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16 Aug 2020 | 09:55 PM UTC

Colombia: Gunmen kill nine in attack in Nariño department August 15

Colombia News Alert

Unidentified gunmen kill nine in attack in Samaniego municipality (Nariño department) on August 15; further attacks possible over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/18/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Samaniego municipality (Nariño department), Nariño


At least nine people were killed by unidentified gunmen during an attack in Nariño department on Saturday night, August 15. The incident occurred in the village of Santa Catalina in Samaniego municipality. The motive for the attack has not been confirmed, although armed groups linked to the National Liberation Army (ELN) and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissidents are known to operate in the area near the Ecuadorian border, as do drug trafficking gangs. More than 20 homicides have been registered in Samaniego municipality in the past two months.

Further attacks by armed groups and drug-related violence are possible in the area over the near term.


A peace deal between FARC leadership and the Colombian government was ratified by the Colombian congress in November 2016, officially ending an armed conflict that killed more than 260,000 people over five decades. However, some dissident ex-FARC militants remain active, notably in the Colombian-Ecuadorian border region. The left-wing guerilla group ELN and right-wing militant groups are also responsible for violent acts across Colombia, particularly in the border regions. The armed conflict is fuelled by drug trafficking and both left-wing guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitary groups have close links to the drugs trade.


Individuals in or planning travel to Colombia are advised to keep abreast of the situation. Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including drug cartels, right-wing militias, local gangs, and the ELN guerrilla group in addition to ex-FARC dissidents - Western governments generally advise against travel to various regions of the country, most notably most border areas on the frontiers with Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Panama.


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