Oneida Epiayú, a leader in the wayúu community, was murdered on 17 October while she was eating lunch in a restaurant in Riohacha. Two men entered the restaurant and shot Oneida and her husband, José González, who was taken to hospital seriously injured. A 12-year-old child, the grandson of the owner of the restaurant, was also injured during the attack.
The murder of Oneida in broad daylight occurs in the context of constant attacks against indigenous and social leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia.
Oneida had reported alleged corruption in the food programmes carried out by the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF for its Spanish acronym).
The Ombudsman’s Office estimates that 196 social and community leaders and human rights defenders have been murdered in Colombia between March 2018 and May 2019.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz) have recorded the murder of 155 social leaders in Colombia from the start of 2019 until 8 September 2019.