Indigenous and campesinos communities in Colombia have denounced a six-hour confrontation on Friday morning between armed groups, which resulted in the deaths of at least six people and the displacement of 360 others.
Although information is scarce, campesinos are reporting on social media that the clashes started around 9 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m. in Cerro Tijeras, about a 90-minute drive from the town of Suarez, in the south-eastern province of Cauca — an area known for the presence of illegal armed groups and illicit coca crops.
The association of Indigenous authorities of the North of Cauca (ACIN) has now opened a permanent assembly in response.
"We will maintain our position in the defense of life and against the violence that spreads death in our communities," the association said in a statement.
The ACIN reported at 8 p..m. that the situation remained difficult as armed groups were still present in the area while humanitarian support had only just arrived.
Some claimed that the confrontations involved dissidents of now-dissolved guerrilla group The FARC and members of the ELN over control of the territory.
The six victims are now being identified as authorities enter the combat zone, Colonel Pablo Jose Blanco told Colprensa about one hour later.
If confirmed, the fatal confrontation would be the second in the region in less than a month, following a massacre in Magui Payan which left 13 people dead.