Colombia: FARC assassinate indigenous leader

Charging a "Plan of Extermination" by all actors in Colombia's armed conflict, traditional indigenous authorities in southwest Cauca region on Jan. 22 protested the "assassination" two days earlier of Nasa indigenous leader Rafael Mauricio Girón Ulchur at the village of Jámbalo. The statement said Girón had been ambushed while riding his motorcycle, and that the gunmen were FARC guerillas who fled into the bush after the slaying. The statement charged that he had been targeted for advocating a "Plan of Life" based on indigenous territorial rights, self-determination and protection of natural resources as an alternative to the peace plan being worked out by FARC and government negotiators in Havana, Cuba. It noted that the assassination came the same day that the FARC officially declared an end to the unilateral ceasefire instated for the Havana talks. (ACIN, Jan. 22)