An indigenous group from the violence-ridden southwest of Colombia demanded the Army withdraw from the town, in a statement also condemning an alleged death threat from the FARC’s naming 26 indigenous leaders as “military targets.”
The leader of the Nasa group in Jambalo, Cauca, Lida Emilse Paz Labio, was one of those named in the FARC’s death threat.
“We do not need the intervention of the security forces nor any armed actor”, the authority declared, “our Indigenous Guards and the members of our community are enough to assert control over our territory.”
On 10 November, according to the statement, the army started arranging recreational activities for children in the main square of town, and erected billboards in the center of the community encouraging local children and youths to support the armed forces.
The authority said such actions endanger the community and bring the armed conflict to impact the civil population. They requested that the Ombudsman, human rights organizations, the Red Cross, and the UN verify such activities of the army in indigenous territories.
Two indigenous guards were killed by the FARC earlier this month when the guerrillas erected billboards and distributed publicity materials in the center of the Nasa community of Toribio.
The Nasa have long demanded that the army, paramilitaries and guerrillas withdraw from indigenous territory. “We do not share the politics of the left and right wing armed groups who are moving in Nasa ancestral territories”, the statement read, declaring that such activities undermined the lives and values of the people of Jambalo.