Colombia’s constitutional court demands authorities to do whatever possible to prevent the extinction of the Hitnu indigenous community that is plagued by violence, hunger and diseases.
According to the court, the Hitnu were displaced from their orginal territory in the jungles of the eastern Arauca department by guerrilla group ELN and are no longer able to feed themselves because of their changed surroundings. The indigenous risk contracting deadly diseases if they are forced to move to populated areas, the court added.
The court orders both the national and departmental authorities to implement an emergency plan to provide health, food and education to the Nutri.
The court ruling follows an alert by Colombia’s indigenous organization ONIC who had warned about an imminent extinction of the indigenous people in December.
The Arauca department, bordering Venezuela, is one of Colombia’s most troublesome regions where the country’s armed forces clash regularly with guerrilla groups like the FARC and ELN.