An indigenous leader from the troubled Cauca department in the southwest of Colombia has been assassinated, indigenous and national authorities said Friday.
The leader was shot and killed by men on a motorcycle while in the municipality of Caloto waiting on a bus taking him to an indigenous meeting on Thursday.
Indigenous groups in the region have been receiving death threats after an uprising earlier this year during which they demanded both government and illegal armed forces to leave their territories.
Colombia’s vice-Minister of the Interior, Anibal Fernandez condemned the assassination and affirmed that in 2012 more than 30 indigenous representatives have been the target of assassination attempts.
The Cauca department is one of the departments hit hardest by Colombia’s armed conflict. It is considered a hotbed of FARC activity, but also used by drug trafficking and neo-paramilitary groups to grow and traffic illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana.