A respected leader of Colombia’s indigenous population was shot and killed in Medellin, local media reported on Wednesday.
Ismael Hurtado was slain early Wednesday morning as he exited a taxi. Unknown gunmen riding by on a motorcycle reportedly attempted to steal a bag of cash the indigenous leader was carrying and when he struggled, they killed him.
According to William Carupia, director of the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia, Hurtado was one of the best known representatives of a council known as Chikarigua that indigenous groups living in the urban area of ??Medellin belong to.
“He was an important local leader, for his work in defense of human rights [and] urban communities. He was very active on issues such as the forced displacement of indigenous people…he helped [people] settle and adapt to urban life,” said Carupia.
Hurtado, a native of western Colombia who moved to Medellin over 20 years ago, is survived by his wife and two children.