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57 indigenous people murdered in southwest Colombia in 2012: Indigenous leader

posted by Olle Ohlsen Pettersson
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A representative of an indigenous organization on Tuesday said that the notorious neo-paramilitary organization “Los Urabeños” has infiltrated the southwestern Colombian department of Cauca.

Los Urabeños hail from northwestern Colombia, but are believed to be spreading their influence to the country’s southwest.

BACKGROUND: Colombia’s strategic southwest lures criminal groups, ignites bloodshed.

Feliciano Valencia, a representative of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, said that Los Urabeños have staked their claims in the Cauca municipalities of Caloto, Miranda and Santander de Quilichao.

Valencia also claimed that the threat of neo-paramilitary is not the only thing that looms over the troubled department.

“2013 has begun with situations of violence after the end of the unilateral ceasefire called by the [FARC]. The other day a great indigenous leader was [killed] and yesterday (January 28) another was assassinated in Buenos Aires,” said Valencia.

The representative said 57 indigenous people were murdered in the Cauca department in 2012.

At the end of 2012, the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca denounced threats from the FARC’s 6th Front and the guerrillas’ Mobile Column Gabriel Galvis.

In July of last year, neo-paramilitaries from the “Aguilas Negras” promised “social cleansing” against indigenous “FARC sympathizers” in Cauca.

BACKGROUND: Neo-paramilitaries promise “social cleansing” in Colombia’s southwest

“We have arrived in Cauca to give lead to the motherfuckers of the FARC and their sympathizers,” read the pamphlet, which was distributed in several parts of Cauca.

The term “social cleansing” has traditionally been used by Colombian paramilitaries to describe the process of killing left-wing sympathizers, rebels, union members, prostitutes, homeless people and others they deemed undesirable.

About the author

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Olle Ohlsen Pettersson is a Swedish journalist specialized in the armed conflict, public order and crime. He studied at Stockholm University.

User Name: Olle Ohlsen Pettersson

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