[News] Colombia: 3 Indigenous Social Leaders Murdered

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jun 10 11:59:55 EDT 2019


  Colombia: 3 Indigenous Social Leaders Murdered

June 10, 2019

Three Indigenous leaders from Colombia’s Awa community 
were killed in different sectors of the municipalities of Barbacoas and 
Tumaco over the past week.


The leaders were receiving threats via WhatsApp while commemorating the 
29th anniversary of the creation of the Indigenous Unity of the Awa 
People (Unipa). During the celebration, a general assembly was held on 
June 4 and 5.

A spokesperson of the Awa people said one of the counselors got a text 
message from a criminal group known as Oliver Sinisterra threatening the 
life of the social leaders.

An 18-year-old student of the Awa Bilingual Agro-Environmental Technical 
Education Institution, Leidy Jacqueline Burgos Pai was disappeared after 
June 5. The young woman was part of the Indigenous guard and belonged to 
Resguardo Honda Rio Guiza in the jurisdiction of the municipality of 
Barbacoas. She was found dead later in a rural area between the 
municipalities of Ricaurte and Tumaco.

Rocio Garcia Pai, a member of the Awa shelter Hojal la Turbia de Tumaco 
was found dead as well. She had been missing since last Tuesday. Her 
lifeless body, marred with signs of violence was found three days later 
at the banks of Nulpe River.

Robert Dionisio Garcia Bisbicus, 21, was shot in front of his house 
Friday morning by unknown people on a motorcycle. He died at the spot. 
He belonged to the Awa Indigenous reservation of Gran Rosario located in 
the municipality of Tumaco.

"We feel that we are attacked by all the actors in conflict and that our 
rights are being violated," said one of the leaders.

A statement from the Indigenous Unity of the Awa People (Unipa) 
announced that pamphlets from multiple armed actors had appeared since 
the previous month, threatening Awa social leaders directly.

"Already there are more than 73 leaders who have been threatened to 
present an extreme risk to their lives, adding to the 29 murders between 
August 2016 to date, demonstrating the extermination we have been 
subjected to," the statement said.

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