Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Violence as Colombia's Indigenous Nasa oppose police and paramilitaries in struggle for "liberation of Mother Earth"

Clashes have erupted in Colombia’s western department of Cauca as the Nasa Indigenous Peoples press the government to fulfill its promise to return 15,600 hectares to their control. A succession of occupations of sugar plantations has seen the government deploy the army and riot police against them prompting fierce battles across the north of the region.

This is the latest stage in a decades-long struggle for the return of indigenous territory lost to intensive agriculture, a struggle that received international attention in past decades following a wave of massacres. Protected by the Indigenous Guards, the fields remain largely under Nasa control, but an abrupt rise in threats from the “Black Eagles” paramilitary group and the issuance of new eviction orders by the government raise fears that deadly violence may return to the region.


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