Margarita Estupiñán Uscátegui

Margarita Estupiñán Uscátegui, president of Junta de Acción Comunal del barrio El Recreo – a social organization in the neighbourhood of El Recreo -, was murdered on the 3 July  2018 in front of her own house. At 8 pm, 5 armed men arrived at her house and shot her dead. Her husband was also badly injured in the assault and had to be taken to a local hospital in a hurry.

Margarita Estupiñán Uscátegui was a leader and very admired in the community for her social work. Also because of her work, she had been dealing with murder threats  from local paramilitary groups for more than 10 years.

The investigation determined the crime was committed by the armed group Frente Oliver Sinisterra, commanded by Walter Patricio Artízala Vernaza, also known as Guacho.

The security of social activists in Colombia is a very alarming issue. According to the local newspapers, 24 community leaders and human right defenders were murdered between the 1st June and the 4th July of 2018.

On the matter, the Nariño government secretary, Edgar Insandará, gave a statement saying the systematic murder of community leaders affects the ability to perform social leadership roles both in Nariño and Colombia (

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Date of Killing:03/07/2018

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Junta de Acción Comunal (JAC)

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Documenting rights in conflict, Human rights movement

More information:Front Line Defenders

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