Magazine article The Christian Century

Rights Activist Nun Slain in Colombia

Magazine article The Christian Century

Rights Activist Nun Slain in Colombia

Article excerpt

A Colombian Catholic nun active in human rights work who was killed September 19 is believed by Amnesty International to have been assassinated by right-wing paramilitary forces. Yolanda Ceron, director of the Catholic Church organization Pastoral Social, was killed by two gunmen in the port city of Tumaco in the state of Narino, on Colombia's Pacific coast. Police said they had no suspects.

But Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization, said it was likely that Ceron had been killed by the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, a right-wing paramilitary group with a history of targeting human rights activists. "There's no doubt that Yolanda was killed for her work in the defense of human rights," Amnesty said in a statement the next day.

According to Amnesty, Ceron had reportedly told colleagues that their offices were under surveillance and that she was being harassed and followed by unidentified men. She and others in the group had campaigned against what Amnesty called "the increasingly grave human rights situation in the region" and had provided assistance to victims.

In another development, a committee investigating the 1993 disappearance of three American missionaries in Colombia has called off the inquiry, pointing to "compelling evidence" that the men were killed several years ago. …

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