Town on edge in Colombia after 5 killed, 2 vehicles burned

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A town in southwest Colombia is again on edge after a skirmish between illegal armed groups left at least five people dead, authorities said Friday.

The killings happened overnight in the municipality of Jamundi and also left two vehicles incinerated, Mayor Andrés Felipe Ramírez said.

Rebels with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia operate in the area and are suspected of being involved in the attack.

“We’re calling on the national government” to help, Ramírez said.

Ramírez described the ordeal as part of an ongoing feud between illegal armed groups competing for lucrative drug territory. He said there are illicit crops nearby and called on the government to provide greater security as well as roads, education and health services.

“We need to confront this with a greater institutional presence,” he said.

Leftist rebels signed a peace agreement in 2016 to end over five decades of conflict, but remnant armed groups are still wreaking havoc in parts of the country with bountiful drug crops and little state presence.

In 2019, there were two massacres in Jamundi.

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