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  • The Awa Indigenous community said they are alarmed by the levels of increasing violence in the area.

    The Awa Indigenous community said they are alarmed by the levels of increasing violence in the area. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 October 2017

The leader of the local Communal Action Board, Alirio Zabala, was killed along with his son, Geovany Zabala.

An Indigenous leader and his son have been killed in Tumaco, located in Colombia's southwest Nariño department, adding to the list of murdered social leaders following the signing of the country's peace agreement.

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The leader of the local Communal Action Board, Alirio Zabala, was killed along with his son, Geovany Zabala.

Both were shot dead by unknown suspects. Alirio was a well-known leader of the community who had already been the victim of a previous attack, in which two of his other children died.

The Awa Indigenous community said they are alarmed by the levels of increasing violence in the area. They claimed things have gotten worse since the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group announced its disarmament and right-wing paramilitaries began taking over the area.

In recent weeks, there have been several violent incidents in Nariño. These include the killings of seven coca farmers, six civilians, a teacher and an Afro-Indigenous activist.

With 203,000 inhabitants, Tumaco is one of the most coveted routes for drug exports to the United States and is the epicenter of a war between 12 criminal gangs fighting for territory.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he will deploy 4,000 members of the Armed Forces and 2,500 police officers to Tumaco, whose mission is "to take control of the whole territory, with emphasis on the rivers, which have become corridors for drug trafficking."

At least 101 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed between January and August of 2017, according to a recent report by the political group Patriotic March.


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