BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Slayings of human rights leaders and mass killings of civilians are growing at a worrying tempo in Colombia, in response to a United Nations report revealed on Tuesday.

The annual U.N. report on the human rights scenario in Colombia discovered that violence is “intensifying” in some rural areas the place state presence is weak and armed teams are preventing for territorial management following the 2016 demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgent group.

In accordance with the U.N. report, not less than 133 human rights defenders have been murdered in Colombia in 2020, a 23% enhance from 2019.

The United Nations additionally registered 76 massacres throughout the nation final yr, that are outlined as occasions during which three or extra civilians are executed without delay. The variety of massacres registered was “virtually double” the quantity in 2019 and was the best quantity since 2016, stated Juliette de Rivero, the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights consultant in Colombia.

The report will probably be introduced to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday by U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

The findings have been revealed as Colombia’s authorities struggles to decrease violence in rural areas that have been as soon as managed by the FARC and the place unlawful actions like cocaine trafficking, timber smuggling and wildcat mining nonetheless exist.

These areas at the moment are fought over by armed teams that embody the Nationwide Liberation Military, the Gulf Clan and former FARC rebels who refused to hitch the 2016 peace take care of Colombia’s authorities.

The United Nations urged Colombia’s authorities to extend its presence in these areas to guard civilians and convey down violence.

A technique to do this, De Rivero stated in a press convention, is by “placing the (2016) peace deal on the middle of the federal government’s response.”

The peace deal consists of land titling tasks and applications aimed toward serving to coca growers to substitute their unlawful crops for authorized crops. It additionally created a fee aimed toward discovering options to dismantling armed teams.

President Ivan Duque has been a critic of some facets of the peace deal, together with a transitional justice system that he accuses of being too lenient with former insurgent commanders. Critics of his authorities have stated that it has been sluggish at implementing some facets of the peace deal, together with the coca substitution tasks.

The United Nations stated that Colombia’s authorities has made progress in the direction of stopping violence towards activists by establishing a monitoring system that gives early warnings on threats towards human rights defenders. De Rivero additionally praised a current initiative by the lawyer common’s workplace to lower impunity for crimes by taking itinerant judges to distant rural areas.

Nonetheless, the report calls on Colombia to “intensify” efforts to implement the peace deal.

“The expansion in assassinations is worrying,” De Rivero stated. “The Colombian state has the capability to regulate its insurance policies to forestall violence.”