Colombia: Awa Community Mourns Loss of Two Social Leaders


Two Indigenous social leaders have reportedly been killed over the weekend from the Awa community in Ricaurte, Colombia.


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Police continue to investigate the murder of a pair of community leaders identified as Hector Ramiro Garcia and his son, Arturo Garcia, the local council’s recently elected governor, who were found dead Sunday.

The details leading up to their deaths have not been released, however, an additional four people were seriously wounded and may be helpful in solving the case.

The National Organization of Colombian Indigenous condemned the senseless violence on Twitter, writing, “#SOS: We condemn massacres perpetrated this morning against leaders of the Awa people. Hector Ramiro García (founder of CAMAWARI) and his son Arturo García were assassinated (elected yesterday as Governor of the Cabildo). There are four severely injured.”

After the suffering the loss of 13 Indigenous activists in just 10 days, the Ethnic Peace Commission joined the call for state action, writing, “We reject actions against @CamawariOficial Ricaute Nariño; In the face of massacre this morning in your community, we demand guarantees for the life of our friends leaders and territories!”

"Extermination is escalating against indigenous peoples: in 10 days 13 murders, 2 massacres, threats, attempted homicide and a victim of Mina Antiperosnas. This is the future for all the indigenous, President @IvanDuque? @ONIC_Colombia @PGN_COL @DefensoriaCol @FiscaliaCol"

The Defense Ministry released a report this weekend showing the rising rates of serious criminal activity from January to October.

The data shows that over the last year, there have been 622 new registered homicide cases. Of these, 180 were social leaders killed in impunity.

Over 400 social leaders have been murdered since the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian armed forces and FARC but violence is rampant in Colombia’s rural areas, where drug trafficking networks and paramilitary forces retain territorial control.


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