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In Memoriam: Remembering 52 Indigenous Defenders Who Were Murdered in 2022 in Latin America

Content Note: The following includes disturbing information on violence against Indigenous Peoples. We have strived to provide information on each individual, in celebration of their lives and work, without gratuitous detail on their deaths. While we have worked to avoid linking to sources with graphic imagery, please note that the sources linked may contain further details and images may be changed by websites after we have reviewed them.

Latin America is one of the most dangerous regions to be an Indigenous rights and environmental defender. Three out of four assassinations of environmental defenders take place in Latin America. Indigenous defenders face a double threat: defending rights and being Indigenous. In 2021, roughly 40 percent of murdered environmental defenders were Indigenous, a disproportionately high figure given that Indigenous Peoples comprise roughly 6 percent of the global population.

As part of our Advocacy Program, Cultural Survival tracks violence against Indigenous defenders in an effort to draw connections amongst these cases and demonstrate that this crisis, rather than being a set of unconnected attacks on individual people, is systemic.

We do this work in order to raise awareness about this systemic persecution of Indigenous defenders, but also for the sake of memory. The Indigenous defenders who were killed throughout 2022 will never be forgotten by their families and communities. The gap they leave in their communities and cultures cannot be filled, and this gap is equally important outside of their communities: these defenders are the people defending our planet from environmental collapse and keeping alive critical knowledge on how to protect our ecosystems and how to relate to one another. 

Sometimes the news of murder or attacks on Indigenous people spreads in specific communities and territories, where the pain and loss is felt profoundly, but it does not always echo in mainstream media. Cultural Survival’s compilation of cases is not exhaustive. Our information comes both from other media and from communities and partner organizations. However, we cannot cover the full scope, and there are certainly cases that do not reach us. Although those people are not specifically named in this In Memoriam, this in no way implies less severity or importance. This work also aims to honor all those, who, for a variety of reasons, we could not mention, and whose struggles will continue to resonate in their communities, their territories, and their families.

The ways in which we receive information about these cases varies. In some cases there are plenty of news articles and calls for justice. In other cases, information is extremely scarce or even just a brief message or press release passed to us by a partner on the ground. Our purpose is to make all names and legacies known, regardless of how much attention the case received, especially uplifting those less covered by the media. When we were informed of otherwise unpublished cases by community partners, we ensured that it was safe to publish, always obtaining the community’s consent. Every individual was a beloved person, a community and family member, and someone who is mourned for not only the work they did but for who they were.

For most cases, a few months after the murder, impunity reigns. In some Latin American countries, the general impunity rate is 90 percent or more, meaning 10 crimes (or fewer) out of 100 are properly investigated and solved by the justice system. These figures are optimistic in comparison to crimes against Indigenous defenders. Authorities tend to not put much effort into thorough investigations related to Indigenous defenders for a variety of reasons: incidents take place in remote locations with limited access, collusion of authorities with illegal armed actors or multinational companies, and a general lack of interest in problems concerning Indigenous Peoples intrinsic to State discrimination towards them. Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, has said that impunity for killings is a key driver for more murders.

In the profiles below, we remember and mourn 52 Indigenous people who were killed in 2022. We also recognize and condemn attacks, disappearances, criminalization, and other forms of violence committed against Indigenous defenders worldwide. We acknowledge that our scope is limited and that violence against Indigenous Peoples and against particular defenders of rights and the environment far surpasses the data that we were able to collect, and we honor all of the Peoples and communities who have been affected. We commit to continuing to work towards justice for Indigenous land and rights defenders alongside the affected communities to the extent that we are able. Defenders are listed by country in alphabetical order, then chronologically by date of the incident.



After four years of the catastrophic Bolsonaro government, considered one of the worst for Indigenous Peoples in the history of the country, accumulating a huge list of rights violations and environmental disasters, the country has the potential to radically change course on Indigenous rights with the new government. 

Sônia Guajajara, a renowned activist for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, was elected as a federal congresswoman for the state of São Paulo. In December 2022 she was also nominated as Minister of Indigenous Peoples under President Lula da Silva's government. By her side, Joenia Wapichana, former Indigenous congresswoman and activist, will manage FUNAI, the state agency for Indigenous Peoples, and all secretariats, agencies, and public entities responsible for public policies for Indigenous Peoples, including health, education, and justice. The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil described her election as a "historic conquest" that brings hope both for her Guajajara Peoples and for all Indigenous Peoples in Brazil. Even as we hold great hope for change to come, we must honor and remember those who have been murdered defending their lands and rights. 


Alex Lopes (Guarani Kaiowá)

The movement for the retomada (reclamation) of the Guapo'y tekoha (territory) in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, began at the end of May. On May 21, Alex Lopes (Guarani Kaiowá),18, was murdered. His community was retaking a farm in the municipality of Coronel Sapucaia, on the border with Paraguay. Alex left the reservation where he lived with two friends to look for firewood. His body was found on the other side of the Paraguayan border with gunshot wounds.

The Guaraní Kaiowá people demanded that the murder be investigated by federal authorities as they have no confidence in the state authorities, who are often on the side of the fazendeiros (owners or workers of large rural properties) and attack Indigenous people in actions like the retomadas.

A community leader expressed, "They killed an 18-year-old boy. It is sad. The family has decided to retake the territory where the boy was killed. We need the support of the competent institutions. Here in the town of Taquaperi, retakings never take place. This is the first time this has happened. We have already lost many family members along the way, run over by cars. This time, we made the decision [to retake the road]. We are done losing our relatives. It's painful for us." Two days after Alex's murder, his family and community decided to retake the Tekoha Guapo'y territory, from where they were expelled by police and fazendeiros. However, they returned on June 24, attempting to seek justice for Alex's murder and to stay in this territory.

Vitor Fernandes (Guarani Kaiowá)

On June 24, Vitor Fernandes (Guarani Kaiowá) was killed in the midst of an illegal eviction carried out by the Military Police of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul in the Amambai Indigenous Reserve, a territory adjacent to Guapo'y, where nine other people were also injured. The Guarani Kaiowá have claimed the territory of the Amambai Indigenous Reserve since it was attributed to their People in 1920.The police acted disproportionately, using lethal weapons and helicopters as a firing platform against the Indigenous families on the site. According to Amazônia Real, several Indigenous people were arrested on the spot and later intimidated and criminalized at the police station. A few days later, a caravan of people traveled to the municipality of Amambai to accompany Vitor's burial and show their solidarity with the Guarani Kaiowá people.


Janildo Oliveira Guajajara (Guajajara)

Photo courtesy of Survival International.

Janildo Guajajara, a member of the Guardiões Da Floresta (Forest Guardians), a group that patrols the jungle in order to expel illegal loggers, was killed on September 3 in an ambush near the Arariboia Indigenous Territory in the state of Maranhão. His 14-year-old nephew, who was accompanying him at the time, was also shot and wounded, but was released from the hospital a few days later. 

The creation of the Forest Guardians group in 2012 was motivated because between 2006 and 2022, 26 guardians have been killed, but according to Olimpio Guajajara, another land defender, no one has been sentenced for these deaths, which continue in impunity. Janildo was killed within weeks of joining the Amazon Assembly, which was organized by Indigenous Peoples specialist Bruno Pereira, who was also murdered. In a statement, Janildo's colleagues said, "The guardian Janildo Oliveira Guajajara has been with us since 2018 and worked in the Barreiro Region - Arariboia Indigenous Land, in a village near a road opened by loggers and which was closed by the guardians. Since then, he and other guardians in the region have been under constant threat, and the threats are increasingly intensifying." The position of the guardians is clear: "We will remain strong in our struggle for the collective, for our territory, for our Tenetehar Peoples, and for the Awá Guajá Peoples."


Jael Carlos Miranda Guajajara (Guajajara) 

Jael Carlos Miranda Guajajara was run over by a vehicle in the early hours of September 3, the same night that Janildo Oliveira Guajajara was killed. Several leaders of his community claim the incident was not an accident, but rather part of the systematic attacks faced by the Guajajara Peoples. The Conselho Missionário Indigenista do Maranhão also denounced the deaths of Guajajaras as part of ongoing violence against them. Between 2006 and 2022, 26 Indigenous people have been killed in the Arariboia Indigenous Territory.

Gustavo Silva da Conceição (Pataxó)

In the early morning of September 4, 14-year-old Gustavo Silva da Conceição (Pataxó) was killed by a group of gunmen in Comexatibá, municipality of Prado, southern Bahia. A 16-year-old was also wounded and hospitalized in the same attack. Family members and relatives of the Pataxó community blocked the highway to the city of Corumbau in protest against the killings. 

Gustavo's murder is not an isolated episode. The Pataxó Peoples have been in a decades-long struggle for the demarcation of their territory, which was made public in 2015 but has not yet seen the delimitation procedures advanced. Their lands continue to be occupied by eucalyptus monocultures and agricultural activities, and Bolsonarista militias continue to attack the Pataxó and promote a smear campaign against them. Many of the attacks appear to be in collusion with Brazilian security forces as the use of weapons exclusively used by these groups has been demonstrated. Since June 2022, the Pataxó had begun to retake several areas of their lands occupied by eucalyptus cultivation, and since that time there have been reprisals against members of the Pataxó people for this retaking, including this attack that ended Gustavo's life.


Antônio Cafeteiro Silva Guajajara (Guajajara)

Antônio Cafeteiro Silva Guajajara was shot dead in an ambush in the municipality of Arame, Maranhão state. His was the third murder of members of the Guajajara Peoples in 10 days. 


Nhandesy Estela Vera (Guarani Kaiowá)

Nhandesy Estela Vera (Guarani Kaiowá), 67, was a spiritual leader and healer in her community of Yvy Katu, Mato Grosso do Sul state, where she and Leila, another leader, had received death threats for denouncing fazendeiros who illegally occupy Yvy Katu territory. On November 15, Estela was murdered. Her murder is part of a context of systematic attacks on Indigenous spiritual and sacred places; several prayer houses have already been burned down in attacks to spiritual freedom. The Guarani Kaiowá of Mato Grosso, an agro-business state, are among those who suffer the most violence in the country. The National Articulation of Ancestral Women Warriors (ANMIGA) said: "Estela ascended fighting for the demarcation of the Tekoha (territory) of her people. In mourning and in struggle, we cry out for help for the bodies of Indigenous women that continue to be violated on a daily basis."


Unnamed** (Yanomami)

On Saturday, December 17, a 21-year-old man whose name is not publicly known was killed by garimpeiros (illegal prospectors for minerals) in the Yanomami Tirei Indigenous community in the Xitei region. The young man, son of the community leader, was in one of the illegal wells exploited by garimpeiros when he was killed. The exact circumstances are unknown. According to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, 570 Yanomami children and dozens of adults have died of mercury contamination, hunger, and violence on their land in recent years

** The Yanomami worldview forbids mention of a deceased person’s name.  



The National Indigenous Guard originated in the Cauca, Colombia in the early the 2000s. The group is composed of adults, youth, and children, and they must know their rights as Indigenous people and the territory they will be defending. Their goal is to defend and protect their Peoples in situations that threaten their survival and to safeguard their rights. Some of the work they do includes territorial monitoring, alerting the community in times of risk, searching for disappeared people, and promulgating their culture. The guards do not receive any remuneration for being a part of the collective, which is completely voluntary. The CRIC says that “to safeguard, care for, defend, preserve, survive, dream your own dreams, hear your own voices, laugh your own laughter, sing your own songs, cry your own tears" is the reason for the Guard’s existence. 

Guillermo Chicana (Nasa)

Guillermo Chicana, a member of the Nasa Indigenous Guard of Las Delicias reservation in Buenos Aires, Cauca, Colombia, was killed on January 14. The incident occurred while he was working with the Indigenous Guard for territorial monitoring. A group of armed men fired and attacked. Guillermo was the bodyguard of Fabián Camacho, an Indigenous governor, who was injured in this same event. The assailants are believed to be FARC dissidents. In the Cauca, the Jaime Martínez Mobile Column of the Western Coordinating Command and the Diomer Cortes Front of the Second Marquetalia are active, which makes it an area where Indigenous activists are more vulnerable. It is reported that there are interests by alleged illegal actors in the zone for illegal mining, particularly for gold. The Indigenous Guard works as a form of resistance and unity as a social collective, and due to their work they have been a target, particularly by illegal armed groups. Guillermo was the first social leader murdered in 2022 and the 1,287th since the signing of the peace agreements. He will be remembered as a leader and human rights defender. 


Breiner David Cucuñame López (Nasa)

On January 14, in the same incident in which Guillermo was killed, 14-year-old Breiner David Cucuñame López also lost his life in Las Delicias. Reports vary on what he was doing at the time of his death. Some have said that he was returning from work with his father, Samuel Cucuñame, at a construction site. Others say he was doing unarmed surveillance tasks with the Guard. A woman who was there when the armed men attacked observed that they were shooting with no regard as to who they hit. It is believed that the armed men are FARC dissidents belonging to the group Jaime Martinez.

This news shocked many in the country, and the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, tweeted his condolences. Breiner was a part of Kiwe Thegna Luucx, the Student Guard, and was hoping to become a part of the Indigenous Guard. Breiner had just chosen to work in the area of protecting the natural environment. He was known to be a defensor (protector of the environment) in his community. His father Samuel describes him as “a cheerful, outspoken person who was not afraid, but who listened and allowed himself to be advised.” He was the oldest of four siblings and was in the seventh grade. The CRIC commemorates Breiner as a “protector of Mother Earth, guardian of the territory Kiwe Thegna of the Las Delicias Reservation, Nasa, of collective actions, and big dreams.” Breiner was returned early to Mother Earth, and he will be remembered as a young environmentalist who sought to protect his land. 


José Albeiro Camayo Güetio (Nasa)

On January 24, José Albeiro Camayo Güetio, a founder of the National Indigenous Guard, was murdered in Las Delicias, Cauca. A group of armed men who are believed to be FARC dissidents, specifically of the Jaime Martinez group, entered the reserve Las Delicias in Cauca and forced people to participate in a meeting. The Indigenous Guard and authorities tried to make them leave, but the men threatened them with their guns. José Albeiro was taken from his home and shot in front of his neighbors and those dear to him.

José Albeiro is the 10th social leader and activist murdered this year in Colombia, and the third killed within 10 days in Las Delicias. His 13-year-old son, Arlin Camayo, and nephew were both kidnapped the same day, yet luckily released a few hours after. The Association of Indigenous Councils attributes the murders of José Albeiro Camayo, Breiner Cucuñame, and Guillermo Chicana to ‘El Paisa,’ leader of the Teófilo Forero Mobile Column from the FARC dissidence, who, some say, has been dead since December 2021, as his whereabouts remain unclear. José Albeiro had previously been threatened and tortured on several occasions by armed men due to his position of power within the Indigenous Guard. 

José Albeiro joined the Indigenous Guard when he was a child. As he grew up, he also worked at a local radio station, spreading the messages that were important to him. Between 2005 and 2013 he was a local coordinator for the Guard. From 2013 to 2016 he was promoted to coordinator of the zone Cxhab Wala Kiwe. In 2018, he became the coordinator of all the Indigenous Guard in the North of the Cauca. He was recognized as a Kiwe, which is the Nasa word for leader. Indigenous councilor Jorge Ulcué described him as “the voice of the pueblo, the voice of the Guard” and said that he “gave his life to defending the land and the people.” José Albeiro will be memorialized as the brave and principled Kiwe he was. He was 42.  


Julio César Bravo

Photo: via INDEPAZ on Twitter.

Julio César Bravo was killed on February 1. He was at home in the department of Nariño, when a group of men entered his house and shot him. Although family members were also inside, they were not shot or injured. The Colombian police have not been able to find those responsible. The government offered 30 million pesos in exchange for information that could help capture the people involved in the murder. Information is still restricted and not much information about this incident is publicly available. The crime remains unsolved to this day. 

Julio César was a part of the Indigenous Council of Males and was the President of the Council in Córdoba. In the months prior to his death he was working on several projects, including the betterment of a highway and the construction of an aqueduct treatment plant. Julio César was also a member of the Aico Party, which seeks to promote Indigenous participation in the government and to ensure protection and respect of cultural diversity, among other aims. Commenting on his death, the mayor said, “there are no words to describe the loss of a great community leader. The only thing that consoles the soul is to keep in our memory the model of his struggles and good deeds that were shared and admired. The municipal administration of Córdoba regrets the death.”


Ovidio Alemeza Yantén (Kokonuko)

On February 3, 24-year-old Samir Rosero and 17-year-old José Manuel Rosero of the Alto del Rey community in El Tambo in the Cauca department were on their way home from a soccer game when they were shot and killed by an unidentified gunman. The following evening, the community gathered at a vigil for the young victims. Ovidio Alemeza Yantén, a young Kokonuko Indigenous Guard of the Alto del Rey reservation, was on his way to accompany his community in mourning for the victims when he was shot multiple times and killed in a street near the home where the community was gathered. The shooter quickly fled in a truck. Colombia’s Indigenous guards like Ovidio are elected by their communities to protect their territories from illegal encroachment and to defend Mother Earth. The peace agreement did not end armed violence in the Cauca region as armed groups continue to operate and new groups have appeared, incentivized by illegal mining and the cultivation and processing of coca and marijuana. These armed groups in the Cauca region target Indigenous guards in order to gain control of their territories.

Following the death of Ovidio and the two young men killed the previous day, the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca condemned the ongoing and systemic assassinations of human rights defenders and Indigenous guards. The council also condemned the national government and various government agencies for ignoring the community’s requests for recognition and assistance with strengthening their capacity to defend their community and territory from outsiders. They stated that El Consejo, the 39 traditional authorities in the area, and the 11 Indigenous Peoples of the Cauca region will continue to defend their territories for the sake of life, peace, and survival as a people. Ovidio leaves behind a community unwilling to back down in the fight to defend their Peoples and territories from illegal encroachment and the violence it increasingly begets.


Luis Chamapuro Quiro (Wounaan)

Luis Chamapuro Quiro was a well known Wounaan leader in the municipality of Medio San Juan in the Department of Chocó. On February 3, Luis attempted to cross the San Juan River at 6:30 p.m. The National Liberation Army (ELN) who patrols the river doesn’t allow transit after 6 p.m., so they demanded an extortion fee of 500,000 pesos. According to local witnesses, Luis was kidnapped by the ELN for refusing to pay the fee. The following Tuesday, Indigenous authorities and community members warned that there was no evidence of his survival, to which the ELN responded that he was being investigated for supposedly belonging to a network of government informants. The community publicly called for immediate action to safeguard Luis’s life. On February 9, Luis’s body was found.

According to the Institute of Studies for Development & Peace, Luis was the 21st social activist murdered in Colombia in 2022, and the 1,307th since the signing of Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) in 2016. In 2021, the Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia, which is the government agency responsible for overseeing the protection of civil and human rights, issued a warning for the municipalities of Itsmina and Medio San Juan, stating that there would be “a high chance of forced displacement, confinement of communities, assassinations, and intimidations in the area, particularly against Indigenous and Afro-descendent communities.” 

On his way to Luis's wake, a young Wounaan man lost his foot to an anti-personnel mine. Commenting on these series of tragedies, Senator and former Councilor of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, Feliciano Valencia, stated, “This is the tragic history of violence that we suffer everyday in our territories.” Luis will be missed by his community.


Luis Tombé (Nasa)

Uniformed police officers allegedly shot and killed Luis Antonio Tombé in Miranda, a municipality north of Cauca, on May 1. Before his death, the father of six led a life dedicated to service and activism. In 2004, he was elected as bailiff for his town’s council, was a member of the Kiwe Thegnas (Indigenous Guard), and was elected as the board president for the village of La Unión in 2008. According to INDEPAZ, police arbitrarily detained two individuals at an environmental protest for the liberation of Mother Earth. Other community members approached the police station to ask for their liberation when police opened fire on them, killing Luis and injuring others. 

The case and its subsequent investigation have been referred to the Cauca Prosecutor’s Office and the Technical Criminal Investigation Corps. Two uniformed officers were temporarily suspended within days of the shooting, as is typical in such cases. The outcome of the investigation is still pending. Luis was a member of the Paéz Indigenous Peoples in the Cauca Valley, which is home to over 200,000 Paéz. His activism lives on through his children. His son, Élmer, is now the president of La Unión; his daughter, Rosalía, was the coordinator for the Miranda Area Kiwe Thegnas until a year ago; and his eldest child, Arley, is now the bailiff for the town hall. All of Luis's children are members of the Kiwe Thegnas. 


Jesús Antonio Montaño (Misak)

Photo: Comisión de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Jesús Antonio Montano was a Misak native of the Guambia de Silvia Indigenous Reserve. He was born on July 8, 1968, and was forced to leave his community and move to La Rejoya, the capital of Cauca, in southwest Colombia, due to pressure from armed groups. His son was murdered in 2011, allegedly by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In La Rejoya, Jesús was an advocate for victims of FARC and against forced recruitment and the cultivation of illegal crops.

Jesús became involved in the Colombian Federation of Victims of FARC in 2014, the year it was founded. The last project in which he participated was the prevention route for the recruitment of children and adolescents into armed groups in the north of Cauca. Days before he disappeared, he denounced threats from alleged dissident FARC members regarding pressuring people to vote for one candidate or another during Colombian general elections. Between 2021 and 2022, Jesús filed two complaints with a prosecutor for threats, as well as requesting a risk reassessment before the National Protection Unit. The National Protection Unit claims that the Indigenous leader had a security detail for three years, but no security appears to have been present at the time of his abduction. Jesús’ friend, José Antonio Vitonás, reported that Jesús only had a panic button and a cell phone on him when he was abducted.


Juan Orlando Moreano, John Nastacuás, and Carlos García (Awá)

Juan Orlando Moreno was a substitute governor of the Inda Sabaleta reservation, vice-governor of the Indigenous Unity of the Awá Peoples, and an adviser of the Indigenous Guard. He was 35 at the time of his murder. Several sources have alleged Los Contadores, an armed drug trafficking group operating in the Tumaco municipality of Nariño, the biggest coca-producing region in Colombia, as the armed assailants who shot him and his bodyguards to death and injured several others. Since their inception, Los Contadores have been the primary cause of violence and displacement of the Awá Indigenous Peoples.

John Faver Nastacuás, 26, and Carlos Jose García, 29, were both members of the Indigenous Guard and Juan’s personal bodyguards. They died on July 3 trying to protect Juan from the armed assailants. Carlos was Juan's nephew. According to an article from Agencia Prensa Rural, Juan may have been targeted for his strong leadership and resistance to forced recruitment by armed groups. Juan, with John and Carlos by his side, spoke about the Indigenous Guard, describing their role as “builders of life, of harmony, of happiness,” and to “protect the territory.” He also said, “in this context of armed struggle, being [in the] Indigenous Guard can be quite tough, because it’s a conflict of more than 50 years, a conflict that in our territory has caused displacement, massacres, disappearance, threats, [and] an innumerable amount of human rights situations.” Juan Orlando was responsible for coordinating 1,600 Indigenous Guard members.


Wilmer Valencia and Camilo Puni Bomba

On July 4, three armed men forced several people to come out of a public establishment and killed Wilmer Valencia and Camilo Puni Bomba in Santander de Quilichao. Wilmer was a member of the Canoas Reserve and Camilo was from the Munchique los Tigres Reserve. Camilo was a social leader in Guaitalá and a teacher for more than 10 years in the agricultural school La Aurora de Santander de Quilichao. The Ombudsman Office has warned about the risk in this region and denounced threats and attacks against Indigenous leaders that have the intention of silencing the collective demands these leaders represent. In the area, there is presence of members of the Dagoberto Ramos column and the Jaime Martínez group, both of which are FARC dissidents and who are fighting for these territories. 


Yeimi Chocue

Photo: CRIC.

Yeimy Chocué Camayo was from the Chimborazo Reserve in Morales, Cauca of Colombia. She served as the Treasurer of the Chimborazo Indigenous Council and was an authority figure in the community. She leaves behind two young children. Yeimy's murder occurred on October 27. The official cause of death remains unclear. Some local media sources have reported that she died of suffocation as a result of hanging, and other media reports claim she was shot on the street by armed men who followed her home. The lack of clarity surrounding the murder of Yeimy points to the vast uncertainty for Indigenous Peoples in the area due to frequent and ongoing violence. Further highlighting the presence of violence against Indigenous defenders in Chimborazo, the month following Yeimy’s murder, on November 30, thousands of armed men entered Chimborazo, occupying schools, religious sites, the main road, and the main clinic, preventing residents from leaving the area. As an Indigenous authority and Treasurer of the Chimborazo Indigenous Council in Cauca, Yiemy was an important figure in her community. The Indigenous Council denounced her murder and expressed the urgent need to bring peace to Colombia and the longing for justice for Yeimy’s loved ones.  


Carlos Alberto García Sepúlveda (Awá) 

Carlos Alberto Garcia Sepulveda was an Indigenous rights defender and a leader of the Organization of Indigenous Reservations of the Awa People of the Pacific. In his position, he coordinated protection for the Pilvicito Peoples located in the Inda Sabaleta Reserve. Carlos was also a member of the Indigenous Guard of the Awá People in his home of Tumaco, Nariño. He implemented the guard into his community in 2021 in order to keep his community safe.  His father, Carlos Garcia, also acted as a defender of his community, serving as governor and Indigenous rights leader.  

According to a report released by ORIPAP, on October 30, Carlos was driving home on his motorcycle with a friend when he was approached by three masked men who attacked him with a knife, fatally wounding him. This occurred 300 meters from his home, where he lived with his parents and 2-year-old son. Carlos’ assassination is the 156th of 2022 and one of over 1,000 murders of human rights leaders in Colombia since the signing of the country’s Peace Agreement in 2016. There is no record of an open investigation to find his killers, but several organizations, including ORIPAP, have denounced the incident and demanded that further protections be afforded to the Awa Peoples as well as the surrounding Indigenous communities. 


Juvencio Cerquera (Kokonuko)

Juvencio Cerquera was an Indigenous environmentalist and traditional Kokonuko healer in the Paletará Reserve of Colombia. Juvencio primarily fought against the Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa, one of the top paper packaging companies in the world. Smurfit Kappa has been appropriating Indigenous land in Colombia to plant non-native trees for paper production for generations. In the past several decades, the corporation has destroyed the ecosystem of the Cauca region, an area occupied by Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years. This land is part of their cultural identity and is full of spiritually significant and sacred places. The destruction included water grabbing in the Cauca Basin and the drying up of a nearby river, which took away the local community's water source. 

On November 9, Juvencio was working as a guard in a peaceful protest for land reclamation in Sotará when he was hit by a projectile thrown by a group of hooded men presumed to be affiliated with Smurfit Kappa. The attack is thought to be an attempt to force the Paletara Indigenous Reserve out of La Union Farm. The Paletará Indigenous Reserve has said that there were several other instances of threats and intimidation by Smurfit Kappa workers for weeks prior to Juvencio’s death. Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman said that murders of human rights defenders have increased to an all-time high, with nearly 200 defenders killed in the first 11 months of 2022. Juvencio lost his life in a pursuit of justice for his community and was given a public memorial with his coffin carried across the village of El Marquez to the local Catholic temple for burial, where passers-by could show their respect. “Juvencio, after fulfilling his family as a son and as a father, as a guard and as a spiritual expert, returned to Mother Earth with the satisfaction of having fulfilled his duty and with the conviction that his blood will allow the territory for which he fought so much to see the dreamed designation” CRIC said in a statement.


Armando Hanipe Cabrera (Emberá)

Photo: via INDEPAZ on Twitter.

On November 9, Armando Hanipe Cabrera was murdered in the Nuquí Municipality in the Chocó Department while mediating a dispute. The Emberá Indigenous leader and environmental defender of the Nuquí River banks died from fatal wounds after being stabbed. The Instituto De Estudios Para El Desarollo y La Paz (INDEPAZ) recognized Armando for defending the Emberá Indigenous community’s traditional Emberá music conservation efforts. Due to his involvement in the Comunidad del Cabildo Mayor Indígena de la Costa Pacífica Social Council of the Nuquí River, the mayor of Nuquí, Yefer Arley Gamboa Palacios, memorialized him on Twitter: “The Indigenous communities of the Nuquí municipality mourn the loss of Armando Hanipe Cabrera.” The greater Chocó community remembers Armando for his leadership, generosity, and kindness. He overcame, persevered, and fought for the recognition of the rights of Indigenous community land and traditional Emberá music. 


Francisco Sarco Pipicay (Emberá)

Francisco Sarco Pipicay was a social leader and a member of the Indigenous Guard of the Emberá Playa Bonita community as well as the Association of Indigenous Victims of Chocó. Francisco was also a day laborer on a farm in a rural part of Quibdó. On November 11, three hooded men entered Francisco’s home and shot indiscriminately, killing him as well as Carlitos Urágama Cano and injuring another man. Other news reports stated that the men in the household were separated from women family members at the time of the shooting, and four women and five minors who witnessed the incident were threatened. Francisco and Carlitos marked the 161st and 162nd deaths of social activists in Colombia. 

The attacks were denounced by Juliette de Riviero, a representative of the High Commissioner of the United Nations Organization for Human Rights in Colombia, as well as the Orewa Association, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, and other NGOs. The National Police and the Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation that found the organized armed group Clan Del Golfo responsible. Police issued charges against six members of the Clan del Golfo for Francisco and Carlitos’ murders, along with four other murders. This tragedy comes after Francisco’s community had fled their territory of origin in order to protect the lives of the community members. In 2019, the Ombudsman’s Office warned about the high probability of violence against the community. 


Carlitos Urágama Cano (Emberá)

Carlitos Urágama Cano, an Indigenous leader and member of the Association of Indigenous Victims of Chocó, worked as a day laborer on a farm in Quibdó, Chocó. Carlitos was assassinated in a double homicide alongside Indigenous leader Francisco Sarco Pipicay. Their deaths brought the number of those killed in Colombia since the signing of the 2016 Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC–EP) to to 1,389. Late on the night of November 11, three men broke into the farm where ​​Carlitos worked as a laborer, firing indiscriminately at the residents and leaving both leaders dead while gravely wounding another social leader, Jose Norverto Isarama Morroco). Like Francisco, Carlitos was also an Indigenous Guard of the Emberá Playa Bonita community, located in Quibdó, the capital city in the department of Chocó. Carlitos wished to represent the Emberá people and work for the defense of their rightsMultiple sources corroborate that the crime was committed by the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, also known as the Clan del Golfo—a powerful paramilitary organization that controls much of the nation’s drug trade. 

Only 23 years old, Carlitos had been a victim of forced displacement from his territory of origin. The Orewa Association has extended humanitarian aid and relief to both defenders’ relatives, and has called upon the Clan del Golfo to cease their acts of violence. After Carlitos' death, his loved ones have been forced to relocate yet again to preserve their lives.


Juan Alberto Guejia Peteche and Arcelia Fernandez (Nasa)

Unknown assailants kidnapped Juan Alberto Guejia Peteche, 67, his wife, Arcelia Fernandez, 56, their 16-year-old son, and 7-year-old granddaughter on November 18. After three days of captivity, Juan managed to free his teenage son seconds before the kidnappers executed Juan and Arcelia. The kidnappers shot and wounded Juan’s son with a bullet to the right arm, but the son escaped; members of the Indigenous Guard of Pitayó, Silvia, and Junta de Acción Comunal rescued the son after his escape. The bodies of Juan and Arcelia were found in Alto Méndez. Their granddaughter was freed and reported to be in the custody of the authorities.

Juan Alberto was a member of the Nasa de Pitayo Indigenous Reserve in the Cauca department and a visible community leader. He fought to maintain wisdom and customs from the community’s ancestors. Members of the Western Organizing Command and the ELN patrol the area where Juan and his wife were abducted and killed. Multiple investigations were launched in response to the murder. The mayor of Silvia, a nearby city, reported that a special security council was convened to investigate the situation. The major councilor for the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, Carmen Gembuel, has also initiated an investigation into the murders. This occurs amidst the backdrop of an incredible amount of violence against social leaders in Colombia; the Institute for the Development of Peace estimates that prior to Juan’s death, a social leader was murdered every two days in Colombia. 


Julian Eduardo Baltazar Medina (Nasa)

Julian Eduardo Baltazar Medina, 28, was a member of the Kweth Kina las Mercedes Indigenous Reserve in the municipality of Caldono in the Cauca department. On November 20, a group of armed assailants arrived at his home in Las Mercedes and shot him to death. His brother had gone missing a few months prior. According to El Tiempo, he was the third social leader to be murdered in Cauca in a span of five days. 


Alberto Quina, Diego Quina, and Juan Pablo Guacheta

Alberto Quina, Diego Quina, and Juan Pablo Guacheta were assassinated after leaving a rooster fight in a public establishment in the municipality of Cajibio, Cauca on November 20. Alberto was a well known social leader, activist, farm worker, and President of the Community Action Board of the village of La Diana. Juan Pablo was a community leader of the village of El Eden. Alberto and Diego were brothers, and Juan Pablo was their cousin. An armed group shot them to death during the early hours of the morning. It is unknown who perpetrated this massacre, but multiple armed groups are active in the area and drug trafficking routes crisscross the region. These groups include ELN, FARC, the Jaime Martinez Mobile Column, and the Carlos Patino Mobile Column


Ariel Danilo Majin Jimenez

Ariel Danilo Majin Jimenez was the most recent coordinator of the Guardia de la Comunidad de Sachacoco (Indigenous Guard) in Cabildo de Tulpas, belonging to the Rio Blanco Reserve located in the municipality of Sotará in the department of Cauco. He was 42 years old and resided in the municipality of Río Blanco, Sotará. Ariel disappeared after 12:00 p.m. on November 24. His body was not found until days later on December 2 in the municipality of Policarpa, Nariño. According to family and relatives, he had gone to find better job opportunities in Policarpa.



Photo: Alba Bermeo via Facebook.

Alba Bermeo Puin

Alba Bermeo Puin was an Indigenous environmental defender, water activist, and anti-mining activist. She was a member of the Molleturo Parish in Ecuador and former candidate for a leadership position within the Molleturo Parish Council. Sometime between the night of October 21 and the morning of  October 22, an unknown assailant, possibly affiliated with a mining dispute, shot and killed Alba, who was five months pregnant. She was shot at the Tamarindo' checkpoint, 100 meters from the entrance to the Chochapamba Highway. Her father attributes her death to a mining dispute between two illegal mining factions. The incident occurred after Alba and her younger brother, Pablo, refused to tow a truck full of gold that had not been verified by the authorities, but the details of the shooting are inconsistent across reports.

Two other incidents of violence against the Molleturo Peoples occurred two weeks before Alba’s death, which indicates that this tragedy was not an isolated incident. On October 1, armed men opened fire on the home of Monica Guarango, another environmental defender, shooting her and her son. Just a week later on October 8, Dina Chillpi was attacked and shot in the leg by masked men at the San Pedro de Yumate resistance checkpoint. After these events, the community asked the Azuay government, the police, and the prosecutor’s office to ensure the protection of environmental defenders in Molleturo. This incident also comes after a high profile court case, Ecuagoldmining v. Ecuadorestablished in 2018 that all mining operations in the Cuenca region could not proceed without community consultation. The case’s outcome most notably affected the mining operation conducted by the Chinese mining company Ecuagoldmining, which has a bad relationship with the local communities due to violence. Community consultation is required by Ecuador’s constitution and the U.N Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

A community member said, “Her father [Raúl Bermeo] wants his daughter to be remembered as the great person she was and not as as a symbol of confrontation against communities. In the field of water defense there were several actors running for elections, and that’s creating a debate on what sector Alba belonged to. Her dad is outraged about this.” 



Tereso Carcamo Flores (Xinca) 

Photo: CODECA via Facebook

Tereso Cárcamo Flores was a human and land rights defender who fought for Indigenous, labor, and agricultural rights and the nationalization of key utilities like electricity and water. Flores lived in the Jalapa department and was a member of the Xinca Indigenous community. He was one of the first members of the community board for the Campesino Development Committee (CODECA), an organization that represents and fights for campesino farmers and workers. Tereso was involved in matters of community representation and democratic rights. He participated in the process for the Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly in Guatemala and was one of the main drivers of democratic processes within CODECA.

CODECA is a prominent civil society organization fighting for peasant rights. Data from the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders shows CODECA is also one of the most targeted human rights organizations in Guatemala. In 2019, more than half of the human rights defenders murdered for their work in Guatemala were members of CODECA or its corresponding political party, the MLP.

Tereso's murder is part of the systemic attack on Indigenous land defenders. Like many other Xinca leaders, Tereso had “received death threats for several years, ever since the campesino resistance in Santa María Xalapán was organized.” According to CODECA leadership, his murder happened in the same manner as murders against other CODECA leaders. The fact that Tereso was a driving force behind an active political process illustrates the ways his murder serves a broader political purpose. His attackers sought not only to disrupt CODECA and the Xinca community’s efforts at self-determination, but also to send a message of intimidation in an attempt to deter other leaders and activists.



Filogonio Martínez Merino (Chatino)

Photo via Educa Oaxaca. 

Filogonio Martínez Merino was an Indigenous environmental activist who fervently opposed the creation of the Paso de la Reina and Río Verde hydroelectric projects in Mexico. From 2008 to 2011, he served as an ejidal commissioner for Paso de la Reina. Filogonio had been very active in his community, working as a municipal agent of Santiago Jamiltepec for a time and serving as a member of the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Río Verde, which has been actively resisting plans to build a hydroelectric electric dam on the Río Verde since 2008. He was assassinated in the town of Piedra Blanca in the state of Oaxaca on October 26. Oaxaca has been at the core of many environmental strifes recently, as the growing interest of privatization of its lands threatens to fundamentally alter its landscape. Some  of these changes are the hydroelectric projects proposed by the Federal Electricity Commission on the Río Verde. 

Five environmental defenders, also part of the Council, had been murdered prior to Filogonio in the beginning of 2021. They are: Fidel Heras Cruz, Noé Robles Cruz, Raymundo Robles Riaño, Gerardo Mendoza Reyes, and Jaime Jimenez Ruiz. No one has been held accountable for these crimes. Filogonio’s tireless environmental activism and advocacy served to unite the Paso de la Reina community for the past decade in their fight against these harmful and intrusive projects. When fear swept through the community in 2021 after the five environmental defenders were murdered, Filogonio was essential in bringing them together, encouraging them to be more determined than ever to defend Río Verde. Filogonio had requested collective precautionary measures from the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in 2021, which were granted in April 2022. These measures were clearly not enough to protect them. 


Adán Linares, Guillermo Hilario, and Moisés Cuapipistenco (Nahua)

On November 5, Adán Linares, Guillermo Hilario, and Moisés Cuapipistenco, members of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (Cipog-EZ), were murdered in the community of Xochimilco, municipality of Chilapa de Álvarez in Guerrero, after being stopped by traffic police and subsequently chased by a motorcycle. They were also part of the National Indigenous Congress.

Cipog-EZ states it "was born to accompany our Peoples, our assemblies. With respect for the autonomy of communities, organizations, and individuals. Our purpose is to work and train ourselves to serve our Peoples, to defend our communities, and build a dignified future in our territories." These murders are part of a systematic persecution of this organization. So far, Cipog-EZ estimates that 43 members have been murdered and 20 have disappeared.  Just a few weeks before the murders, members of Cipog-EZ had met with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about their security concerns, stating, "If we don't defend ourselves, who is going to defend us?"



Alcides Romero Morilla and Rodrigo Gómez González (Paĩ Tavyterã)

On October 23, Guaraní Paĩ Tavyterã leaders, Alcides Romero Morilla and Rodrigo Gómez González, were killed during a confrontation between Paraguayan security forces and the non-state armed group Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP). According to the government's own sources, it was determined following an autopsy that both men had been tortured before they were killed. Other community members were also injured, among them Leonardo Gómez Riquelme.  

The region where the Guaraní Paĩ Tavyterã People live, including their sacred territory of Jasuka Venda, has been militarized by the Paraguayan government. This process began in 2013 with the creation of the Internal Defense Operations Commando of the Joint Task Force, an armed governmental unit comprised of members of the police, the armed forces, and the National Anti Drug Secretariat with the objective of dealing with the EPP in the area. Drug trafficking groups are also active in the region, threatening Indigenous land and capturing Indigenous workers through lies to work in marijuana plantations, where many have afterwards disappeared or been murdered. In this context, the Paĩ Tavyterã People’s right to self-determination is being systematically violated in various ways, including prevention of their free movement to access their territories, intimidation practices, and even violence, which has tragically led to the recent assassinations of these Indigenous leaders. According to the Mission to Observe the Situation of Human Rights in the North, which was conducted by the Human Rights Agency of Paraguay at the beginning of 2021, the armed State units have tried to use Indigenous people as human shields to enter the forest to track down members of the EPP.



Juan Julio Fernández Hanco

Juan Julio Fernández Hanco of Madre de Dios was an environmental defender of the Tambopata National Reserve who dedicated his life to the defense of the region from illegal mining. On March 20, Juan was shot and killed by two bullets to the head in his brother’s home by two hitmen reportedly hired by mafias of illegal miners. According to his brother, Germán Fernández, their family had been threatened by the illegal miners since 2011, and two weeks prior to Juan’s murder their sister was kidnapped by the same mafia group at their family’s farm. After his brother's death, Germán stated that “this place should be declared an emergency. People die here every day.” His own life is threatened on a daily basis.

Juan was the 17th Indigenous land defender murdered since the beginning of the pandemic and the fourth murdered in the same week. Following his assassination, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights claimed to have opened an investigation of the murder with local authorities, the Public Prosecutor’s office, and the Ministry of Interior, but as of April 2022, there was no justice served for any of the 17 murders of land defenders, including Juan. Commenting on Juan’s death, Luisa Ríos, regional coordinator of the Peruvian Society of Environmental Law in Madre de Dios, said, “the impunity with which illegal actors act in Tambopata continues to create a challenging and deadly context for those who seek to defend their lands and forests because they are their livelihoods, so their struggle will never stop.” One hundred thousand hectares of Amazon rainforest are deforested and 2 billion euros' worth of gold are illegally mined in the region every year. Juan will be remembered by his community, who will continue to defend the Tambopata National Reserve from illegal extraction and the violence that it entails.


Jesús Antaihua, Nusat Benavides, and Gemerson Pizango (Ashéninka)

On the afternoon of March 22, three Ashéninka leaders were returning to their homes in the province of Puerto Inca in the Huánuco region when they were shot and killed. Among them were Jesús Antaihua and his wife Nusat Benavides, who were expecting a child and were members of the Cleyton community, and their acquaintance, Gemerson Pizango, who was from the nearby Santa Teresa community. While the specific perpetrators are unknown, the Regional Association of Indigenous Peoples (ORAU) and the Aidesep Ucayali Regional Organization (ARPI) report that the murders were likely perpetrated by mafias associated with drug traffickers or illegal miners in the area, whose violence has caused nearby communities to be on permanent alert. 

Indigenous leaders in Peru like Jesús, Nusat, and Gemerson are targeted by these mafia groups for their opposition to drug trafficking and illegal extraction within their territories as well as their calls for the land titling of their territory. In the Huánuco region in particular, Indigenous leaders have had to confront the rampant issue of land-grabbing by non-Indigenous settlers financed by development initiatives, which, ironically, have received aid from Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs and the U.S. Agency for International Development for land titling. These initiatives had the reverse effect of increasing coca production, drug trafficking, and violence in the Huánuco region.

Justice has not been served for the murders of Jesús, Nusat, and Gemerson. According to a statement by ORAU and ARPI following the assassination, the corruption of State authorities responsible for administering justice ensures these criminals’ impunity. ARPI and ORAU claim that the State’s lack of protection for Indigenous land defenders requires them to defend themselves. Jesús, Nusat, and Gemerson leave behind communities who are unwilling to back down in the defense of their Peoples and territories from State-sanctioned violence.

Vilca Ampichi López (Yanesha)

Photo via Servindi.

Vilca Ampichi López was a community leader, referred to as Apu, in the Yanesha community of San Juan de Pachitea. Vilca was assassinated for his work as an Indigenous environmental defender and targeted like the other 30+ environmental defenders killed in Peru just in the past 3 years. He was on his way home on the evening of December 5 with his wife when he was shot 14 times. His assailants quickly fled towards the Fernando Belaunde Terry highway. Vilca was part of a Yanseha Native community located in San Juan de Pachitea en Huánuco in the Yuyapichis district in the province of Puerto Inca. The Yanseha are considered the Native Peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, and Vilca wished to protect the virgin forests.

The Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle has called for further inquiry into Vilca's death and other assassinations of Indigenous environmental defenders: "We deeply regret this irreparable loss and express our condolences to his family, community, and the Yanesha Peoples, and we demand speedy investigations and effective sanctions for those responsible for this crime. We also demand speedy investigations and effective sanctions for those responsible for this crime. No more deaths of Indigenous leaders!" Vilca's daughter said, 'My dad, my everything. You left a great void in my heart, but I know that wherever you are you will take care of me and protect me. I admire you. I love you, dad.”


Donaldo, Jonatan Silva, Cariban González, and Martina González (Yanomami)

Donaldo, age 22, Jonatan Silva, age 30, Cariban González, age 22, and Martina González, age 45, all Yanomami community members, were killed at the hands of the military on March 20 in Parima B del Alto Orinoco in the Venezuelan state of Amazonas in a confrontation with members of the Venezuelan Air Force. The violence took place after several Yanomami people approached the military base to request that internet access be reestablished and officials denied the request. Various government agencies, including the Agency for Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigations, traveled to the region to investigate. The Yanomami community did not permit the military officials who had been involved in the killings to be removed from the area. Their position is that “[the] problem occurred here, and so they need to close the case here.”

Several human rights organizations have characterized the incident as use of excessive force and even as extrajudicial executions; it has come to be called “the Parima B Massacre.” Wataniba, an organization that works for the rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Venezuelan Amazon, declared, “What took place between military troops from the Parima B air force base and the Yanomami community in the region highlights a deep-rooted problem. Even though the wifi signal was the immediate catalyst, this is not an isolated incident. It is the result of accumulated tensions, abuses, and violations of fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples, which, for decades now, have been denounced by Indigenous and human rights organizations as well as activists and victims themselves.”


Virgilio Trujillo Arana (Uwottüja)

Photo via PROVEA.

On June 30, an unidentified assailant shot and killed Virgilio Trujillo Arana, 38, in the city of Puerto Ayacucho, in broad daylight. Virgilio was a member of the Uwottüja Peoples and a member of Piaroas Unidos del Sipapo Indigenous Organization. He was known for his work against illegal mining operations and illegal militias in the Amazonas state, where mining has been outlawed since 1989, and his founding of the Indigenous Territorial Guard in Sipapo. As part of his role as an Indigenous Territorial Guard, Virgilio accompanied the Venezuelan Armed Forces on their operations against criminal groups in the region. Last February, The Uwottüja had declared their intention to stand up against a "silent invasion" of criminal elements in their territory. According to journalist María Ramírez Cabello, who also worked on the investigation, Virgilio persuaded other Indigenous communities to stand against illegal armed groups in their territories. 

On July 5, Douglas Rico, Director of the Criminal and Scientific Investigation Corps, announced he had sent investigators to probe Virgilio's murder. On September 9, Olnar Ortiz, Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples of the Penal Forum, announced that individuals had been charged in connection to Virgilio's death based on a discussion he had with the Public Ministry in Caracas. Virgilio reportedly had  previously received threats related to his anti-mining work. The government claimed he was likely killed by a hitman, and Rico stated, "It is presumed that drug traffickers and paramilitaries who intend to take over national territory are involved in the incident." According to the Observatory for the Defense of Life, 32 Indigenous leaders have been killed in Venezuela between 2013 and 2021. The group alleges that mining hitmen perpetrated 21 of these murders.


Wilmer Rodriguez Pérez, Divier Rodriguez Péres, and Jesus Dadure Gonzalez (Jivi)

On July 19, Wilmer Rodríguez Pérez, 33; Divier Rodríguez Péres, 32; and Jesús Dadure González, 43, all Jivi Indigenous persons, were murdered in the Guarataro parish, Sucre municipality, in the state of Bolívar. According to the Kape Kape association, which works for the defense of Indigenous Peoples' rights in the area, "It is presumed that the perpetrators were armed groups operating in the area." However, according to the Scientific, Criminal and Criminalistic Investigations Corps, no perpetrators have been identified yet. According to the relatives, the three were making mañoco (cassava-based flour) and were not involved in any mining or illegal activity.



This piece represents months of research by a number of contributors. In addition to Cultural Survival staff members, some cases were researched by students of the Human Rights Investigations Lab at the University of California Santa Cruz. We also thank and stand in solidarity with the community members of each individual who have helped bring these cases to light and persevere in seeking justice.