Indigenous death toll keeps rising

February 25, 2009

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The number of Awa Indians massacred in a remote part of Colombia continues to rise.

Reports of the massacres were first publicised earlier this month by Awa leaders and Colombia’s national Indigenous peoples’ organisation, ONIC. The number of Awa now believed killed has risen to 27, reports say.

Colombia’s guerrilla group FARC has admitted responsibility for eight of the killings, committed on 6 February this month. Local people say FARC were responsible for further Awa deaths too. The bodies of some of the victims have not yet been recovered.

Latin America’s top human rights body, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, has just issued a statement condemning the killings.