Sports Colombia: the Indians carry their demands to the heart of the capital

13:55  20 october  2020
13:55  20 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Thousands of indigenous people demand Colombia 's president hear their concerns about rising violence. Thousands of indigenous people have arrived in the Colombian capital , Bogotá, at the image captionMany of the indigenous protesters carried their traditional batons, a symbol of authority.

American Indians , or indigenous peoples of Colombia , are the ethnic groups who have been in Colombia prior to the Europeans in the early 16th century.

La © REUTERS / Luisa Gonzalez The "minga", the march of the Indians arrived in Bogota, to carry their demands and they organized a trial of President Duque Monday, October 19, 2020.

Several thousand indigenous people demonstrated on Monday, October 19 against the violence to which they are victims on their land and organized a symbolic trial of the head of state Ivan Duque in the center of Bogota. A day of social mobilization and "national strike" is scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday at the call of unions and students against government policy.

These Indians, who left Cauca in the south of the country, one of the regions most affected by armed groups involved in drug trafficking, gathered peacefully on Monday in Bolivar Square, in the heart of the capital, in the after several days of a long journey. To the sound of drums and flutes and masks, the some 7,000 demonstrators, had crossed part of the capital on Sunday under the protection of the Native Guard, equipped with its traditional canes.

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The Indians demand to be heard by President Ivan Duque who, on the pretext of the danger of the Covid-19 pandemic, did not receive them. Colombia has nearly a million cases of Covid-19, including 28,000 dead in the past seven months. The Indians then organized a symbolic trial to denounce the responsibility, according to them, of the government in the violation of their fundamental rights.

More than 300 assassinations

The participants in the minga (name of a collective action in the Quechua language) denounce in particular the violence of which they are victims. Many community leaders or members of the Indigenous Guards have been assassinated. More than 300 according to a count of interested parties.

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"In this case they also had Indians carry large leaves to shade them from the sun and others to fan them with goose wings." Total control led to total cruelty. The Spaniards "thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades."

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Several regions have experienced an upsurge in violence since the 2016 peace agreement with the FARC and disarmament guerrillas. The former guerrilla strongholds are now controlled by mafia groups competing for control of drug trafficking.

The indigenous peoples, who represent 4.4% of the 50 million inhabitants of Colombia, want to join their voices in the concert of protest against the government policy. And Wednesday, a day of social mobilization and "national strike" is announced at the call of unions and students against government policy. At the end of 2019, a movement of demonstrations on an unprecedented scale agitated Colombia and in particular its capital.

See also : in Colombia: demonstrations resume, clashes also

with AFP

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