6th may. Colombia reports – various indigenous communities in the Bajo Atrato gathered at Riosucio Chocó for the “ encuentro de los pueblos indigenas frinterizos del bajo Atrato y despesida Aquileíto mecheche vive” ( meeting of border indigenous communities from Bajo Atrato and farewell for Aquileíto Mecheche Vive) , in order to protest about the sistematic murder of indigenous leaders and highlight the serious human rights situation emerging in the territory.
The Cabildo Mayor Indigena (from Bajo Atrato) and the Asociación de Cambildo Wounaan de Urabá del Darién Chocoano (Asowoudach) arranged a 3 day event in Riosucio from Staurday 4th May, that was attended by more than a thosand indigenous people.
The gathering was organised to protest against the rise of serious human rights violations, made worse by the presence of the national army in the territory. Under the goverment of Ivan Duque, more than 60 indigenous leaders have been reported murdered, and more than 150 others in the region have received death threats.
The most recent, the murder of the camizba indigenous leader Aquileo Mechehe Baragón, happend in Riosucio on April 13th. He had received threats beforehand and an early warning about his security situation had already happened on March 27, when the community claimed that paramilitary groups had entered the territory with an order to assassinate the leader.
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The population have denounced the surge in armed confrontations resulting from the incursion of paramilitary groups in the region. For its part, the goverment has been indiferent to the problem, and the agrements made during the Minga del Chocó at the end of the last year, haven’t been respected:
Despite this backdrop, comunities are still asserting their right to remain in the region and seeking to determine the conditions to do so. This includes the right to life, as well territorial and legal autonomy and sovereignity.
The gathering closed with a mobilization which culminated at Bocachico park, which beyond denouncing the situation of the region and the goverment’s negligence, demonstrates the unwavering unity of the people who are determined to resist insurgence in their territory.