Magdalena Cocubana

Source: Minuto 30, La voz del Cinaruco


72-year-old Magdalena Cocubana was a serving as the indigenous leader of the Makaguán people, belonging to the Macarieros community in the municipality of Tame.  She was a historian, as well as a culture and traditional leader.

Magdalena Cocubana stood out for her spirit of struggle and her work defending the rights of the most vulnerable indigenous communities in the municipality of Tame and in the department of Arauca. She was one of the most outstanding women within the indigenous movement such as the CRIA , later Ascatidar, which was part of the Asocata Indigenous Association.


Source: LA FM, La voz del Cinaruco

The Killing

Authorities in Arauca are investigating the murder of the 72-year-old indigenous leader Magdalena Cocubana , who was found dead in the municipality of Tame.

Unofficial reports suggest that the murder of Magdalena took place during a robbery,; however, this version has not yet been confirmed by the authorities.

Her body was found outside her home, in the 20 de Julio neighbourhood, on the morning of Monday, 2nd September 2019.

 She had been stabbed in the neck.

The judicial police removed the body and to the morgue of the in Arauca cemetery.

Ángel Aniceto Díaz, leader of the indigenous community, denounced the murder of Magdalena Cocubana, apparently murdered by Venezuelan criminals during the theft of 20,000 pesos. Her body was left at the door to her humble residence.

The Association of Indigenous Councils and Traditional Authorities of the Department of Arauca (Ascatidar), condemned the murder of the indigenous leader Magdalena Cocubana, and stressed that she had always worked for the rights of indigenous peoples.


Source: Minuto 30, La voz del Cinaruco,

The Investigation

The community is asking for an investigation to be carried out quickly and promptly and for those responsible for this murder to be captured and brought to justice.

According to the preliminary report, the murder of Magdalena occurred in the early hours of Monday, September 2, by unknown assailants who apparently intended to rob her. Although the authorities are investigating other possibilities because Magdalena was recognized in the area for fighting for the rights of the town to which she belonged.


# ATTENTION | From @ONIC_Colombia we regret and condemn the murder of a leader of the Makaguan People of Arauca and two Nasa leaders in Suárez, Cauca. These events are being highlighted as a commemoration of the International Day of Indigenous Women. @luiskankui @ONUHumanRights @IvanDuque

– National Indigenous Organization of Colombia – ONIC (@ONIC_Colombia) September 4, 2019


#Arauca We condemned murder yesterday in Tame of the indigenous leader Magdalena Cucubana of the Makaguán people. We urge for respect for the life of all people

– UN Human Rights Colombia (@ONUHumanRights) September 4, 2019




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Date of Killing:02/09/2019

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Asocata Indigenous Association

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

Sector Detail:Indigenous Peoples' 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).