In Colombia, the self-named far-right paramilitary group Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles) is offering monetary rewards to those who kill indigenous leaders, as stated by the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), on Wednesday.
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The ONIC claimed, among other organizations, that during the night of Tuesday, pamphlets dated Dec. 18th and signed by the Black Eagles' central Block were distributed in the Cauca department in Colombia. "Everything that is part of a Cabildo will have its price, for each head there is a value," wrote the criminal organization on the pamphlets.
"The Open Cabildo is the public meeting of the district, municipal or local administrative councils, in which the inhabitants can participate directly in order to discuss matters of interest to the community," according to Law n° 134, from 1994, in Colombia.
The Aguilas Negra criminal group say that the indigenous leaders in Colombia are responsible for the existing conflict in the region, and specifically threatened Esneyder Gomez Salamanca, Ruben Orley Velasco, Antonio Secue, Arcadio Troches Secue, Arcelio Silvia Noscue, Sigilfredo Pavi, Nora Elena Taquinas, Dora Mosquera, Noe Rivera, and Lizardo Secue. In the pamphlet, they offer millions of Colombian Pesos for the "heads" of any indigenous leade, from "Governors" to "collaborators."
According to the human rights commission of the ONIC, the pamphlet was distributed on the same day that the indigenous communities met in a public audience in order to reaffirm their territorial control in the department of Cauca, after the murder of the indigenous authority Edwin Dagua, only a couple of kilometers away from a military post.
"We denounce and reject this serious THREAT, which offers to pay money to those who threaten the lives of indigenous leaders of northern Cauca."
"When these facts of death occur, and furthermore the pamphlets appear, we have doubts about what the Public Force is doing for security, and for that reason, the indigenous movement has said that the Public Force is not a guarantee for us, because, in the end, we are being killed in front of the military," said Aida Quilcue, part of the Human Rights Commission of the ONIC.
ONIC has reported that since late 2016 - when the peace agreement between the Colombian state and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was signed - 5,730 Indigenous have been forcibly displaced, 8,245 are suffering from involuntary confinement, at least 10 leaders have been tortured, 25 recruited by illegal armed forces, and 65 have been murdered.
The Association of Indigenous Cabildos of Northern Cauca (ACIN) stated that "it is necessary to strengthen our processes and strategies to protect life in all its expressions."