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News > Latin America

Indigenous Colombians Reach Bogota as Violence Continues

  • Indigenous from the Choco region began their march towards Bogota on Nov. 10.

    Indigenous from the Choco region began their march towards Bogota on Nov. 10. | Photo: Twitter / @ONIC_Colombia

Published 13 November 2018

A group of over 400 Indigenous people is set to resume talks with the national government to ensure the fulfillment of agreements reached in 2017.

Over 450 Indigenous peoples of the Embera, Wounaan, and Zenu nationalities of the Choco region in the Colombian Pacific reached Bogota Monday to demand the fulfillment of a set of agreements reached in August 2017, which according to Indigenous communities have been unilaterally broken by Colombian authorities.

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The agreements include safety guarantees in their territories, which have witnessed several incidents of violence. ONIC has reported that since late 2016 -when the peace agreement between the Colombia state and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was signed- violence has forcibly displaced 5,730 Indigenous while 8,245 are suffering from involuntary confinement. 

Furthermore, they have denounced that 10 Indigenous leaders have been tortured, 25 recruited by illegal armed forces, 65 have been murdered, and 161 are currently under threat.  

"Minga Embera arrives with the strength of Mother Earth to @ONIC_Colombia. They left their territory to demand the national government to fulfill the agreements. Guard, guard! Strength, strength!"

Members of ONIC marched for two days from the municipalities of RioSucio and Carmel de Darien to Bogota. After their arrival, they met with representatives of the Interior Ministry, Defense Ministry, the Family Wellbeing Institue, and the Peace Commissioner, among others. 

The meeting concluded in an agreement to resume dialogues with the national government. They were expected to begin talks on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

No announcements have been made yet. However, they are expected to discuss security, lack of health services in their communities, the need for education, energy, and transport infrastructure, and land restitution.  

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