Victor Manuel Morato

Víctor Manuel Morato, president of the Community Action Board of the rural community of La Rompida, in the municipality of Yondó, Antioquia, was killed with two shots to the chest when he was returning home with some provisions for the rest of the week. Victor Manuel was a recognised leader in the area of the Magdalena Medio who advocated for land rights, peace and social development in the valley of the Cimitarra River.

The Rural Association of Rio Cimitarra Valley (ACVC in Spanish,) whose work is concentrated in the rural area of Yondó, Antioquia, stated on its website that “Victor Morato was part of the Community Council for Dignified Living of Yondó and was a member of the public service committee of the municipality (…) the leader was targeted by known assailants.

It is worth mentioning that the communities near the Yondó-Cantagallo highway had already reported the presence of unidentified armed groups at the beginning of the year.” Victor Manuel had himself received phone calls in which death threats were made not only to him but also his family.

Several human rights organisations have condemned Victor Manuel’s assassination. Among them is the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (Credhos in Spanish.) Victor Manuel had followed up the launch of the Regional Annual Human Rights Reports by Credhos with detailed information about paramilitary structures operating in the Magdalena Medio region.  Shortly after condemning the assassination, the organisation’s directors, Iván Madero Vergel and Andrés Ortiz Nieto, were threatened by two men who drove away on a motorbike with registration  number GMN 22B.

Less than 24 hours after Victor Manuel was killed, social leader Plinio Pulgarín, who was also president of a Community Action Board, was shot to death in the department of Córdoba.

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Date of Killing:17/01/2018

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Junta de accion comunal de la vereda de Rompida

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

Sector Detail:Land Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

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