Indigenous communties in Antioquia are subject to harrassment by guerrillas and other illigal armed groups, the local indigenous organization denounced Wednesday.
In an report by the newspaper El Colombia, William Carupia senior advisor for the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia, says that the members of the indigenous communities in North and Lower Cauca do not dare to leave their reservations in fear of landmines, guerillas, and newly formed armed groups that inherited the drug business of the demobilized pamalitaries.
The FARC guerrillas usually threaten the indeginous as they accuse the tribes of being informants for the Colombian law-enforcement agencies. Carupia says that the intimidation by the guerrilla increased after a July military raid against FARC in an Embera reservation.
“Since then threats started and the indigenous mobility was restricted,” Carupia said and added that it is currently very dangerous for the indigenous to leave their reservations to buy groceries or take their sick to the doctor in town.
Carupia said that the FARC killed an indigenous of the Jaidezabi reservation and another died when he stepped on a landmine planted by the guerrillas in his reservation in July.
Besides the threats from the guerrillas, the indigenous people in the department of Antioquia are intimidated by the gangs that took over some of the territories formerly controlled by paramilitary organization AUC.
The indigenous leader says that these armed groups, which provide surveillance for the coca planted near the reservations, accuse the indigenous of “impeding the economic development”.
Colombian indigenous communities have regularly been threatened, displaced and massacred in Colombia decades-old armed conflict.