Four indigenous Colombians were reported injured by Colombian media on Monday. The Defense Ministry announced that two will be compensated, CMI reports.
The wounded civilians, who are from the Embera indigenous reserve in Alto Guayabal in the north-western department of Choco, were injured during a military operation against the 30th and 34th Fronts of the FARC, according to CMI.
The army identified the FARC camp, alias “Isaias,” seven kilometers from the Alto Guayabal reserve, and carried out attacks on the camp on January 29 and 30.
Commander of the operation General Jorge Ardilla told the press that “we have established that the two indigenous people were injured because they were outside the reserve, having decided to spend the night in a corn field where they were working. They were in an area of thick jungle.”
The Commander of the Colombian Air Force Jorge Ballesteros said that “the air force recognizes that unfortunately two indigenous Colombians were injured because they were outside of their settlement,” adding that “in spite of this they will be compensated.”
According to Ardilla no damage was done to indigenous housing in the area.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe defended the air force in an interview with Radio Nacional de Colombia, saying the armed forces are always “careful” not to bomb civilian areas.
He added that the air force is ordered not to carry out attacks when guerrillas infiltrate civilian areas.
The Secretary General of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), Luis Fernando Arias, plans to take the case to the United Nations, El Heraldo reported.
The operation against the FARC fronts continues, with 25 guerrillas from the unit still at large, presumed to be hidden among the civilian population.