The main counselor of the National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) Luis Fernando Arias, demanded an indigenous delegation be sent to Havana, the Cuban capital where peace talks have been held for the past two years between the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the government.
This request follows the murder of two Indigenous Guards in El Cauca state by two FARC members last Wednesday, as they were removing billboards marking the three year anniversary of the death of “Alfonso Cano,” a former FARC prominent figure.
“It is pressing, urgent, necessary and reasonable that this delegation of the indigenous movement could be sent to La Havana in order to hold this dialogue with the government and the FARC. We believe that before these circumstances, we should urgently accelerate the implementation of such a delegation, in order to address this situation,” he affirmed.
Arias was part of the third delegation of victims sent to Havana one month ago. He declared he had proposed the formation of an indigenous delegation, and although both parties had both accepted in principle, he did not receive any answer after the meeting.
He recalled that since the beginning of the year, no less than 40 indigenous people have died as a consequence of the conflict, while the region of El Cauca has been the most affected.
Yesterday, an indigenous court found seven FARC guerrillas guilty of murdering two leaders of the Nasa indigenous group, sentencing them to 40 to 60 years prison, or twenty lashes for minors – as in Colombia, indigenous communities have jurisdiction over their own territory. The day before, the FARC peace delegation reiterated its deep respect for the indigenous communities of the country, stressing that many FARC members were also indigenous.
See more: Colombia: Peace Talks Victims Threatened by Paramilitary Groups