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Latino Daily News

Monday February 6, 2012

Colombian Boy Dies, Brother Injured After Stepping on Rebel Landmine

Colombian Boy Dies, Brother Injured After Stepping on Rebel Landmine

Photo: Colombian Boy Dies, Brother Injured After Stepping on Rebel Landmine

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One indigenous person was killed and another three were injured when they stepped on landmines planted by leftist FARC rebels in the mountains of the southwestern Colombian province of Valle del Cauca, community leaders said.

The incident occurred Sunday as the victims were returning from visiting sacred sites of their community, Nilson Quitumbo, treasurer of the Orivac indigenous organization, told Efe on the telephone from Cali, the provincial capital.

Quitumbo said the landmines killed a 15-year-old boy and injured his brother and two other teenage relatives.

The victims belonged to the Altamira community, one of the 17 settlements grouped in the five administrative domains of the Paez people, Quitumbo said, adding that some 5,400 Indians of that ethnicity live in the area.

The Orivac spokesman said that these communities have suffered the devastation of armed conflict at least since 1998, with explosives going off, including anti-personnel mines that have left eight people dead including the latest fatality.

Another three Indians have lost limbs in the minefields, Quitumbo said.

“Minefields have always been planted by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). They make war on the Indian communities, which we condemn,” the indigenous leader said.