Indigenous Elder Killed, El Tiempo Accuses Indigenous of Links to Guerrillas
News from Colombia |
on: Thursday, 12 July 2012
The ORIVAC indigenous organisation of Cauca has reported the assassination of Paoblo Gutierrez. Mr Gutierrez was killed while eating his dinner at a cafe at 7pm on June 19th 2012. Another indigenous man, Gilberto Chacoa, a local leader and the Governor of the village of El Dumar was seriously injured and remains in hospital.
The two Ebera men were shot in the village of El Dovio in Cauca. They were shot by two unidentified men, and ORIVAC is calling on the government to protect the existence of the Ebera people who are threatened with extinction and particularly by the mass displacement of Ebera caused by repression.
In its statement ORIVAC highlights that the only armed actors in the area are the Rastrojo and Macho paramilitaries, the National Police and the Army.
In another region of Colombia, the ASICE indigenous organisation has reported its outrage at the stigmatisation of the indigenous people of the Yaguara II reserve in the El Tiempo newspaper. The article in El Tiempo accused the local indigenous people of having been used by the FARC to act as frontmen for FARC landholdings, and celebrated the government’s actions to expropriate this land.
ASICE has responded by tracing the history of the indigenous landholdings in the area. In the 1960s the Colombian government transferred the Pijao people from the mountains of Tolima to the Amazonic plains where they now live. They were flown there in old DC3 airplanes and dumped with three years of supplies. They survived thanks to the solidarity of the Tucano and Piratapuyo peoples, and in February 1995 their reserve was legally recognised by the State.
The article in El Tiempo exposes the local indigenous people to the actions of paramilitary death squads and also threatens their communal rights under the Constitution and under international humanitarian law.