Opinion: Anti-indigenous violence keeps rising in Colombia
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
"[M]uch like Guatemala in the 1980’s, the violence in Colombia falls disproportionately on the indigenous population – another fact acknowledged by the U.S. Embassy in cables released by Wikileaks. Moreover, this anti-indigenous violence is escalating. Indeed, as the U.S. Embassy acknowledges in a February 26, 2010 Embassy Cable entitled, “Violence Against Indigenous Shows Upward Trend,” such violence is pushing 34 indigenous groups to the point of extinction. This violence, therefore, can only be described as genocidal.
This 2010 cable explains that, “for the second consecutive year killings of indigenous increased,” with a 50% increase (to 106 killings) from 2008 to 2009. The cable further explains that “[o]ther indicators of violence against indigenous also worsened in 2009. According to ONIC [The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia], displacement rose by 20% (3,212 to 3,649), forced disappearance by over 100% (7 to 18), and threats by 3000% (10 to 314). ONIC also reported an increase in forced recruitment of minors by all illegal armed groups, but did not provide an estimated number of cases.”
Moreover, while the Embassy explains that the left-wing FARC, by its own admission, was responsible for some of the violence against indigenous, the Embassy also acknowledges that it is the Colombian state and its paramilitary allies which are chiefly to blame for this violence."
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