Colombian authorities on Thursday offered a US$65,000 reward for information
leading to the perpetrators of the massacre of twelve Awa indigenous in
the southern Nariño department on Wednesday.
“White, tall, hooded men, some with moustaches, and dressed in camouflage” massacred at least seven adults, four children and one baby in a shelter
between Barbacoas and Tumaco on Wednesday early morning. Two children of the family survived the attack. Initial reports talked of eight victims.
The United Nations, together with the Colombian government, will lead the investigation into the slaughter. It is still not known who committed the murder. “In this region, there are paramilitaries, illegal groups
and security forces present,” the secretary of ONIC, Luis Fernando
Arias, told news agency EFE Wednesday.
Governor of Nariño, Antionio Navarro Wolff, for his part believes that the massacre was not committed by the FARC. “We don’t have certainty or clarity, but it seems that it wasn’t the FARC. The facts indicate that guerrillas were not the perpetrators this time. This time things are very confusing about the motives and perpetrators,” Wolff told Caracol Radio.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe denounced the massacre. “We deplore [the massacre]. It hurts in our soul. This murder has affected the life of twelve compatriots, it affects our purpose to protect indigenous communities,” Uribe said in a press conference.
The Awa tribe is one
of the indigenous groups most affected by the violence in Colombia. There have been many Awa victims of murders and forced disappearances. The secretary of ONIC recalled the massacre in February when eight
members of the community were murdered and nine disappeared.
Between then and the latest slaughter, eight other Awa indigenous have been