Lilia Patricia García, a leader from the Watsalpí ancestral lands, was murdered by a masked man who shot her in the back on 13 October at 10.40 am in the Barbacoas municipality.
Lilia, 43, was the secretary of the Awá de Watsalpí Indigenous Council and for more than 8 years had been trying to legally establish an Indigenous Reservation, but without any significant advances in the process.
For the García family, Lilia’s murder is an another example of the persecution they face as on 25 June 2015 their 15-year-old son was murdered. He had been forcibly recruited by a group called “Rastrojos” after having been in the care of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute.
Lilia leaves behind 6 young children.
In a statement the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC for its Spanish acronym) said, “Today 99% of our Watsalpí brothers and sisters are displaced, without guarantees of security, protection, health, adequate housing, education, food; facing constant threats from several armed groups in the area, together with the historic neglect that has almost caused our communities to disappear”.