Massacre in Tarra, Catatumbo

Monday, July 30th.

At least ten hooded man with heavy weapons entered a restaurant, and killed nine people in Tarra, a town in the region of Catatumbo, Norte de Santander, close to the boarder of Venezuela. One victim was Frederman Quintero, social leader from the region. Most victims were FARC members who demovilized during the peace process. Very little is known about the attackers although it happened in a very lively area during daytime. The two guerrilla groups of the region EPL and ELN have already condemned the massacre and not taken responsibility for it.

What does this mean?

Catatumbo has been one of the regions that has been heavily affected by the Colombian war for years and is known for its high density of coca plantations. The region has been prioritized for the voluntary substitution program contemplated in the peace accords, and is now is experiencing a new wave of violence. Thousands of people have been displaced. Two years after the ratification of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC, at least five illegal armed groups show presence in Catatumbo and at the same time Catatumbo, including Tarra, has been increasingly militarized.

This massacre further shows that the implementation of the peace accords continues to be lacking, as many human rights organizations have repeatedly denounced.