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Colombia 12/25/2018

Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez President of the Republic of Colombia

Sr. Fiscal General Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira Attorney General of Colombia

December 25, 2018


Dear Sirs:

We are outraged by the assassinations of Awa indigenous leaders Hector Ramiro García and his son, Arturo García, on December 2 in Ricaurte, Cundinamarca Department.

At about one o'clock in the morning, armed men arrived at a residence and fired indiscriminately, killing the two indigenous leaders. Hector Ramiro García was the founder of the Awá Chapter of Ricaurte (CAMAWARI) and his son Arturo García, had just been elected on December 1 as governor of Cabildo for the year 2019. Seriously injured in the attack were indigenous guard members  Miguel García, Gilberto Nastacuas, Gerardo Nastacuas, and Juvenal Torres.

This atrocity adds to the list of human rights violations of indigenous peoples since this new presidential term began in August. According to indigenous rights organizations, there have been 34 homicides (30 men, 4 women), 61 threats (52 men, 9 women), 20 attacks (18 men, 2 women), and one person injured by an anti-personnel mine.

 We strongly urge that you

  • conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the December 2 attack on the Awa indigenous men which left Hector Ramiro García and Arturo García dead, publish the results, and bring the perpetrators to justice
  • provide protection measures for the Awa indigenous community in Ricaurte, in strict accordance with their wishes


Brian J. Stefan Szittai               

Christine Stonebraker-Martínez




Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via fax: 202.232.8643 and email

Rebecca Daley, Human Rights Officer, US Embassy in Colombia ~ via email

Ryan Reid and Christine Russell, Desk Officers for Colombia, US State Dept ~ via email

Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli, Rapporteur for Colombia and Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email

Antonia Urrejola, Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email

US Senators Brown & Portman

US Representatives Beatty, Fudge, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email


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