Photo: Nasa Indians (Survival International/Francisco Pedro)
A 57-year-old Nasa Indian man has been shot dead in an alleged army attack in Colombia.
Álvaro Chocué was shot in the head on Saturday, 30th March in the Caldono Indian Reserve in Colombia’s south-west Cauca province.
Army officials claim the shooting occurred during an armed confrontation between soldiers and illegal armed insurgents of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), but Nasa leaders say his body was found near a military check-point away from where the conflict took place.
Cauca Indian organization ACIN told Colombian press, ‘The military were supposedly manning a check point when Álvaro Chocué passed by and was shot dead. It took place on indigenous land.’
Following the incident, three soldiers were detained by local Nasa Indians in protest. The soldiers were released 24 hours later, after the army promised to investigate the case.
Indigenous peoples in Cauca have been some of the worst affected by Colombia’s bloody internal conflict.
FARC rebels have maintained a strong presence in the area for decades, and the Indians are repeatedly caught in the crossfire between the insurgents and army.
Survival has supported Cauca Indian organization CRIC, and is urging the Colombian government to end violence waged against the country’s indigenous peoples.