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  • Relatives of indigenous leaders during their wake, Colombia, March, 2020.

    Relatives of indigenous leaders during their wake, Colombia, March, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @Alejacandanga

Published 24 March 2020
Opinion

Four members of an Indigenous family were attacked with gunshots while they were at home.

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) Tuesday denounced that two Embera indigenous people, Omar Guasiruma and Ernesto Guasiruma, were killed and two more were wounded in the Naranjal township in the Cauca Valley.

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"The two murdered Indigenous leaders and the two wounded belong to the same family and were at home following the quarantine order," the ONIC tweeted.

The Kankuamo leader Luis Kankui indicated that the attack against the Guasiruma family occurred on Monday night. So far no further details are known about the criminal attack.

Despite the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian state and the then-Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the social leaders' situation continues to be precarious.

According to human rights defenders, authorities make little effort to identify, arrest, and imprison members of the "Gulf Clan" paramilitaries and other far-right groups.

"Many indigenous people have survived for more than 500 years throughout America. Today they continue to be attacked, stripped, and many even killed. It seems that nobody wants to see that living holocaust. Here comes the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor."

On March 20, over 100 Indigenous and rural organizations called for a two-week ceasefire in the country's most conflictive areas​​​​​​.

“Our communities live in territories where violence persists in various forms. We call upon you, combatants of all forces, to protect your own lives and the lives of we, the civilians," said the Indigenous leaders from the Choco, Meta, Putumayo, and Cauca Valley departments.

The social organizations also asked the Colombian government to consider the cessation of hostilities as one of the necessary measures to curb the Covid-19 spread

"We call on you as the main commander of the Armed Forces and National Police to protect the lives of the official combatants and the lives of civilians in our territories with a cessation of hostilities,” they added in a letter addressed to President Ivan Duque.​​​​​​​

"We make this call... based on the WHO declaration of Covid-19 pandemic, which is already causing irreparable loss of human life."

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