Paola del Carmen Mena Ortiz

Paola del Carmen Mena Ortiz and Armando Suárez Rodríguez were both members of Consejo Comunitario Afrorenacer del Micay, (Community Council Afrorenacer del Micay) and were involved in projects to promote the welfare and economic progress of the community of Betania and the surrounding areas.

They were killed on the same day but in separate incidents near vereda Betania in El Tambo, Cauca.

On 5 July, 2020, Paola was disappeared and her body was found two days later with clear evidence of torture. She had moved to the area after being forcibly displaced by paramilitary activity.

Armando was shot dead later the same day.

There is a strong presence of dissident elements of the FARC in the area and it is believed by the community that they were responsible for the killings.

Once the main FARC body withdrew from the area following the Peace Agreement, members of the ELN moved in, and there is an ongoing dispute between them and the dissident Carlos Patiño unit of the FARC for control of drug production in the area.

These two killings brought to 67 the number of community leaders killed in Cauca in the first 7 months of 2020.


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Date of Killing:05/07/2020

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Consejo Comunitario Afro Renacer del Cañón del Micay

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

Sector Detail:Afro Descendant Rights, Anti-Racism, Citizens' rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

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