More tribe killings' in Colombia


Feb 12,09
'More tribe killings' in Colombia

Another 10 members of the Awa tribe in Colombia have been murdered, a group representing indigenous people says.

Last week 17 Awa people, among them women and children, were killed in an attack blamed on left-wing Farc rebels.

Indigenous leaders say the latest victims were killed as they were trying to flee the first attack.

The United Nations has urged the Colombian authorities to investigate and says it fears a mass exodus from the area.

Luis Evelis Andrade, leader of Colombia's National Indigenous Organisation, said: "We got the news from authorities in the area that 10 people were fleeing as refugees, running from the first massacre, and were then killed themselves."

The BBC's Jeremy McDermott, in Medellin, says the security forces have still not made it to the site of the first killings, in the area of Barbacoas, in the southern province of Narino.

Drug crops

Some 21,000 Awa live in Narino, a remote part of Colombia home to an abundance of coca crops - the raw material for cocaine.

About 50 Awa members are thought to have been killed this year as illegal armies fight for control of drug crops and routes through Narino to the Pacific, where the drugs leave for the US market.

Foremost among those illegal armies is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

Narino governor Antonio Navarro told Colombian radio he was certain the Farc was behind the first killings but he could not confirm if it was responsible for the second, according to the AFP news agency.

If the Farc is to blame for the murders, it would indicate that the rebels have decided to target the Awa tribe, who they accuse of working with the army, our correspondent says.

It would also mean they want to drive them from their reservations in this region, our correspondent adds.


  • _45466642_colombia_narino_0209.png
    8.2 KB · Views: 527