42 different indigenous Colombian populations are at risk of disappearing due to state abandonment, said an indigenous foundation on Tuesday.
In an interview with W Radio Tuesday, the director of the Paths of Identity Foundation (Fucai), Ruth Consuelo, stated that the “indigenous people say that neglect also kills,” referring to the lack of government intervention in their communities.
Consuelo claimed that the combination of health neglect and armed conflict in indigenous populated areas has killed many of Colombia’s already small indigenous population. She also insisted that education needed to be improved in order to help the struggling indigenous people.
Colombia reportedly has 102 different indigenous peoples, constituting of a little over 1.3 million people. Almost 30% of Colombia‘s indigenous population is living in extreme poverty and the majority of indigenous children is suffering chronic malnutrition. They also suffer from mass displacement among other hardships.
The government has recently made public apologies for the treatment and human rights abuses of the indigenous populations in Colombia which have continued to endure ongoing persecution, suffering, deaths and human rights violations caused by the ongoing armed conflict. President Juan Manuel Santos promised in August that there would be a considerable improvement in policy and human rights abuses towards indigenous peoples throughout the country.
Fucai is an organization that works with indigenous grassroots organizations as well as other nonprofits and government structures to strengthen the indigenous community and improve their education and access to jobs. They have been working towards improving the lives of indigenous since 1991.