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News > Colombia

Indigenous People Mark Their Day Amid COVID-19 Fight

  •  File photo dated June 19, 2020 showing Jaeuneka Ushigua (3d), leader of the Sapara nationality, in Llamchamacocha Ecuador.

    File photo dated June 19, 2020 showing Jaeuneka Ushigua (3d), leader of the Sapara nationality, in Llamchamacocha Ecuador. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 August 2020

COVID-19 poses a great threat to Indigenous communities around the world. 

Marking International Day of the World’s Indigenous People which is celebrated every August 9, social movements, organizations and social leaders made an urgent call for world leaders to implement more measures to fight COVID-19 within Indigenous communities.  


WHO Warns About COVID-19 Impact on Latam Indigenous Communities

They also rejected political persecution against Indigenous leaders and violence towards them.

The Indigenous peoples are currently facing immense challenges with COVID-19. According to the United Nations, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on more than 476 million indigenous people around the world, with Indigenous women being hit the hardest.

According to the W.H.O, in Latin America and South America alone, 70,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,000 deaths have been reported among indigenous peoples. 

In Colombia, the Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights Commission demanded the government of President Ivan Duque to allocate special intensive care units in different parts of the country. They made an urgent call for specialized health care in those departments where health care has been completely abandoned.

In Ecuador, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) insisted on the State’s historical neglect affecting the Indigenous communities who currently face enormous difficulties due to COVID-19. The Conaie also demanded the government of president Lenin Moreno to “guarantee decent living conditions for the vulnerable population”.

So far,  2.017 cases and 33 deaths have been confirmed in the country’s Amazonian Indigenous communities. 

Bolivia's Former President Evo Morales took to Twitter to highlight the “struggle and resistance of each indigenous people of Abya Yala to preserve their identity and history.” He added, “In Bolivia, the indigenous movement and social organizations are mobilizing for the return of democracy” referring to the 2019 coup-d’etat that forced him out of office.

COVID-19 has put at risk more than 800 Indigenous communities living in Latin America and the Caribbean. Some Indigenous peoples have even called it a “genocide”. 

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