Saturday, December 16, 2017
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COLOMBIA
Indigenous targets
1/22/2009
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In under 15 days, six indigenous Colombians killed.

Edwin Legarda, the husband of a local indigenous leader, was gunned down Dec. 16 by Colombian soldiers, who say he failed to obey a stop sign.

Soldiers opened fire on Legarda while he was in a vehicle of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, or CRIC.

The organization said that the killing was “a premeditated act,” whose real aim was to kill Aída Quilcué, Legarda´s wife, an indigenous leader who participated in the Minga de la Resistencia Indígena y Popular in October, a massive march on Bogota for indigenous rights. She had also received various death threats, the organization said.

But the killing appeared to be part of a larger string of attacks on Colombia´s indigenous peoples, reports show. Two weeks later on Dec. 31, authorities of the Kankuamo people said that the Atánquez community was attacked by an explosive that killed five people and injured 85 others, “many of them seriously.”

According to the Kankuamo leaders, their people have been subjected to “systematic physical and cultural extermination that [since 1996] caused the deaths of more than 300 Kankuamos – a true process of genocide that even the provisional measures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have been able to contain.”

A statement released by the CRIC blamed the Colombian government and said that the deaths continue to show that “for the Colombian state, killing Indians and social leaders is a component of democratic security.”

The October indigenous protests on the capital for more land and basic rights were marked by violent clashes with police.

“For these crimes, the [state] puts names like false positives or ´isolated actions by people in which the institution is not involved´ but they really form a part of a massacre against the Colombian people.”
—Latinamerica Press.


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