On 7 March 2016, human rights defender Mr William Castillo Chima was shot dead in the public establishment of “Los Galvanes”, in Villa Echeverry, in the municipality of El Bagre, Antioquia. The assassination occurred one day after his colleague and fellow human rights defender Ms Maria Dania Arrieta Perez received several death threats in text messages sent to her mobile phone.
William Castillo Chima was a social leader, and the founder and treasurer of Asociación de Hermandades Agroecológicas y Mineras de Guamocó – AHERAMIGUA (Association of Agroecological and Mining Fraternities of Guacomó).
AHERAMIGUA is a human rights organisation founded by farmers and miners in Guamocó, Southern Bolívar, that works to defend land rights, and in particular the right of local communities to remain on lands traditionally inhabited by them.
AHERAMIGUA has denounced human rights violations perpetrated against communities in the municipality of El Bagre by various actors involved in the armed conflict in the region. Since 2015, conflict in the region has intensified, reportedly due to increasing confrontations between members of the FARC-EP, ELN and the paramilitary group Autodefensas Gaitanistas.