Slaying of 5 indigenous leaders shocks Colombians

Photo: AP

The CRIC reported that the individuals were ambushed allegedly by members of the FARC splinter group.

The Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) denounced the murder of at least five leaders of the Tacueyo community in an armed attack that the military claimed might have been carried out by dissident members of the now-dissolved guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

According to the CRIC, the attack occurred in the Tacueyo Reserve in the southwestern Cauca province, where Governor Cristina Bautista and Indigenous guard Jose Gerardo Soto were killed, while another five members of the community — Montaño Noscue, Jose Norman Montaño Noscue, Crescencio Peteche Mensa and Dora Rut Mesa Peteche — were injured.

Luis Acosta, the national coordinator of the Indigenous Guard, responsible for security in native territory across Colombia, said that the attack resulted in a “serious emergency” but that indigenous authorities will not let the tragedy affect their mission.

The military also issued a communique confirming the killings by “presumed members of a residual organized armed group” – a phrase used by the military to refer to former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels who refused to demobilize under a 2016 peace deal.

Senator from the Nasa Indigenous tribe, Feliciano Valencia urged the ombudsman, Carlos Alfonso Negret, to “immediately address this humanitarian crisis” affecting the Indigenous people of Cauca.

Sources: teleSUR, AP, EFE.

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