BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - Seven people, including two prominent social leaders, have been killed in a spate of attacks in northern Colombia, authorities and other sources said Wednesday.
The attacks happened Tuesday in the northeastern department of Norte de Santander and Antioquia in the northwest, two of the areas most affected by violence perpetrated by armed groups battling over the lucrative drug-trafficking trade.
Human rights activist Jorge Solano was killed when gunmen attacked his home in Ocana, Norte de Santander, the secretary of the local post-conflict and peace organization, Pedro Duran, told AFP.
Solano, 61, was known for denouncing corruption and defending the victims of forced disappearances, said Duran.
The U.N. Human Rights Council office in Colombia condemned the "murder" and called on authorities to "solve the crime."
In another attack, "renowned leader" Luis Hincapie was killed on his farm in El Penol, Antioquia, by armed men, according to the Twitter account of the local independent ombudsman, Indepaz.
Killings in pool hall
Also, in Antioquia, five people were massacred "indiscriminately" in a pool hall in Nechi, the local mayor, Marcos Madera, said.
Indepaz has recorded 71 massacres — of three or more people in the same incident — during 2020.
Rights activists and social leaders are frequently the victims of the violence.
According to the Somos Defensores NGO, 95 social activists were slain in the first half of 2020, a 61% increase ove the same period last year.
Despite the historic 2016 peace deal that ended six decades of conflict between authorities and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country has been unable to end the wave of violence linked to drug trafficking.