Photo: Embera Tribe
Leftist FARC guerrillas are responsible for the deaths of two Indian leaders in the northwestern province of Antioquia, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, or ONIC, said Thursday.
John Dobiana Mecheche and Fabio Domico, both Embera Katio Indians, were killed by members of the 34th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, ONIC said in a statement.
Dobiana was gunned down Nov. 6 in Vigia del Fuerte, while Domico was fatally shot six days later while traveling on a road in the town of Dabeiba.
Domico, the deputy governor of the Indian community of Nendo, ran unsuccessfully for the Dabeiba municipal council in last month’s elections, ONIC said.
Six Embera Katio leaders have been slain so far this year in Antioquia, along with 13 Senue Indians, according to the statement.
Calling on the Attorney General’s Office to “diligently” investigate the murders, ONIC also asked the government to “take effective measures for the protection” of indigenous people.
ONIC likewise demanded that the FARC and other armed groups respect the autonomy of the indigenous peoples.
Colombia is home to nearly 1 million indigenous people divided into around 100 different ethnicities. The nation’s Constitutional Court has warned that 35 of those groups are in danger of dying out.