The Colombian government will resume talks with indigenous groups protesting in the southwestern part of the country, local media reported Wednesday.
At the end of a nearly five-hour meeting, the country’s interior minister read a statement outlining rules for the talks that he pledged would continue between Colombia and indigenous groups in the troubled Cauca department.
In turn, indigenous representatives promised that the marches planned in Cauca’s capital Popayan for Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, expected to draw more than 10,000, would be peaceful. The government pledged it would respect the march.
Jesus Chavez, a representative from the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, also invited President Juan Manuel Santos to attend the next meeting scheduled for Aug. 14.
The indigenous groups in Cauca have been demanding that both the Colombian government and left-wing guerrillas leave their territory at once, claiming the presence of each group puts their lives at risk.
President Juan Manuel Santos refused to withdraw troops from the tribal territory, while interior minister, Federico Renjifo, announced a multi-million dollar investment plan for the department.