[News] Colombian Social Leader Killed in Choco by Paramilitaries - 182 Indigenous and social leaders were killed since 2016

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Mon Nov 27 13:44:57 EST 2017


https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Colombian-Social-Leader-Killed-in-Choco-by-Paramilitaries-20171127-0005.html 



  Colombian Social Leader Killed in Choco by Paramilitaries

27 November 2017
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The death of another Colombian social leader was reported overnight as 
local organizations denounced the continual stream of violence which has 
killed over 160 activists in 2017.

Mario Castaño was killed Sunday evening around 7:00 p.m. in Belen de 
Bajira, Choco by paramilitaries, the Peace Commission reported from its 
Twitter account. Authorities are currently investigating the incident.

"We deeply regret the assassination of social leader Mario Castano,” the 
social organization, Redprodepaz, posted. “Our solidarity hug for your 
family and organization. #BastaYa. Peace should not cost us our lives!"

The organization, which coordinates with a network of 30 groups to 
manage 27 development and peace programs, was one of the first to report 
Castaño's death.

"Mario Castaño — murdered today — claimed land stolen by paramilitaries, 
which was in the name of Sr. Teresa Gomez, sister of Carlos Castaño. 
Apparently, a high officer of the Seventeenth Army Brigade is linked to 
the threats," said journalist Oscar Andres, adding that Mario Castaño 
was a member of Belen’s community council and should have been protected 
by his role as director of the National Protection Unit of the Republic 
of Colombia.

Late last week, a missing Indigenous leader named Tandachiridu 
Inganokuna was also found dead in Belen with marks on his body 
consistent with torture. Police said the man was killed with a knife and 
the incident is under investigation.

"We categorically reject these episodes of violence that tarnish the 
tranquility and peace that the caquetaños are consolidating thanks to 
the signing between the Government and the FARC," said Alvaro Pacheco 
Alvarez, governor of Caqueta.

The National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Colombian Amazon 
“flatly” rejected the “cruel murder” of the leader who was reported 
missing last Thursday.

"As the Indigenous authority of his organization, Tandachiridu 
Inganokuna, he held different positions at departmental level," Opiac said.

According to Opiac, 182 Indigenous and social leaders were killed in 
defense of their territories and in pursuit of freedom in their 
communities since 2016.

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