Twelve Indians shot dead by armed men

August 27, 2009

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Twelve members of the Awa tribe were shot dead yesterday, 26 August, by a group of unidentified armed men.

‘According to the information we have received, men dressed in military clothing, but wearing hoods and unidentifiable, fired indiscriminately at a house belonging to an Awa family,’ said ONIC, Colombia’s national Indigenous peoples’ organisation.

Among those killed were several children, and a woman whose husband was shot dead earlier this year.

A group of Awa leaders has travelled to the site of the shooting, on Awa territory in south-west Colombia, to investigate what happened. It is the latest in a series of shootings this year that has left many Awa dead.

The Awa, like many of Colombia’s Indigenous peoples, have suffered for years as a result of violent conflict between the Colombian army, guerrillas and paramilitary groups encroaching on and destroying their land

The Awa in Colombia are unrelated to the remote Awá tribe in Brazil.

For more information, contact ONIC.