Luis Edilson Arango Gallego

Luis Edilson Arango Gallego, also known as Benito, was 40 when he was killed by an unidentified assailant. Luis was travelling home on his motorbike when he was shot five times to the stomach and head in Antioquia, Colombia.

His wife, Daniela Gallego Tabares, grew concerned for her husband when he did not return home after work, especially since he had received threats before, and went out to try and find him. In the early hours of  2August 2017, at around 4 in the morning, Luis was found dead by his wife and their young son. Luis left three children behind aged 2, 12 and 15 years old.

Gallego’s work included defending the environment, especially the Samaná River, and the promotion of tourism and employment in the area of La Zone Ecotourism Park. There he set up restaurants, camping sites and new roads to make the area easier to access. The cement company Argos would sometimes close these roads and Luis had to convince them to reopen them again.

The conservation of the Samaná river was one thing that Gellego was passionate about as the “Provenir II” hydroelectric plant was to be built in it. The river would have to flooded 500 hectares of wooded land and  the project was therefore criticized heavily by environmentalists.


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Region:Americas

Country:Colombia

Department/Province/State:Antioquia

Nickname:Benito

Sex1:Male

Age:40

Date of Killing:02/08/2017

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

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

Sector Detail:Labour rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).