Colombia registers five murders of leaders
The Colombian musician, composer and cultural activist Genivero Méndez Buelvas was murdered on Tuesday night (17/01), in the city of Morroa, in the north of his native country. According to the local press, he was attacked by unknown persons after attending a meeting about the organization of an event.
Méndez Buelvas is the fifth social activist murdered in Colombia in 2023, according to a list prepared by the Institute of Studies for the Development of Peace (Indepaz).
The musician was linked to organizations for the rights of cultural workers, in addition to being the founder and organizer of some popular culture festivals that take place in the interior of the country.
In addition to the musician, the Indepaz list includes the cases of the leader of the indigenous movement José Taicus and the unionist Mariela Reyes, both murdered on January 2nd – although under different circumstances and in different cities.
The other two homicides were that of Alfonso Arteaga, an activist for the rights of rural workers, who died on January 6, and Cristián Salinas, a former member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and community leader in the city of Ginebra, in the region of Valle del Cauca, assassinated on January 7.
Indepaz remembers that Méndez Buelvas was “a recognized leader and cultural promoter who brought the collection of historical memory through orality and art”.
The institute also confirms that the five murders committed so far used firearms.
Since the signing of the Peace Accords in 2016, more than 1,400 social activists have been murdered in Colombia, also according to figures from Indepaz, which has carried out the list of victims annually since 2017.