In the early hours of 25 July 2018, Luis Gabriel Gómez Acosta, rector of the rural educational institute Bajo Lorenzo, was murdered in the Puerto Asís municipality of Putumayo. Near the cemetery, two men stabbed the teacher to death.
Luis was the eighth teacher to die a violent death in Colombia in the first 7 months of 2018. According to Carlos Rivas, president of Colombia’s National Federation of Educators (FECODE for its Spanish acronym), 1217 teachers have been murdered since 1998.
Luis had complained that he had been receiving threats. This is common. Many teachers receive threats if they complain about drugs being sold in schools. And, if they do not receive threats because they complain about drugs, they are threatened because they are leaders in the area. Julieta Salcedo, president of the Association of Educators in Putumayo, noted that 16 teachers have had to be relocated after receiving death threats.