FARC Rebels Accused of Killing Indigenous Peasants

The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) are said to have attacked the Awa in remote village of Narino state—southwest of Columbia—because of their support for the Colombian government. The guerrilla force may be responsible for the bloodshed of at least 10 Awa Indians, adding to the 17 reportedly killed by the FARC last week.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling on Colombia to investigate the massacre while State Gov. Navarro Wolff has denounced the killings. The Governor also said in an interview on Caracol TV that villagers told him they cannot be certain that the FARC committed the killings because they were committed at night and it was too dark to see clearly.

"They took several families, recriminating them for their supposed collaboration with the army," Wolff told El Pais newspaper. "A young man was able to escape and told how he had been tied. Later, they tortured him, they beat him and they killed eight with a knife."

Narino lies near the border of Ecuador and has a large presence of both armed rebel groups and Colombian military forces. According to the Human Rights Watch, the small state is suffering from the least humane conditions in Colombia, particularly the Awa territories.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director
at Human Rights Watch told CNN, "These cruel killings violate the most basic principles of human
decency and dignity. There is no possible excuse or justification
for these horrific actions."

According to security analysts, FARC currently has about 9,000 to 12,000 armed guerillas and several thousand supporters in mostly rural areas of Colombia.