Colombians killed in suspected rebel massacre

Nine people, including four children, were shot and killed at a farm in southern Colombia where the owner had been threatened by guerrillas over extortion payments, police said.

The killings on Sunday in Putumayo province near Ecuador’s border were the second massacre in a week attributed to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), the country’s largest guerrilla force fighting a four-decade conflict.

“The information we have at the moment is the owner of the farm ... had been threatened by Farc,” police Colonel Harold Lara told local radio. “From what we know, most of the bodies were shot in the head.”

Authorities last week blamed Farc for singling out and murdering five people in a northern town after going door to door with a list of names, including those of former paramilitaries who fought the rebels before demobilising.

Violence from Latin America’s oldest guerrilla insurgency has eased under President Alvaro Uribe’s United States-backed security campaign, especially in cities.
But Farc, which began as a peasant army, is still strong in rural areas, helped by funds gained from the country’s cocaine trade.—Reuters

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