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News > Latin America

Over 10,000 Indigenous Colombians Rights Violated: Study

  • Colombians protest against the killing of social activists, in Bogota.

    Colombians protest against the killing of social activists, in Bogota. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 July 2018

Colombia's National Indigenous Organization informed that in Colombia "66% of Indigenous peoples are facing extinction."

Through a press release, on Monday, Colombia's National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) denounced "the continuous and systematic Human Rights violations, and the physical and cultural extermination of Indigenous Peoples of Colombia."

Colombia: More Social Leaders Murdered Despite Gov't Promises

Since the beginning of 2018, a total of 128 social and political leaders have been killed in Colombia. Several Indigenous peoples were among that figure. The ONIC stated that the "figures of rights violation of Indigenous Peoples and Communities... go as high as 10,599, between January 1 to July 5, 2018."

Since November 2016, about 68 community leaders have been killed. The release indicated that the statistics are part of the "criminalization of social protest in the country."

The "legal and illegal armed groups" that perpetrate these violations are, according to the ONIC, "the ELN (National Liberation Army), the EPL (Popular Liberation Army), the dissidence of the FARC EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the heirs of the paramilitaries (Clan del Golfo, Águilas Negras, Los Rastrojos, Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) and the Public Force." 

The organization asked that government institutions guarantee compliance with the Colombian Peace agreements which were signed in Havana while urging "the international community to stand in solidarity and to make the respective follow-up and verifications through oversight of the serious situation of human rights violations against Indigenous peoples in Colombia."

Colombia: ELN Denies Responsibility For Murdered Social Leaders

The number of Social and Indigenous leaders who have been killed is systematically high in Colombia in the past few years, with Human Rights violations against Indigenous people almost doubling in 2018, so far, according to the ONIC document.

In 2010, the ONIC disclosed that in Colombia "66% of Indigenous peoples are facing extinction," due to an over-50-year-old armed conflict. This means that 64 out of the 102 Indigenous Peoples of Colombia were vulnerable: either had less than a 100 members, were in danger due to the armed conflict or were victims of extreme poverty and institutional abandonment. 

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