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News > Colombia

Colombia: ONIC Denounces Attack on Indigenous Leader in Bogota

  • "Peace means being recognized by our culture, our own education and our authorities" Mejia wrote on Twitter. | Photo: Twitter / @DMejia20

Published 12 April 2019

Dario Mejia of the Zenu community was stabbed twice and had his possessions stolen, including a computer with information related to the ONIC organization.

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, ONIC, condemned the attack of an indigenous leader, who was stabbed and robbed Thursday night in the center of Bogota.

Colombia: Human Rights Groups Condemn Campesino Leader Murder

Dario Mejia of the Zenu community was intercepted by two people as he was on his way to meet an ONIC colleague. The attackers stabbed the land and human rights activist in the arm and leg then stole his briefcase and computer filled with information about ONIC and the major demonstrations that the Indigenous rights organization helped to stage between March 10 and April 8 along the Panamerican highway in central Colombia.

"They stabbed him twice, one time in the arm and another in the leg," the leader's colleague told  El Espectador.

Senator Feliciano Valencia condemned the incident on his Twitter account saying it deserved prompt attention.

Mejia is an ex-adviser of ONIC and current adviser in the dialogues of the National Minga Por La Vida. He was transferred to La Samaritana hospital and is not in critical condition.
For over a month, Indigenous and farmer organizations have carried out demonstrations throughout the departments of Cauca, Nariño, Valle del Cauca and Huila.
Besides demanding that Duque administration complies with some 1,300 concessions reached with previous governments, the Colombian social organizations are demanding access to their lands as well as the government's compliance with the Havana peace agreements signed by the Manuel Santo government in 2016.
According to a new deal struck last week with President Ivan Duque, ONIC and others are requesting a special commission be formed comprising government representatives and Indigenous leaders to draw up a plan for the government to invest US$250 million in housing, health, production, rural infrastructure, roads and "orange economy" projects in the Cauca, Nariño and Huila departments long neglected by the Colombian government.
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