The US is to offer aid to indigenous groups in Colombia amid continued violence in western parts of the country.
During a visit to the indigenous reserve of El Poblazon McKinley deemed it necessary for the US to “invest and strengthen collaboration with the department” to “support these communities.”
McKinely, who was accompanied on his visit by several officials of the Agency for International Development (USAID), revealed that work would be done between the US and local authorities in Cauca and its capital city Popayan to “strengthen relations between the two nations.”
He added: “Future work will take place with the authorities of Cauca and Popayan, to treat trade issues, security, educational, cultural and land.”
Violence continues to blight many parts of Western Colombia and in particular Cauca as earlier this month 400 indigenous people were forced to flee their homes for safety fears.
Local leaders have also condemned the violence attributed to FARC with reports of threats and intimidation towards the indigenous groups. Local officials also claim that six indigenous people have been killed in the area in the last 15 days.