A group of Colombian soldiers is awarded with heroism medals for not responding with violence when indigenous forced them off their military base in July.
The Colombia military awarded the battallion of soldiers that were stationed in Toribio, Cauca for not using violence against indigenous people when the indigenous groups demanded that all “armed forces,” military and guerrillas alike, leave their lands in an attempt to eradicate violence.
The soldiers present during the confrontation between indigenous and armed forces are receiving the award “which is classified as an act of respect for life, human rights and international humanitarian law” since they did not use their weapons against the civilians, reported newspaper El Pais.
Colombian media, such as newspaper El Pais, claimed that the indigenous used “strong aggression” in removing the armed forces from their native lands during the dispute.
Although the indigenous people did forcibly remove the troops, the situation did not instigate violence. In fact, the indigenous people were demanding both military and FARC leave their bases in order to relegate the violence that armed forces were creating, plaguing native lands and causing mass displacement in the area. A community leader of the indigenous people that occupied a military base in July claimed that “We will not attack the military … We will only ask them to withdraw, as has been done with the guerrillas.”