Environmentalist Murdered in Casanare

Daniel Abril NM

Photo: Nadege Mazars

Daniel Abril was murdered on Friday, November 13 at 6:40 p.m. in the La Virgen sector of Trinidad, Casanare. The father of a 12-year old, Abril was a charismatic and a well-respected local environmental activist and outspoken critic of oil companies that operate in the region, large landowners responsible for forcible displacement, and State corruption.

In 2014, Abril was an active participant in a massive public hearing organized by Congressman Ivan Cepeda in Trinidad to gather testimony regarding environmental and human rights violations at the hands of private enterprises in the oil industry. He had also presented numerous official complaints regarding the negligence of Corporinoquia (the regional agency responsible for oversight of environmental regulations and licenses) and its director Martha Plazas.

Abril had been the target of ongoing persecution; human rights organization COSPACC has denounced unfounded prosecutions and previous attempts on Abril’s life at the hands of State agents.

Two months prior to his death he was involved in an incident involving the XVI Brigade of the Colombian National Armed Forces.