no grudge, even though they took my father’s life. We feel a satisfaction in knowing that he did things very well. He fulfilled his task.”
Based on original reports by Notimérica and Caracol