Uribe criticized the indigenous “because terrorists are infiltrating, massacring police officers and using all kinds of violence to then accuse us before th internationally community, simply because we act to prevent roadblocks and face violence,” the President said on national television.
At least 12,000 native Colombians have been protesting in Cauca to demand talks with the President. They say the government has not kept its promise about the return of promised land and health care. They also demand protection from paramilitary groups that reportedly killed a number of indigenous leaders over the past months.
The indigenous deny any infiltration by the FARC.
Uribe said the government is making an “enormous effort” to fulfill the promise to return land, stolen by paramilitaries in the 1990’s. Uribe said the country would say “yes” to a dialogue wth the indigenous, but did not respond to the indigenous call to personally talk with indigenous leaders. A condition for the native Colombians to stop the protests.
During the protests at least one person died and several dozens were injured.