Paramilitaries Murder Indigenous Man

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 20 April 2009

A paramilitary death squad in the southern Colombian region of Narino has assassinated 26-year-old Luis Alberto Cuasaluzan according to the National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (ONIC). Mr Cuasaluzan was a member of the Awa indigenous group and was killed during a paramilitary operation around the villages of El Diviso and El Verde in the municipality of Barbacoas. Another indigenous man was shot in the head during the operation but survived.

According to ONIC, the paramilitaries arrived in the area on April 19th and indiscriminately opened fire on homes and other buildings in the village of El Verde with the local indigenous council building – where Awa elders were meeting at the time – appearing to be their main target. Some of the paramilitaries then went to the nearby community of El Diviso, about 500 metres away, where they shot and killed Mr Cuasaluzan, the father of two young children.

The men also shot and badly wounded 18-year-old Rolando Andres Nastacuas, the brother of Claudio Nastacuas who the ONIC reports was himself murdered by the paramilitaries in a separate attack on February 15th this year.

In a communiqué about the attacks released by ONIC today, they say how they are astonished that the paramilitaries were able to leave by the Tumaco-Pasto road which is heavily militarised and has several Army checkpoints and roadblocks. Human rights groups have long accused Colombian Army units in Narino department of closely collaborating with the death squads.

For other news on the situation in Narino department see:

Jan 2009: Two Local Leaders Assassinated in Colombia

Jan 2009: Wife of Trade Union President Shot Dead

Oct 2008: Paramilitary/Military Terror Continues Unabated in Southwest Colombia

July 2008: The Extermination of Civil Society in Narino

For recent articles on attacks against Colombia's indigenous people see:

March 2009: Former Indigenous Governor Assassinated in Colombia

Feb 2009 Three Indigenous People Murdered in Colombia (this story includes links to earlier articles)

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