National Indigenous Organisation accuses police of killing community leader

Colombia’s main indigenous organisation has condemned the alleged police killing of indigenous leader Sáliba Arnulfo Catimay Blanca in the department of Vichada.

The National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (ONIC) said that a police officer killed Mr Catimay Blanca on the morning of 19 June in the municipality of Santa Rosalía following an argument between local residents and the police.

The ONIC said that it wanted to alert the national and international community that ‘members of the National Police are interfering in due process and the guarantee of the chain of custody’. As a result, community members were not allowing the victim’s body to be removed from the area unless specific guarantees were provided.

The ONIC said that ‘We request legal and constitutional guarantees such as due process which impede the violation of individual and collective rights. We hope that the National Police will refrain from realising any type of action which alters material evidence’.