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News > Colombia

Another Indigenous Leader Was Menaced in Colombia

  • Indigenous women perform a protest, Colombia. Jun. 30, 2020.

    Indigenous women perform a protest, Colombia. Jun. 30, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @PixiedustJtT

Published 18 January 2021

The Embera leader Jesus Bailarin was kidnapped and tortured by paramilitaries.

Colombia's Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) on Monday reported on the release of Embera Indigenous leader Jesus Bailarin who was kidnapped by Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces (AGC) paramilitaries on Sunday.


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The Indigenous leader was kidnapped at 6.00 pm local time 200 meters from the Pavarando River bridge in the Antioquia department. He was subjected to torture for about one hour and forty minutes.

The paramilitaries accused him of being a member of Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP) and National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas. They threatened him to cut out his tongue if he denied the accusations and to kill him if he informed the police or the army over the abduction. 

Bailarin's wife denounced the inactivity of Pavarando's police forces, which said they had no orders to begin the search.

Since September 2020, the AGC paramilitaries have threatened the population after the Indigenous communities eradicated over 150 hectares of coca.

Social leaders have denounced AGC operations and its plans to assassinate Indigenous leaders who opposed illegal crops and mining. 

Despite precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Special Peace Jurisdiction, Embera communities faced eviction plans orchestrated by corporations.

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