The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) is calling for a series of nationwide demonstrations following an attack on one of their leaders in Cauca department on Tuesday, October 29. Nasa Cristina Bautista and four of her guards were killed by suspected FARC dissident members in Tacueyó. Colombian military forces launched an offensive to track down the gunmen on Wednesday, October 30. Indigenous leaders are planning to hold an assembly at the Tacueyó Sports Center on Thursday, October 31, to denounce violence targeting their community. The ONIC is also calling for nationwide protests starting on Friday, November 8, to demand a greater response from the government to protect the indigenous communities from being targeted by drug traffickers and dissident guerrillas. Indigenous leaders also announced that they will participate in the nationwide opposition protests scheduled for Thursday, November 21.
Military operations are expected to continue over the coming days in Cauca department and may spread into neighboring areas. A heightened security presence is anticipated around all associated protests, along with localized traffic disruptions.
According to the ONIC, at least 125 members of the indigenous communities have been killed since President Ivan Duque assumed power in 2018.
A peace deal between FARC leadership and the Colombian government was ratified by the Colombian congress in November 2016, officially ending an armed conflict that killed more than 260,000 people over five decades. However, some dissident ex-FARC militants remain active, notably in the Colombian-Ecuadorian border region.
Individuals in or planning travel to Colombia are advised to keep abreast of the situation and avoid all protests and demonstrations as a preacution. Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including drug cartels, right-wing militias, local gangs, and the ELN guerrilla group in addition to ex-FARC dissidents - Western governments generally advise against travel to various regions of the country, most notably most border areas on the frontiers with Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Panama.
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