The assassins who could kill Colombia's shaky peace deal
JANUARY 4 2017 – 1:01PM
Colombia: After a half-century of war, peace has come to Caloto, a long-troubled region of Colombia, and the change has been terrifying.
On Christmas Day, gunmen assassinated a rural activist from the leftist Marcha Patriotica party as he rode home on his motorbike. A member of the group was ambushed along the highway in early November. The mutilated body of another activist turned up two weeks later in the same area.
The killings appear to fit a pattern of attacks on left-wing activists, indigenous leaders, human rights advocates and members of Marcha Patriotica, with the pace picking up in recent months as the government finalised a controversial peace accord with Marxist FARC rebels to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict.
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Activists suspect soldiers and police are carrying out the killings on behalf of the powerful Colombian landowners and others who oppose the peace deal, and they say prosecutors and judges are too scared to stop them. They want Colombia’s highly touted intelligence agencies to pursue criminal suspects with the same alacrity as they did the FARC.
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