OAS condemned mass killing of Indigenous by Farc

· Conflict, Latin America, Violence

The Organization of the American States condemned the mass killing of indigenous of the Awa people in Colombia under the action of the Farc guerrilla this month. OAS asked also to Farc the devolution of the corps in a tragic event that began when a group of that guerrilla executed several persons at the beginning stating that they were “informants of the army.” The international organization of the Western-hemisphere nations asked also investigations and actions to punish this crime against human rights.

The OAS Colombian ambassador, Camilo Ospina, thanked the firm act of condemnation of what he called a mad action in the mass killing of the Awa people, an indigenous group that lives at the southwest of Colombia, in a jungle and undeveloped zone of the Nariño State and at the west of San Juan de Pasto.

Last 18th February, the General Secretary of OAS, the Chilean José Miguel Insulza, expressed his condemnation against the action of the Farc guerrillas against a group of Awa indigenous. After the killing, Farc expressed that they were “executed” because they were helping the army. But the Colombian government concluded that the action was a way to “clean” the jungle territory as a “path” to move cocaine.

A number of 27 Awa indigenous were killed with machetes by Farc guerrillas after “they refused to cooperate with them”, according to official reports made public by Ospina.

“This is the political forum of the Americas and the bases of our societies, the democracy and the respect for Law and protection of the Human Rights, that they can not be hidden by indifference and barbarian acts,” said ambassador Ospina.

The Awa people, an ethnic minority group, asked the Farc guerrilla the devolution of the corps of its brothers in order to “give them back to the Mother Land”, according with their ancestral traditions. The claim is supported by the National Organization of the Colombian Indigenous and other indigenous groups of Latin America. The corps were left in the middle of the jungle and surrounded by land mines, a factor that makes difficult to reach them.

Colombian indigenous are currently one of the most vulnerable group for the violation of their human rights with Afro-Colombians and unionists. Several international organizations and human rights groups use to denounce the killing of indigenous leaders by the different arm groups. While the drama of the Awa people concentrated the attention of the public opinion, a young civil engineer, Juan Carlos Mosquera, member of the Nasa Sa´th Tama Kiwe people, was killed on 20th February in Caldono – Cauca State. The reason of his killing and assassins are unknown.

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