Eco Activist Shot Dead By Armed Thugs In Colombia

Story ByMaja Mishevksa, Sub EditorMarija StojkoskaAgencyNewsflash

Picture Credit: CEN

This environmental activist has been shot dead by a pair of armed thugs in Colombia.

Carlos Aldairo Arena Salinas, 44, was shot dead after two men went to his El Africa ranch located in the northern area of the department of Tolima and opened fire.

Salinas was an environmental activist who also led tourists on routes to spot the Andean Condor, a protected species and the national bird of Colombia.

Preliminary investigations show that Arenas Salina, known by the nickname ‘Cejas’ (‘Eyebrows’), had been involved in an argument with a neighbour about illegal logging in the area, which he had reported to the local environmental authorities.

It is unclear if this argument was the motive for his murder.

Picture Credit: CEN/@AlcaldesaSantaIsabel

Rodolfo Carrero Villamil, the Commander of the Tolima Police told local media: “A homicide took place between Tolima and Risaralda where a person was killed, apparently he was shot by a firearm. He was in charge of taking care of ranches and working for the service of the area when tourists needed him.”

Environmental activist Katerina Airza said Arenas Salina “loved the area so much that he fought for its preservation until the end, risking his life he was shot by an armed group in the Totarito area”.

The victim was reportedly a defender of water in the area.

According to British NGO Global Witness 24 environmental leaders were killed in Colombia last year. The country is seen as the third most dangerous in the world for those defending the environment, behind only Brazil and the Philippines.

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been reported. The victim’s relatives are reportedly trying to collect money for his funeral.

Picture Credit: CEN/@AlcaldesaSantaIsabel

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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