Colombia told to pay $232K for Indian activist's death

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ordered Colombia to pay US$232,000 to the family of an Indian activist who was tortured and killed by army officers.

German Escue Zapata was abducted from his home on the reservation in 1988. He was beaten and shot to death by an army commander.

Finding the government at fault, the court said Colombia must pay $232,000 to Zapata's spouse, parents, six siblings and daughter and create a 40,000 fund to improve infrastructure on the Jambalo Reservation. The government must also publish a copy of the decision in Nasa, the language of Zapata's tribe.

In related news, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, an indigenous rights group, said criminal gangs are threatening tribes and cutting off their food supplies. A reported 12,000 members across the country have been forced to stay in their villages.

"They can't leave to fish or hunt, which has caused hundreds to starve," Luis Andrade, the group's president, said, Reuters reported. "This confinement is causing more victims than direct actions such as assassinations."

Get the Story:
Human rights court rules against Colombia in killing of Indian activist (AP 8/8)
Colombian crime gangs cut off tribes from food (Reuters 8/8)

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