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Afro-Descendant & Indigenous: News & Updates
April 12, 2018
assassination of Héctor Manuel Choc Cuz in El Estor, Izabal Department. For many years, his local Mayan Q’eqchi’ community has been protesting displacement from their ancestral land and environmental degradation caused by the Fenix nickel mining, which was owned by Hudbay Minerals of Canada
April 1, 2018
Assassination of Silvio Duban Ortiz Ortiz, age 27, and his brother Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz, age 32, sons of Bernardo Cuero Bravo, the leader of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), who was assassinated in front of his wife on June 7, 2017. The brothers were gunned down and killed instantly just 13 days after attending a judicial hearing on their father's murder case and a public demonstration demanding justice.
March 24, 2018
Forced eviction of the historically binational Yukpa indigenous people from Cúcuta, Colombia, into Venezuela. They are currently living in highly precarious conditions, lacking basic services such as drinking water, food and access to health and education. They keep returning to Colombia because there are no guarantees of food or health care if they stay in Venezuela.
February 13, 2018
bombing and forced displacement of members of the Wounaan Indigenous reservation of Chagpien Tordó during armed clashes between the Colombian Army and the ELN (National Liberation Army) in Litoral de San Juán, Chocó Department.
February 12, 2018
assassination of Afro-descendant community leader and political organizer Temístocles Machado, a leader of the Black Communities Process (PCN), in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Dept.
January 26, 2018
unjust criminalization of María Magdalena Cuc Choc, environmental and indigenous land rights defender in Izabal Dept., involved in a land dispute between her Chabil’ Ch’och’ indigenous community and an investment company held by a former president and former government officials
December 24, 2017
continued unjust criminalization of Juan Eduardo Caal Suram, a member of the Artisanal Fishermen’s Guild (GPA), which has been calling for government action to resolve the contamination of Lake Izabal in El Estor, Izabal Department, polluted by the Guatemalan Nickel Company.
December 21, 2017
assassinations of two land rights defenders in Afro-descendant territories in Chocó Department: Mario Castaño Bravo (November 26) and Hernán Bedoya (December 9).
November 21, 2017
assassinations of two Embera indigenous elected leaders in Chocó Department: Aulio Isarama Forastero, governor of the Embera indigenous reservation Katru Dubaza Ancoso in Alto Baudó, killed by ELN rebels, and Ezquivel Manyoma, leader of Medio Baudó municipality, killed by Gaitanista paramilitaries; disappearance of Jhon Eriberto Isarama Forastero, a teacher also from the Katru Dubaza Ancoso reservation and brother of Aulio Isarama Forastero
October 25, 2017
killing of Efgenia Vásquez Astudilo, reporter for an indigenous community radio station, while covering a Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) operation to evict members of an indigenous Kokonuko community occupying disputed land in Puracé, Cauca Department