Olga Lucía Hernández had been president of the Junta de Acción Comunal (Community Action Board) JAC, In Puerto Nariňo, in Vichada, until 2019. At that point she stepped down to stand as a candidate for the Consejo de Cumaribo (Cumanibo Council).
In these roles Olga highlighted local problems and organised food supplies for low-income peasant and indigenous communities.
On 21 May, 2020, Olga was at home when an unknown man walked in and shot her dead.
She had previously complained to the local authorities about the presence of armed groups in the area and the fact that she felt that she was in danger because of her human rights work.
According to Justice for Colombia
“Although Vichada experiences relatively low levels of violence compared with elsewhere in Colombia, the mayor of Cumaribo, Juan Carlos Cordero, said that armed groups are becoming increasingly active amid a lack of security personnel. While Olga was the first social activist killed in Cumaribo since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement – with more than 600 activists killed nationwide in that time – the mayor said there were more than 18,000 victims of forced displacement in the zone, accounting for 40 per cent of the population.
Like Olga, a high number of post-agreement murder victims were members of Community Councils. The United Nations recently attributed the violence against them to these organisations’ work on implementing crop substitution programmes contained in the peace agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, coca-farming communities agreed to substitute the crops for legal alternatives. However, the government has continued using the military to forcibly eradicate the crops, while drugs trafficking groups target people working on the programmes.”