Young indigenous artist and activist murdered in southern Colombia

A young artist and activist was murdered in Cauca, southern Colombia, on Friday, the latest victim of chronic levels of violence against indigenous communities in the region. 24-year-old Dumar Noe Mestizo, who was renowned for his artistic ability, was killed in the Toribio zone.

In 2009, Dumar’s father, Nasa indigenous leader Marino Mestizo, had also been murdered in Cauca. In a statement, the North Cauca Indigenous Association said ‘we hold responsible the Colombian government for showing total indifference to the incidents of genocide facing Indigenous People’.

In August, the National Indigenous Association of Colombia (ONIC), the country’s largest such body, said that 97 indigenous leaders and activists had been murdered in the preceding twelve months, with the majority of cases occurring in Cauca. Since then, a number of other killings have been committed.

Overall, more than 500 social activists have been killed since the peace deal was signed in November 2016.