Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities are subject to increasing persecution by protagonists of Colombia’s Armed Conflict, denounced a UN representative on Tuesday.
Christian Salazar Volkmann, representative of the UN High Commission for Human Rights declared that outbreaks of conflict between government forces and illegal armed groups have shifted to more remote regions of Colombia, where many indigenous communities live. As a result the murder rate among leaders of these communities has more than doubled.
Volkmann claimed that the UN had been attentive to the way in which protection for these communities had been implemented by authorities such as the Constitutional Court. However, he further noted the lack of development in steps towards increasing security for both Indians and Afro-Colombians, reported newspaper El Espectador.
Volkmann called on Colombia’s government to devise strategies to guarentee the safety of the chiefs of such communities, whose lives are increasingly put at risk.
Murders of chieftains and massacres of community members are tragically common place throughout Colombia. The most recent series of killings occuring over the last three months against Awa Indians in the southern department of Nariño, the perpetrators of which have yet to be brought to justice.