One Awa Indian died and another was wounded in an attack by rightist
paramilitaries in the southwestern village of El Diviso, the National
Indigenous Organization of Colombia, or ONIC, said Monday.
attackers opened fire at Luis Alberto Cuasaluzan, 35, and Rolando
Andres Nastacuas, 18, the brother of an Awa murdered in mid-February by
militiamen, ONIC said.
Cuasaluzan, who was married and the father of two children, died in the attack, while Nastacuas was seriously wounded.
source said that the attackers had earlier fired at the Awas’
administrative headquarters in the nearby village of El Verde, where
tribal elders were holding a meeting.
Cuasaluzan’s death brings
to 14 the number of Awas who have lost their lives so far this year in
incidents related to the armed internal conflict, ONIC said.
of the murders were committed by the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia, or FARC, and two by paramilitaries, ONIC said, adding that
the other Indian died in an accident with a landmine planted by rebels.
The FARC has acknowledged killing eight Awas whom the rebels accused of having collaborated with the army against them.
a statement issued last week, the FARC high command said it “sincerely”
regretted the killings of the Awas, while claiming that government
troops pressure Indians into serving as human shields or shock troops
against the guerrillas.
Colombia’s indigenous peoples have
repeatedly pleaded not to be dragged into the decades-old conflict
pitting the government and right-wing militias against the FARC, but
the Indians’ desire to be left alone appears to count for little with