Three days after eight young people were killed in an attack in the southern department of Nariño, the same region saw further bloodshed with the murder of three Awá young indigenous men in the Ricaurte zone. The attack was carried out on 18 August in the Pialambí Pueblo Viejo reserve, with other community members reportedly abducted amid fears that the death toll could be higher.
Due to the isolated location of the attack, around 12 hours on foot from the nearest town, the number of victims has not been confirmed. Some reports said up to 12 people could be involved.
According to local indigenous organisation Indigenous Unity of the Awá People (UNIPA), at least ten Awá community members have been killed in a four-month period during 2020. The attack also comes a day after the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, which is based in the country to observe implementation of the peace process, said there had already been 33 massacres committed in the country during 2020.
The mayor of Raicaurte, Eder Burgos, said ‘we are worried about the situation affecting these communities around intensification of conflict, confrontation and violent deaths. We don’t have any guarantees as citizens of this country which allow us to live with dignity and peace in our territories.’
Nariño is one of Colombia’s regions worst-affected by ongoing human rights violations. Several paramilitary and armed groups have a strong foothold there, where they compete to control drugs trafficking and other illegal activity.