Policarpo Guzmán Mage

Source RCN Radio

Human rights defender and peasant leader, Policarpo Guzmán, was shot several times and killed in a violent attack which took place in the municipality of Algeria (south of Cauca).

The leader was the first president of the Peasant Workers’ Association of Algelía (ASCAMTA) and had been displaced from that area previously due to the difficulties generated by the armed conflict.

After spending some time in the eastern municipalities of the department working in the organization of the peasant communities, he decided to return to his territory about 5 years ago.

According to the information given by members of the organization, Policarpo was at home home when he apparently received a call to go out to meet someone on his motorcycle. Hours later he was dead, near a stable, in an area known as Plateado.

He had been shot 10 times and as he was found with his motorcycle, his cell phone and all his other belongings robbery has been ruled out as a possible motive.

In an interview with RCN Radio, Óscar Salazar, a campesino leader from Cauca who knew the victim, said that Policarpo Guzmán stood out for his interest in the organizational work of the peasant communities. ” I first met him many years ago, about 15 years ago. He was a hard-working man concerned about the communities, ” he said.

The authorities in the department of Cauca initiated an investigation to establish the motives and authors of the murder of this leader, father of four children. According to local human rights organisations, there have been four murders of social leaders in this region so far in 2019.


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Region:Americas

Country:Colombia

Department/Province/State:Cauca

Sex1:Male

Date of Killing:10/04/2019

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation:Asociación Campesina de Trabajadores de Argelia

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

Sector Detail:Land Rights, Peasant communities

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).