Latin America in Short: Attack and Murder of Environmentalist in Colombia

Colombia is horrified after the news of the first murder of an environmentalist in Colombia so far this year. In addition, there was an attack in the department of Arauca. These and other news are summarized here.


These were the most relevant news of this week. Photos: CRIC

LatinAmerican Post

Two news items worry the region this week: an attack in the department of Arauca leaves one dead and five injured, and the first murder of an environmentalist in Colombia in 2022 takes place in the municipality of Buenos Aires. In global affairs, Pope Benedict XVI is accused of inaction in cases of pedophilia and the United Kingdom faces COVID-19. Finally, in sports, FIFA's “The Best” awards were handed out. All summarized and explained here.

Attack in Colombia leaves 1 dead and 5 injured

A car bomb in the municipality of Saravena, in the department of Arauca, left one person dead and at least 5 injured. The department has been the target of attacks and harassment by illegal groups (such as guerrillas and drug traffickers) that move in the area, and regularly cross the border with Venezuela.

This is why for a few days, President Iván Duque has ordered the militarization of the area. However, according to local media, the attack occurred outside the perimeter covered by the armed forces and the police.

Benedict XVI is accused of inaction in cases of pedophilia

The pope emeritus, Benedict XVI was accused Thursday in a report commissioned by the same Archdiocese of Munich of having known of at least 4 cases of pedophilia and having had "no recognizable interest" in acting In front of them. The report questions the inaction of Joseph Ratzinger when he served as archbishop in the southern German city from 1977 to 1982.

The report also documented hundreds of cases that have occurred since the post-war period to the present day and has blamed the Catholic hierarchies for not having acted in an expected manner in cases of sexual abuse of minors or, even, in helping to cover it up.

Environmentalist child murdered in Colombia

On January 15, Breiner David Cucuñame, a 14-year-old boy belonging to the Nasa indigenous community, was murdered in the municipality of Buenos Aires, in Cúcuta. Breiner was known in his community for being part of the Student Indigenous Guard and for his activism for the environment. The event occurred in an attack by an armed group on the Indigenous Guard of the corregimiento of Tachuela.

The Indigenous Guard captured three suspects and hours later the National Police delivered some statements in which one of them was identified as the author of the crime. The Indigenous Guard has not determined the level of participation of the three suspects and so far reserves statements.

General Jorge Luis Vargas, director of the National Police, assured that those responsible for the murder could be Jaime Martínez and "El Indio", two FARC dissidents and leaders of the dissidence. This is the first murder of a social leader in Colombia in 2022. Let us remember that the country ranks first in the list of countries with the most social leaders murdered annually.

The United Kingdom prepares to live with COVID-19

On Wednesday, January 19, the United Kingdom government announced that it plans to remove almost all the restrictions that are currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these, there would no longer be that of isolating yourself for a period of time in case of presenting symptoms and even in case of testing positive for the test. The government would then choose to give health recommendations to avoid infecting other people.

This would imply that the population learned to live with COVID-19 as they live with the flu. In fact, the Ministry of Health recently announced that teleworking, the use of the vaccination passport, or the wearing of a mask in any public or private place is no longer mandatory.

Also read: Watch Out: 3 New Findings About COVID-19

The FIFA “The Best” Awards were presented

"The Best" Awards were presented this week the "The Best" Awards were presented by FIFA, which reward the best in the world of football in a given year. The Polish Robert Lewandowski took the award for best male footballer of the year, over Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah. Her female counterpart was Alexia Putellas, a Barcelona player who had a stellar year as she won the Champions League, the Primera Iberdrola, and the Copa de la Reina. The full list of awards can be found on the official FIFA website.