Julio Gutiérrez Avilés, 48, was known for his charisma and constant concern for the welfare of other people.
He was an environmentalist and founder of the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo de Campoale, (Association of Farmworkers of Campoale) and was a member of Grupo Asociativo El Esmero. In addition, he was president of the Junta de Accion Comunal – JAC, (Community Action Board) in vereda El Esmero, Campo Alegre, Huila.
On the morning of 2 March 2020, Julio had gone to Campo Alegre for a meeting with the Secretary for Urban Planning to discuss proposed improvements to roads in the community.
In the afternoon, he had meetings with members of the community and, as he was heading back to his farm at around 5PM, he was intercepted by two hooded men on a motorbike who shot him dead.
Julio was very well respected in the community. Many people remembered the key role he had played during the floods of 2017 when he had used social media to warn people of the danger so that they were able to get to safety in time.
There is a strong army presence in the area. Nevertheless the level of violence remains undiminished and Julio was the fourth community leader killed in the first two months of 2020.