Thirty-Eight year old Yamid Alonso Silva Torres had worked for two years as a warden in El Cocuy National Park in Boyacá, where he was responsible for managing eco-tourism in La Esperanza sector.
Yamid was a well known community leader and for several years he had been a member of the Junta de Acción Comunal – JAC, (Community Action Board) in vereda El Carrizal.
At 11.00 AM on the morning of 6 February 2020, a man and a woman arrived by motor cycle at the hut where he worked. They forced him out of the hut at gunpoint and made him walk for about a kilometre before shooting him dead.
The killing of Yamid came just days after the shooting dead of community leader Libardo Arciniega, also in Cocuy. The methodology was the same. A man and a woman approached on a motor bike and shot their victims before escaping.
The killing was apparently carried out by members of the ELN. Park wardens who monitor illegal mining and logging are routinely targeted by criminal and paramilitary groups who systematically target rare varieties of trees such as mahogany and tulipwood because of their high commercial value.
Recently the ELN have tried to establish a presence in the mountains and when the communities resisted, the ELN started targeting community leaders.
Nationally twelve park wardens have been killed in recent years and many more have suffered ongoing threats and intimidation.