President Iván Duque affirmed this Saturday that the recent massacres in different parts of Colombia, which have left more than 30 people dead, are not “massacres” but “collective homicides.”
“Many people have said: ‘the massacres returned, the massacres returned’, let’s first talk about the precise name: ‘collective homicides’, and sadly it must be accepted as a country, it is not that they returned, it is that these events have not sadly gone away” he said in Pasto, capital of the Nariño department.
Duque moved to the town of Samaniego, in Nariño, where a week ago eight young people between 19 and 25 years old, some of them university students, were massacred in a rural house where they were doing a barbecue. In that same place, hours before, a 26-year-old woman was murdered, a crime that – like that of the eight young people – remains unsolved.
This massacre is one of the six perpetrated in the country in the last two weeks, the first of which was that of five adolescents, between 14 and 15 years old, on August 11 in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Cali, capital of the Cauca’s Valley. On August 18, when the country was not recovering from the impact of the massacre in Samaniego, the murder of three indigenous people from the Awá community was known in a village in the municipality of Ricaurte, also in Nariño.
On August 21 in the afternoon, the Ombudsman’s Office reported the murder of five other people in El Caracol, a village in Arauca located on the border with Venezuela. The other two occurred last night in El Tambo (Cauca), where six people were murdered, and six more were massacred this morning in La Guayacana, a village that is part of Tumaco (Nariño).
Duque – whose government blames part of the current situation on his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos – insisted that massacres have always occurred in the country. “From 1998 to today, 2020, 1,361 scenes of ‘collective murders’ and ‘collective homicides’ have been presented in Colombia,” the president stressed.
Immediately, the president assured: “in our government, which has been in the country for two years, these events have also been presented, 37 ‘collective homicides’ have been presented, which are equivalent to 2 percent of the ‘collective homicides’ of the last 22 years” . Likewise, he declared that the massacres have left 7,458 victims and that in his Government, “as a result of these events, counting those of the last hours, 188 people have died, which is equivalent to 22 percent of the victims of the ‘collective homicides of the last 22 years. “