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  • Colombian Indigenous Group Demands Justice for Guard's Murder

    | Photo: CRIC

Published 3 August 2019

Twenty-year-old Gersain Yatacue, a member of the Indigenous guard and the Kiwe Thegna community, was ambushed and killed by a group of unknown assailants Thursday.

The Association of Indigenous Cabildos in northern Cauca, Colombia are rejecting the violence that robbed the community of another member, Gersain Yatacue, who was murdered Thursday.

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Twenty-year-old Yatacue, a member of the Indigenous guard and the Kiwe Thegna community, was ambushed and killed by a group of unknown assailants at 2:30 p.m. while travelling home from Toribio City, the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (Cric) said.

Members of the guard are in Pajarito sector, Caoloto, assisting investigators at the scene.

Community leaders have called for support, saying, “We need the population to sweep the territory. We are on high alert. Today, more than ever, we must be united and strengthen territorial control.”

“Today we are a military target of the groups that want to cause disharmonies in the territories; so we call on the community to continue this exercise,” said Indigenous guard coordinator, Oveimar.

Since the 2016 Peace Agreement was signed between former President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC, at least 710 social leaders and 138 ex-guerrilla fighters have been murdered by paramilitary forces that have close ties to Colombian far-right politicians and drug cartels.

Last month, in over 100 cities around the world, demonstrations were held to support Colombian social organizations, demanding President Ivan Duque put the accord into practice and guarantee the safety of human rights defenders and social activists in the country.

This international mobilization was an unprecedented organizational effort by human rights defenders worldwide. These activists seek to prevent Colombia from continuing its current endemic violence against Indigenous and Campesinos in rural areas trying to recuperate their land and lives after a 50-year civil conflict supposedly ended in 2016.

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