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  • Paramilitary groups in Colombia, often with government amnesty have been responsible for many atrocities.

    Paramilitary groups in Colombia, often with government amnesty have been responsible for many atrocities. | Photo: Reuters

Hernan is the sixth activist killed so far this year in Colombia, which has become Latin America's most dangerous country for human rights activists.

A member of the Marcha Patriotica political and social movement was killed in the department of Cordoba in Colombia's northern Caribbean region. The group believes the Clan del Golfo, Gulf Clan, paramilitary group is responsible.

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"We regret to report that Hernan Agames, a member of the Asociación de Campesinos del Sur de Córdoba and Marcha Patriota, was assassinated,” the organization posted on its Twitter account.

Hernan is the sixth activist killed this year in Colombia, which has become Latin America's most dangerous country for human rights activists.

According to the human rights organization Front Line Defenders, at least 85 human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2016 alone.

Marcha Patriotica has denounced paramilitary activity in the South American country for years. Its members and leaders have been victims of multiple death threats and attempts, including threats against former Senator Piedad Cordoba, who is the spokesperson of the political organization.

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The government recently denied the presence of paramilitary groups in the territory despite mounting evidence that paramilitary-led violence has increased dramatically in recent years, often with the complicity of military forces.

"In Colombia, there is no paramilitarism. There's not," said Minister Luis Carlos Villegas during a press conference in capital Bogota on Thursday.

Meanwhile, social organizations and human rights activists say the recent murders of community leaders were carried out by paramilitaries to stall the peace process.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, who are in transition to become a political party, denounced paramilitary presence in Tumbaco, another part of Colombia on the northwestern border with Ecuador.

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