Source: Front Line Defenders
Sandra Liliana Peña Chocué was an Indigenous Authority of the Nasa people and governor of the indigenous reserve “La Laguna-Siberia SAT Tama kiwe” in Cauca, Colombia. She was a community leader who at a very young age was appointed the Education Programme Policy Coordinator of the reserve. In her role as governor she worked to clear the reserve of illicit crops.
On 20 April 2021, Sandra Liliana Peña Chocué was preparing to meet with officials from the Colombian government in the city of Popayán when her home in the indigenous reserve of “La Laguna-Siberia” in Caldono, Cauca, was broken into and she was attacked by four unidentified armed men. The men violently abducted the woman human rights defender from her home before killing her.
The Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) reported that prior to her killing, the woman human rights defender had spoken out against the increase in illicit crop cultivation in the reserve. She subsequently received threats from illegal groups that exercise territorial control in the department of Cauca. She reported some of these threats to the authorities.
Incidents of attacks against, and killings of, human rights defenders in Colombia continue to increase, particularly against those promoting the implementation of the peace agreement and illicit crop substitution programmes in their communities. Human rights defenders are regularly targeted by armed groups and routinely fail to receive adequate protection from national authorities despite multiple requests and reporting of threats. In 2020, the HRD Memorial project recorded the killing of at least 177 human rights defenders in Colombia – more than half of those recorded worldwide – making the country once again the deadliest in the world in which to defend human rights.
Fuente: Front Line Defenders