Eugenio Tenorio

Kevin Mestizo, 23, and Eugenio Tenorio, 46, were shot dead when gunmen opened fire on the bus they were travelling in to a local fair.

They were the latest indigenous activists to be targeted among a resurgence of violence by dissident rebel groups and paramilitaries. Thirty-six members of the Nasa group have been killed so far this year, a steep rise from previous years.

Kevin and Eugenio were members of the Nasa Indigenous Guard, a volunteer group tasked with protecting the ethnic group. Membership is voluntary and unpaid and the Nasa say it resembles less a police force and is more a group of mediators. Members of the indigenous guard are not armed but carry a staff adorned with the red and green colours of the Nasa group.

A group of them were travelling by bus from the town of Caloto to Toribío in south-western Colombia to attend a coffee fair when they came under fire. Kevin and Eugenio were killed and five other people, including a seven-year-old boy, were injured in the attack.

Colombian Interior Minister Nancy Gutierrez said a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) was behind the attack.

The Farc rebel group signed a peace agreement with the government in 2016 and ordered its fighters to lay down arms. Not all the Farc rebels agreed with their leadership’s strategy though and some broke away to continue fighting the state and engaging in criminal activities, such as drug trafficking and extortion. Colombian military intelligence reports estimate the dissidents to number between 1,750 and 3,000. As the dissident rebels try to expand the territory they control they increasingly clash with the indigenous guard protecting it.

The National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (Onic) says that they have received reports of 57 attacks on indigenous groups between 1 July and 10 August.

The United Nations has urged the Colombian government to do more to protect its indigenous people.

Source: BBC

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Date of Killing:10/08/2019

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Nasa Indigenous Guard

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Indigenous Peoples' Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).