On 2 March 2017, Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao was visiting family members in the Olaya Herrara neighbourhood in Medellín, Colombia, when she was assassinated by unidentified gunmen. According to witnesses, Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao was shot several times by two men while she was at her brother’s restaurant.
Ruth Alicia worked with a group of 12 indigenous and afro descendant communities on a food security project organised by the “Cumbre Agraria”. Both Ruth Alicia and her family are respected community leaders recognised for their sense of social responsibility and their solidarity with the communities in which they have lived. As a result of her social engagement in health and education projects, areas in which paramilitary militias want to retain control, Ruth Alicia and her family had been repeatedly threatened and forcibly displaced by paramilitary groups on several occasions.
The day after the killing, Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao’s sister received a phone call from someone in the area warning her that there was a rumour that the killers were waiting at the funeral of Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao to target her sisters and mother.