Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Assasination of Colombian indigenous leader in Cauca

This latest murder takes place during an Emergency Territorial and Humanitarian Gathering in Jambalo municipality, Cauca, where indigenous communities decided to recover the territory for the civilian population and remove armed groups.

On March 6th 2009 around midday, EDGAR ARCACIO OCORÓ, exgovernor of the indigenous council of Corinto López Adentro, was assassinated with 8 bullets at point blank range by unknown men. He was working on the community farm at the time.

EDGAR ARCACIO was a renowned leader in the North Cauca region and had been active in CRIC (Concejo Regional Indígena del Cauca - Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca). He was coordinating a project of rice production with indigenous Nasa and afrocolombian communities.

Together with other authorities, in 2008 he led the recovery of land in Corinto municipality, as is happening now in Jambalo municipality.

Indigenous authorities have just informed us that the Air Force is bombing areas in Jambalo municipality close to the CRIC permanent assembly and the indigenous guard. On March 7th there was to be a public hearing on the armed groups sowing terror on indigenous lands. Throughout the afternoon and into the evening explosions from the bombings could be heard close to populated areas.

Asociación Nomadesc workers contacted the national authorities, who confirmed the bombings in the area, which they said were part of strategic aerial operations, and didn't put the indigenous communities at risk.

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