On 26 January 2018, Eleázar Tequia Vitucay, the coordinator of the Indigenous Guard (Guardia Indígena) of the Embera Katío people in Chocó, was killed allegedly by members of the Colombian armed forces. Two other members of the Guardia Indígena were injured in the incident. For more than ten years, Tequia Vitucay was an Indigenous Guard (Guardia Mayor) in Choco. Tequia Vitucay leaves behind a wife and five young children.
According to the The National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (ONIC) it was the members of the Colombian armed forces who shot and killed him while he was travelling home on the road that connects Quibdó and Medellín, around 10.50 PM.
Immediately after the shooting, Guardia Indigena detained two soldiers. On Saturday, one of the soldiers was handed over to the Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja (Red Cross), as he had been hurt while the Guardia Indigena was trying to capture him. The second soldier was handed over on the next day.
Various authorities from religious, human rights and indigenous groups appeal to the People’s Defence Service (la Defensoría del Pueblo) to intervene in this critical situation. They demanded the immediate demilitarization of the area. The community has also reached out to the UN, asking for funding and assistance.