Cristina Bautista, 42, governor of the Nasa Tacueyó indigenous reserve in Cauca, was shot dead on 29 October 2019. Four members of the indigenous guard were also killed in the attack and six others were injured.
According to the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, unarmed members of the Nasa indigenous guard tried to stop a car as part of routine checks. It is believed that the leader of a dissident rebel group along with two of his men were inside the car. They demanded to be let through. A stand-off then ensued resulting in the death of Cristina and four members of the indigenous guard. An ambulance carrying the injured members was shot at and more dissident rebels rushed to the scene to try to assist those stopped by the indigenous guard. According to the Colombian army, all dissident rebels involved managed to escape.
On 13 August, Cristina Bautista spoke at a public meeting in the San Francisco reserve in Toribio. During her speech she said, “If we are silent, they kill us and if we speak, they also kill us, so we speak”. She spoke about the problems facing indigenous peoples in Colombia. She said, “If there is anyone here from armed groups, which there probably is, I invite them to be peaceful. We don’t want more victims”.
In 2017, Cristina attended Deusto University’s Human Rights Training Programme for Indigenous Leaders. In a statement, the university denounced her murder and said, “she was a tireless campaigner for indigenous rights and her death results in the loss of a leader in indigenous resistance and the defence and promotion of the rights of indigenous women”.