Latin American Report


The U'Wa Need Your Help (17/4/1999)

U'Wa Caught in the Crossfire (29/3/1999)

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26 April 1999

Colombian Army Bombs Indigenous Communities

In an Apr. 12 statement, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) charged that Colombian army planes have been carrying out bombing raids on Nasa (Paez) indigenous communities in the north of Cauca department since Apr. 7, killing local residents and their livestock, and destroying native forests.

According to a report from the Association of Indigenous Councils of the North of Cauca (ACIN), intense combat has been under way between army troops and guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the indigenous reservations of Caldono, Pioya, Jambalo and Aguada San Francisco. The combat and the bombings have forced indigenous families to leave their homes in the villages of La Maria, El Maco and La Mina, in Jambalo municipality; and Villa Hermosa, San Juanito, Granadillo and El Carmen, in Pioya municipality. Some 250 indigenous families remain in the combat zone, with all food supplies cut off. Three indigenous people have been detained by the army; they are accused of collaborating with the rebels and it is believed that they are being beaten or otherwise mistreated. ONIC is calling on the government and the rebels to halt their armed actions in the area, to respect indigenous territories and to release the three detainees. [Agencia de Noticias Nueva Colombia (ANNCOL) 4/12/99, from ONIC communique]

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