Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Judy Vergara Correa, mother of four children, member of the Corporation for Peace and Social Development, known as Corpades; President of the Meeting of Communal Action of the district the Manger; adviser in the projects of the Mothers of the Candlemas and militant of the Alternative Democratic Pole in Antioch, was stabbed to death (some reports indicate she was shot) yesterday as she traveled in an urban bus.

The assassins, according to a preliminary report, escaped in a light truck.

"The only theory we have is that Judith was killed by people who did not like the complaints she was making about demobilized paramilitaries demanding that people continue paying extortion money," said a colleague of Vergara who asked not to be named.

Mauricio Romero, who is overseeing the demobilization as a member of the National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation told Reuters News Agency,"This murder calls attention to the poor security conditions that exist in areas governed by demobilized paramilitaries. It is a big hole in the peace process."

Medellin, the violent domain of drug lord Pablo Escobar in the 1980s, is in a period of "tense calm" since the demobilization, Corpades chief Luis Quijano said.

Left-leaning community leaders such as Vergara continue to be killed, he said.

The following is from MISNA.


Judy Vergara Correa, 32, a Colombian community leader and human rights activist, especially active in denouncing crimes committed by the right-wing paramilitary groups, was killed yesterday by unidentified armed men. The rights advocate, mother of four, was stabbed to death on a bus in the city of Medellin. Judy Vergara, member of the Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA), was president of the Corporation for Peace and Social Development, which analyses and criticises the phenomenon of right-wing paramilitary squadrons, and collaborated with the ‘Mothers of Candelaria’, a women’s association that have for long demanded that the leaders of the paramilitary movement confess to the disappearances and assassinations of their sons, husbands or brothers. The police has referred that there is still not sufficient evidence in regard to the motive and authors of the murder, while the organisations that Judy Vergara worked with attribute the assassination to the extreme right-wing paramilitary circles still active in Medellin. The murder of the rights advocate, whose social work was remembered yesterday by the mayor of Medellin, was only the latest of a series of killings of human rights activists. Based on statistics of the Colombian jurists commission, at least 131 human rights activists were killed or disappeared in Colombia since 2000, almost all in attacks attributed to paramilitaries.

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