Between twelve and twenty thousand native Colombians began marching
from the Cauca department to Cali Tuesday to demand the return of land, better
health care and education and the end of the “genocide” on the natives.
The native Colombians want to talk with Colombian President Uribe about the problems of their people. Uribe refuses to talk to them and accuses the FARC of having infiltrated the protests.
Colombian riot police and indigenous protesters clashed violently last week when the demonstrators blocked the Panamerican highway on the Cauca and Valle del Cauca border. The violence killed two and injured over seventy protesters, indigenous organizations say.
The natives decided to march to Cali after talks between indigenous leaders and cabinet ministers held this weekend led to nothing.
The Colombian government continues trying to discredit the protests. Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos Monday told reporters the protests were funded from abroad, without being specific.