Ituango’s human rights bureau has previously warned of a growing paramilitary presence in the Ituango municipality where the murder occurred.
Another member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was killed and found dead on Wednesday in the municipality Ituango of the department of Antioquia, the sixth to be killed in the past three months in spite of the ongoing progress to carry-out the landmark peace agreement and disarmament.
Juan Fernando Amaya had been granted pardon on December 12th, 2016 as part of the peace agreement, and had returned to Ituango after being imprisoned in the Bellavista prison in Medellin.
In addition to the six FARC-EP members killed in the past three months, nine relatives of members have also been murdered this year.
The mayor of Ituango, Hernan Dario Alvarez Uribe, confirmed the murder.
“Juan Fernando Amaya was murdered at eight o’clock on Tuesday, July 12th in the Chontaduro sector,” the mayors said. According to the mayor, authorities are currently investigating the homicide.
The event agravates an already deteriorating human rights situation in the region, where the local human rights bureau has warned violent right-wing paramilitary groups are making efforts to strengthen.
Apart from the selective killing of demobilizing FARC-EP members who are reintegrating into civilian life, murders of social movement leaders are on the rise, with Colombia’s ombudsman, Carlos Alfonso Negret recently saying that 186 actists have been reported as killed since January 2016, 52 of which were killed this year in 2017.
Although Amaya was one of many FARC-EP members who received pardon through the peace deal, there are still numerous members in prison. The United Nations Colombia mission recently pressured the Colombian government to find a solution providing protection and freedom to all former members.
The UN warned that the ongoing imprisonment of FARC-EP members, as well as the dangerous and precarious situation faced by many as they demobilize and reintegrate is a threat to the success of the peace process.