A 14-year old indigenous activist has been murdered in Colombia, prompting horror and shock at the latest in a spate of killings of environmentalists and social leaders in the South American country.
Breiner David Cucuñame was shot dead on Friday while on patrol with the Indigenous Guard, an unarmed group which seeks to protect indigenous lands from incursions by the country’s many armed groups.
Cucuñame, a member of the Nasa people, was accompanying his father when he and two other Guard members were killed in an ambush, according to the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN), a local indigenous organisation.
Dissident members of the now-demobilized rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), were blamed by indigenous authorities for the murder.
“The indigenous guard are protectors of the land and the environment, and Breiner represented that,” said Eduin Mauricio Capaz, the human rights coordinator for ACIN. “The murder of Breiner is the result of a phenomenon that was years in the making. In Colombia, armed groups dominate once more.” Continue