300 family members of the 12 indigenous Awa massacred last week
continue to be harassed and threatened despite moving out of the area,
according to the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC).
The massacre was carried out on August 26 in the Nariño region, in the home of Tulia Garcia by several armed men wearing military uniforms. Garcia is a witness inher husband’s murder trial. He was allegedly killed last May by members of the military.
Indigenous Awa Jairo Miguel Paí was arrested Monday for suspected involvement in the murder of twelve of his own people. He allegedly belongs to a new paramilitary group in Colombia’s southwest.
“Yesterday the indigenous communities of the Gran Rosario reserve have begun a large-scale exodus of more than 300 people from the area,” said the ONIC spokesperson.
Fears of another massacre and continued threats are forcing them to leave their homes in the Guayacana hamlet in the municipality of Tumaco, on Colombia’s southwestern Atlantic coast.
The Awa of this area are currently existing in “critical humanitarian conditions,” according to ONIC. The organisation also demands that the government deal with the state of emergency and exile that these communities are facing, and to provide protection to witnesses of the massacre, daily El Espectador reports.