Querubín de Jesús Zapata Avilés

27-year-old social leader Cherubín de Jesús Zapata Aviles was shot dead on the afternoon of Saturday, February 16 2019, in the Las Brisas neighbourhood of the municipality of Caucasia, Bajo Cauca, Antioquia,

Cherubín was with several friends near to the Atascoso river, when the gunman came up and shot him without saying a word and then fled in an unknown direction.

The place where the events occurred is regularly used for the consumption of narcotics, so the authorities’ original speculative theory was that the killing could have been be related to that fact.

However, Cherubín worked as a guard at the Marco Fidel Suárez educational institution where as a social leader and political activist, he was widely respected as an advocate for gender diversity and for his work with the community.

In addition he constantly campaigned against the sale of narcotics in the municipality. According to relatives, including the Semillas de Paz Foundation with which he worked, Cherubín had also campaigned against the fighting between rival criminal and paramilitary groups the Caparrapos and the Gaitanist Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, AGC or Clan del Golfo, for territorial control.

Although he had been receiving death threats since 2017, no authority gave him any protection. Cherubín was also a well-known fan of Atlético Nacional and he led the teams supporters’ club in the municipality of Caucasia. He also participated in projects that were being carried out by the Youth Office.

If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at: HRDMemorial@frontlinedefenders.org






Date of Killing:16/02/2019

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Plataforma Municipal de Juventud de Caucasia

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

Sector Detail:Citizens' rights, Human rights movement, Minority Rights

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).