Ronald Aceituno Romero

The Killing

Source: Entorno Inteligente

Ronald Aceituno Romero was the leader of the Corazón de Jesús.  In the early afternoon of September 28th 2019, 18 kilometers from the municipality of Guarayos, some 20 members of the Corazón de Jesús community, men and women including leader Ronald Aceituno Romero, were making an inspection at the border of the El Sutó property, when around 40 armed people, allegedly hired by people who claim the territory where the community is based, opened fire on the  inhabitants with rifles and pistols.

This resulted in the death of 35 year old leader Ronald Aceituno Romero,as a result of a shot to the head and left at least five other people with gunshot wounds.

“The shooting lasted only minutes, and the men on horseback, after firing the shots, left the place swiftly, leaving us all terrified,” community member Enrique Tejerina said tearfully.

Author Hernan Porras Molina.


The Investigation

Source: El Dia

After the funeral, family and friends of the deceased, including  leaders and members of the La Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia (CSUTCB), staged a march, from the cemetery to the Prosecutor’s Office, calling on the Prosecutor of the Guarayos province, Mario Morodia, to carry out an immediate and transparent investigation to find those responsible for the death of the leader. 

The investigations showed that this is a land issue, since there are eight alleged owners of Zuto 2 property of the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús

The Public Ministry reported that in a hearing held in the Ninth Criminal Investigating Court of Santa Cruz, the jurisdictional authority had ordered the preventive detention of Manuel RA, Rigoberto SG, Rolando VB, Adolfo CR and Ángel LS, in the Palmasola prison.

 “These citizens were charged with the alleged crimes of Murder, Illegal Carrying of Arms and Criminal Association resulting in the death of the community member Ronald Aceituno Romero in the Province of Guarayos,” said the Departmental Prosecutor of Santa Cruz, Mirael Salguero Palma.  Source: El Dia Movil

Meanwhile, Pedro Choque, executive of the Central Unica de Trabajadores Campesinos, the organization to which Corazón de Jesús is affiliated, filed the complaint with the police. The leader said he was sure that the hired assassins were hired by people from El Sutó, because there are conflicting titles to the land in that area.

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Department/Province/State:Santa Cruz



Date of Killing:28/09/2019

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Corazón de Jesús Community

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

Sector Detail:Land 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).