Authorities in the southern Colombian department of Putumayo on Monday
arrested a member of the indigenous Awa tribe who is suspected of the
massacre of twelve of his people in the neighboring department of
Nariño on August 26.
The suspect, Jose Miguel Pai Nastapuas, was arrested in Orito, a village some 15 miles from the Nariño border.
Sources from within the Prosecutor General’s Office told newspaper El Espectador there had been an arrest warrant for Pai Nastapuas since a day after the massacre, as he was suspected of extorting the victims. Authorities think the suspect killed the victims because they wouldn’t pay him.
Pai Nastapuas is said to be the leader of local gang that is dedicated to the extortion and kidnapping of indigenous in the region.
The massacre of the twelve members of the indigenous group, which
included five children, was committed on August 26 by hooded men in
camouflage and caused international outrage.
Pai, who is now 32, has a criminal records that began in his teenage years.