Human Interest

At Colombian indigenous leader’s funeral, mourners demand protection

Toribío, Colombia, Mar 17 (EFE).- Hundreds of people turned out to farewell Colombian indigenous leader Miller Correa on Thursday amid cries for government action to prevent more assassinations.

Correa was shot on Monday in a rural area of the department of Cauca.

At least 89 indigenous people have been murdered in Colombia in the last four years, most of them in Cauca, according to Senator Feliciano Valencia. During the funeral, he called on the Colombian government to ensure that they will no longer be killed.

Valencia said the murders have occurred “especially in the department of Cauca. Many threats, but those threats (…) are materializing, as was the case of Albeiro Camayo and Miller Correa.”

Camayo was the former regional coordinator of the indigenous guard of Cauca, and was assassinated in January by FARC dissidents.

The Nasa indigenous senator claimed that despite requests to the government “to provide guarantees and to stop us from being killed,” murders of indigenous people occur every month, even on their own reservations.

Likewise, he called on the next Colombian president to “pay close attention to the department of Cauca,” which he said “suffers from misgovernment” and needs investment in health, education and housing, but above all that “criminal structures, drug trafficking, which is the scourge that is massacring us, be fought head-on.”

He also said that Cauca, where there are groups of drug traffickers, paramilitaries, and FARC and ELN dissidents, has not benefited from the peace agreement signed by the Colombian Government and the FARC.

“Here in Cauca we do not live what was the fulfillment of the agreements. We have not seen that peace is attainable, or that it is possible. That is why we call on this new government – so that what was agreed upon is truly fulfilled,” he said.

People brought flowers and white balloons to say goodbye to Correa, whose coffin was covered with the green and red flags of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca.

Correa was an active member of the Nasa Project Life Plan, a member of the Álvaro Ulcué Youth Movement and a former authority of his community, based in northern Cauca. EFE


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