NGO warns of the risk of displacement of 500 indigenous people in Colombia due to clashes

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BOGOTÁ (Sputnik) – Around 500 indigenous Colombians from the Senú people are at risk of forced displacement due to clashes between the Colombian Army and illegal armed groups in the rural area of ​​the municipality of Cáceres (northwest), said the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia (OIA) ).

“The OIA Governing Council expresses its deepest concern about the possible displacement of 500 people from the Senú people, from the Alto del Tigre shelter, from the municipality of Cáceres, after armed clashes between the Army and one of the armed groups at margin of the law that is present in the subregion of Bajo Cauca Antioqueño, “the OIA said in a statement.

The organization, which politically represents the more than 212 indigenous communities in the department, reported that in recent days there was a clash between the Army and an illegal armed group – which it did not identify – that lasted two hours.
Following that confrontation the facades of the houses and some animals were impacted, although no member of the Senú people was injured.
The situation forced temporary suspension of classes, which affects 75 children in the community, OIA added.

The OIA also warned that the confrontation was due to the search for illegal crops in the indigenous shelter by the military.

“The OIA Early Warning System was able to establish that the operations of the National Army … would have to do with the search for crops for illicit use, so we call on humanitarian agencies so that through a verification they Check that there is no presence of any prohibited crop inside the shelter mentioned, “the organization added.
Given the situation, he called on the Mission to Support the Peace Process of the Organization of American States, the Central Government, the Ombudsman and the Office of the High Commissioner of Peace (ombudsman) to make a humanitarian presence and accompany the community in order to prevent their displacement.
So far, neither the military authorities nor the Government have referred to the operation to search for illegal crops or the situation of displacement of the indigenous people.

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