Massacre of indigenous people in Cauca Colombia

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The land of the Nasa indigenous people was stained with the blood of Cristina Bautista, the Governor of the Cabildo de Tacueyó in the north of the department of Cauca in Colombia on October 29, when the weapons of the FARC dissidents ambushed the vehicle in which she was traveling. They killed the indigenous leader and four community members of the Indigenous Guard in this reservation.

Indigenous community person.

Indigenous community person. / Photo: Pixabay - Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño

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The names of Asdrubal Cayapú, Eliodoro Finscue, José G. Soto and Jaime W. Soto, who were murdered, along with their Governor, being Indigenous Guards, will be remembered throughout their community as brave comuneros who opposed to the drug trafficking groups, which commit crimes in their ancestral territory for narcotics trafficking.

It is the most vulnerable communities that continue to suffer in Colombia the roar of war at the hands of guerrilla groups that did not accept the peace process signed with the past government. Dissidences resist abandoning the lucrative drug trafficking business and continue to scourge this territory to western Colombia before the harsh look of state forces, which have demonstrated their inability to curb both the narcotics trafficking business, and the violence that unleashes this industry. It is widely rejected by indigenous communities in that region of the Latin American country.

According to the version granted by Luis Alfredo Acosta, national coordinator of the indigenous guard to LatinAmerican Post, on October 24 in the afternoon the Indigenous Guard, along with the Governor “were doing an exercise in control of the area, intercepted an armed group and they took them as detainees, at that moment they started firing at the defenseless community with rifle and gun shots, there they massacred our companions”.

The coordinator of the Indigenous Guard at the national level explains that they do this type of controls because “we are empowered as indigenous authorities to exercise control of the territory, because here they have brought kidnapped people, they have indicated that we are complicit in drug trafficking, of the armed groups, then we do that exercise by mandate of our congress, to prevent our territory from being violated in this way. We have always done it and that is why they are killing us, both the paramilitaries and the FARC dissidents”.

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A few days ago, the murdered governor had presided over a public hearing held in Toribio, San Francisco shelter on Tuesday, August 13, for the murder of two indigenous guards in which she evidenced the strength, leadership and courage required to face only with the force of ideas and community cohesion to armed criminals who insist on committing crimes in indigenous ancestral territories. “If we keep quiet, they kill us and if we talk too, then we talk. There is a pamphlet that says that nobody walks with the symbols of our organizations as an indigenous movement, this morning in an educational institution, we said: now we are going to do it and with greater force".

This Indigenous Guard and the murdered Governor arrested alias “Barbas”, alias “Chinga” and alias “Javier” belonging to the “Dagoberto Ramos” column of the FARC dissidents, tried to prevent them from entering their territory and the criminals reacted with killer instincts.

But nobody can say that the narcoterrorists were not warned. On video, Cristina Bautista had made it clear “to armed groups (I tell you) this is our home and as authorities from the family nucleus, you are not welcome, you are not welcome to those who are recruiting minors, you are not welcome to those they are paying, there are established mandates from the community: outside personnel that are disharmonizing the territory, they have to leave”.

With that force in the voice, with that determination, Cristina Bautista led her community, a community of peace that rejects the presence of illegal armed groups, that rejects the use of her territory for drug trafficking, that rejects and repudiates violent acts and that they only defend themselves with two types of weapons: the unit and its indigenous guard who are no more than distinguished community members with a stick adorned with colored ribbons and which they call "baton."

“We face the illegal armed groups with our weapons that are unity, spirituality, and this baton, that's why they take advantage of us, they are cowards, because I believe that if we were armed they would not dare to shoot us like that, but we continue with our cane and we are not going to bend. When the FARC came here, we stood hard and we will continue to stand hard, now they are practically paramilitaries, they bathe under the blood of the people, what they are doing is not an exercise of guerrillas, this procedure is of paramilitaries”, says Luis Alfredo Acosta enraged by the pain of the massacre.

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While the community of the courageous Nasa people is hurt by the murder of their governor and their community members, the president of the Republic, Ivan Duque, makes the decision to travel to Cauca to corroborate the situation. He ordered the defense minister Guillermo Botero to move there with the General Commander of the Military Forces and the Commander of the National Army, for them to command the offensive against illegal armed groups in the area.

The Nasa people will be between Generals of the Republic and drug trafficking criminals, as has traditionally happened, remaining in the middle of the crossfire asking with the force of peace to respect their territory and imploring to heaven to stop killing their people. As the Governor clearly said at the public hearing held for the murder of two other indigenous guards in August, "we have a motto: they touch one and they touch everyone."