Members of an indigenous community from the north Colombian department of Sucre threaten to kill themselves if the national government does not recognize them as a tribe.
The group threatens to drink poison if Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister does not recognize the group as an official indigenous tribe, which under the constitution grants them improved access to health care, education and land.
Twenty-one indigenous leaders marched to the city of Sincelejo on Sunday to draw attention to their situation.
“We are telling the nation and the Americas that there is a people called the Cacique Chinchelejo and that we have needs and must be recognized,” a spokesman of the group told local newspaper El Universal.
According to the leaders, the indigenous need land to provide themselves with income as their children have no future in mainstream Colombian society.
“Because of the situation we live in, the young generation of our community ends up in prostitution or working as maids in homes where they are often victim of abuse,” one of the leaders told El Universal.