A Colombian evangelical pastor has been shot dead in what is believed to have been a targeted assassination.
Pastor Plinio Rafael Salcedo was discovered shot to death at his home in the village of La Caucana, in the town and municipality of Tarazá, Bajo Cauca Antioquia, a subregion of the Department of Antioquia. He had a wife and two young children.
While the motive behind the attack is not yet fully known, it is thought to be linked to a protest held by many in the Christian community just days earlier—roughly a thousand people from both the Protestant and Catholic denominations had come together to campaign for a renewed peace in their region.
Columbia has been gripped in a bitter civil war for over half a century, with drug cartels, ideologically-driven paramilitaries and government forces warring over vast swathes of the country. Due to their prominent position in rural communities, hundreds of pastors have been targeted for assassination by criminal gangs who want them to say out of their business.
In 2016, the Columbian government signed a peace agreement with a far-left rebel organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). President Juan Manuel Santon received the Nobel Peace Prize as a result of his efforts and insisted that the agreement would bring an end to Columbia’s civil conflict and usher in a new era of peace in the South American nation.
On the day of its signing, Rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, known as Timochenko, declared that the agreement will “definitively end the war and confront our differences in a civilized manner,” according to the Guardian.
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