Colombian army kills rural political activist and injures others in Cauca

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 4 October 2017

On 21 September 2017, the Colombian army killed an agricultural trade unionist and injured three others near Corinto,a town in the southern department of Cauca.

In the early hours, soldiers belonging to the 'Alta Montaña No. 8' Battalion entered the zone and destroyed alleged coca processing laboratories. They subsequently raidedhomes in nearby villages where they arrested at least two residents and, according to local reports, assaulted others.

When residents approached the soldiers to identify the detainees and establish the reasons for their arrest, they were threatened in response. A standoff ensued before soldiers opened fire, allegedly to disperse the crowd.

During the indiscriminate shooting, Jose Adelberto Torijano was mortally wounded and died shortly after. Despite his injuries, the army continued firing for several minutes and launching teargas at the local population.

Also injured in the shooting were Bautista Silva Mesa and Jonathan Alexander Hernandez Guevara, both of whom received severe head injuries, and Gonzalo Iquinaz.

Jose AdelbertoTorijano, 42, was a peasant activist in the municipality of Corinto in southwest Colombia, and a member of political organisation the Patriotic March.

His death is the latest killing in the region. So far in 2017, over 100 social leaders and political activists have been killed in Colombia.

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