Between 11th January and 24th February five lawyers were killed including Elizabeth Cuellar Quintero, the President of her local Bar Association.
This is how the local newspaper reported it:
Motorized hitmen killed recognized litigator in the city of Buga on Wednesday night. Elizabeth Cuellar Quintero, 52, also served as president of the Bar of the City Madam.
The incident occurred around 8.30 pm on 6th Street With Race 2nd in the Carmel district, located in the east of the city.
Witnesses of the murder to the authorities told them that the lawyer was surprised by a gunman who was traveling on a motorcycle who without a word shot her in three different parts of the body.
One of the bullets hit her skull, so the lawyer, seriously injured, was taken to the Hospital San José de Buga where she died despite the efforts made by the doctors to save her life. The shells found at the site of the attack indicates that attackers used a nine millimeter pistol to commit the attack.
Attorney Elizabeth Cuellar Quintero, was a founding member of Lyceum Youth school and for several years as secretary of Bank Management Coffee in the city of Buga.
So far the authorities are unaware of the motives and the perpetrators of this deed of blood which was raised to five the number of violent deaths that have occurred in the City during the first days of January.
Three out of five trade unionists murdered worldwide are in Colombia. Perpetrators enjoy impunity.
On Friday 20th July 2012 this appeared in the news:
Colombian judge murdered, son injured in Medellin shooting
On 19th July 2012, Jorge Alberto Restrepo Gonzalez, a municipal judge in Medellin was shot and killed by motorbike-riding assassins. His son, who was driving the vehicle, was seriously wounded. Mr Restrepo was due to retire this year after 39 years of work. Local police have, as is often the case, rejected a political motive assuming that the killing was the result of an attempted robbery.
This is the latest in a series of attacks on members of the judiciary, who have repeatedly protested that they have nothing to do with the armed conflict suffered by the country. According to ASONAL Judicial, the judicial workers’ union, these killings have met with “indifference and inaction” by the government and the top levels of the judiciary.
In their statement ASONAL judicial declares that “once again we raise our voice to energetically protest an atrocious crime, demanding prompt and serious investigation that allows for those responsible for this grave assault on the administration of justice to be brought to book.”
On this Caravana, I will be sent to Medellin.
Since 1991 over 400 Colombian lawyers have been assassinated, and today human rights lawyers continue to be threatened, persecuted, attacked and killed. Every two years an international delegation visits Colombia to investigate the situation faced by lawyers and judges across the country, produced reports and recommendations and continue to monitor both specific cases and legal issues affecting the rule of law.
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Thanks to the following organisations for their support:
Mellor & Jackson, Solicitors in Oldham
Joe Egan & Co, Solicitors in Bolton