Indigenous leaders say Colombian authorities are trying to avoid
prosecution of those really responsible for the August 26 massacre of 12
members of the Awa indigenous tribe, after police arrested a member of
the same tribe as a suspect.
Awa leader Jairo Bisbicus said that although Jose Miguel Pai Natapuas, who was arrested as suspect of the killing, is a well-known delinquent and former member of the paramilitary Liberators Bloc, his arrest is being used to divert people’s attention from the real authors of the massacre.
Meanwhile, Eder Burgos, director of the department of indigenous affairs in the municipality of Ricaurte, Nariño, asked authorities to investigate what state agency Pai Natapuas works for.
The suspect was arrested 15 miles east of the Nariño department and was accused of having committed the massacre after the failed extortion of fellow tribe members.
The massacre took place on August 26 at daybreak when hooded men in army fatigues broke into two homes and opened fire indiscriminately. The massacre has caused international outrage.