Bogota, Colombia – Late last month, 25-year-old Indigenous leader Yermy Chocue was found dead near her home in Morales, in the Colombian department of Cauca. The young woman, a prominent human rights defender, had reportedly been approached and shot by armed men.
“Yermy’s dreams and hopes were thwarted by the violence that is consuming the country,” the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca said in a statement.
Council member Mauricio Capaz told Al Jazeera that Colombia’s Indigenous communities were increasingly being “threatened and persecuted” in the years since the country’s 2016 peace accord, noting: “Indigenous peoples are going through a very complex situation. It’s almost six years of ongoing assassinations of Indigenous leaders.”
In 2021, a member of Colombia’s Indigenous population was killed every four days, according to a report released last month by the National Commission of Indigenous Territories (CNTI). The commission registered 114 homicides last year, 17 of which occurred in the …