CARTAGENA, Colombia – Colombia’s peace commissioner condemned on Thursday the murder of the female owner of a rural property in the southwestern province of Cauca that is to serve as one of the hamlet-sized concentration zones for FARC guerrillas.
The killing of Cecilia Coicue is “a serious matter because it occurred in a place where a FARC concentration zone will be located,” Sergio Jaramillo told reporters in Cartagena, where he was attending an international forum on Colombia’s future.
“At this moment the deputy attorney general (Maria Paulina Riveros) is on top of this matter, the National Police as well,” he said, adding that he preferred to wait until they issue a statement before commenting further.
The 62-year-old Coicue disappeared Tuesday after leaving her home to inspect a pipe that carries water from a nearby spring to her property and was found Wednesday with stab wounds, according to the Francisco Isaias Cifuentes Human Rights Network.
It said Coicue’s 72-hectare (178-acre) property would be the site of one of the 23 “Temporary Hamlet Zones for Normalization,” where Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebels will concentrate in accordance with the terms of a peace deal reached last month between the Colombian government and the guerrillas after nearly four years of talks in Havana.
The rebels will begin moving to those zones, located in different parts of the Andean nation, five days after the two sides sign the peace accord on Sept. 26 in Cartagena.
Within 180 days after the agreement is signed, the guerrilla fighters are to cede control of all of their weapons to a United Nations mission and definitively demobilize.
Coicue was a member of various organizations, including the leftist Patriotic March Political and Social Movement in Cauca.
Corinto, the Cauca municipality where Coicue lived, has been one of the areas most affected by Colombia’s armed conflict and for decades was the target of numerous FARC attacks and the scene of fighting between the guerrillas and the security forces.