Four young indigenous people were killed by a FARC dissidence in southern Colombia, the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC) denounced last Saturday.
OPIAC said that the murdered youths, forcibly recruited in the department of Putumayo, on the border with Ecuador, escaped but were later found and murdered, and their bodies found in the El Estrecho hamlet, on the border of the departments of Caquetá and Amazonas.
“After the escape, on May 17, 2023 in the afternoon, and after the search by the organized armed group for these young people, they were found in the El Estrecho community,” OPIAC said in a statement.
They tried to escape
According to this indigenous organization, “the four young people who had tried to escape from the recruitment situation” were killed “with a firearm.”
In this regard, the Minister of the Interior, Luis Fernando Velasco, said today on Twitter that officials from the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Police (Dijin) and the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) traveled to Putumayo to attend a security council .
“The murder of minors is more than intolerable and those responsible must answer to justice,” added Velasco.
Information from the indigenous organization detailed that on March 26, members of the Carolina Ramírez Front, a FARC dissidence, carried out a “forced recruitment” of the young Luis Alberto Matías Capera, from the Samaritana community of the Alto Predio Putumayo Reservation.
The statement added that based on information they have, on May 15 Capera “decided to escape from this armed group that had forcibly recruited him. This escape was made together with three other young people who were in the same situation,” and who also do part of the Murui people.
OPIAC recalled that indigenous peoples have been among those most affected by the Colombian armed conflict with homicides, displacements, rapes, disappearances and forced recruitment, among others.
“Given this situation, we demand that the illegal armed groups respect the right to life and personal integrity of our indigenous comrades,” they said.
They also asked the authorities to provide security, guaranteeing children and adolescents “dignified conditions for a good life and an end to the violence of the various illegal armed groups,” whom they said “kill, displace, confine, and forcibly recruit.”
In addition, they asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the facts and take the pertinent measures to prosecute those responsible.
The National Center for Historical Memory (CNMH) has records that between 1958 and 2019, 5,011 indigenous people have been killed in the framework of the armed conflict.