Éider Arley Campo Hurtado was a journalist and one of the Nasa Sa’th Tama Kiwe people. He worked for the Pioyá Stereo radio station and was a committed defender of the territorial and cultural rights of his community. Éider was killed while chasing a group of armed men that freed several criminals held in the local town hall.
According to statements issued by indigenous authorities, the community was preparing for an assembly to be held on the following day under indigenous jurisdiction. The trial was to put forward evidence and conclusions “that incriminate three confessed and convicted criminals, one of them a paid informant by the National Army of Colombia.” During these preparations, around midnight on 4/03/2018, four heavily armed men broke into the Pioyá Town Hall and took the detainees. The understanding is that the assailants intended “to prevent these delinquents, who had criminal ties to public security forces, from appearing at the hearing scheduled mere hours after this armed break-in,” according to the statement.
Under these circumstances, the community and the indigenous guard of Pitayó, Quichayá and Jambaló, among others, were alerted and initiated territorial control without weapons. They made contact with this armed group. When surrounded, the fugitives opened fire on the community, killing Éider. Later, the detainees were recaptured and those who tried to free them were found.
In a coordinated effort by the indigenous authorities of the ancestral territory of the Nasa Sa’th Tama Kiwe people and the Attorney General’s Office, eight people were sentenced for Éider’s homicide.
Adapted from original article by Girardot