This indigenous teen environmentalist has been murdered at the age of 14 while protecting his people’s ancestral land, which is considered sacred, after he was fired upon by a dozen armed men.
The victim, who was one of two people killed, has been named as Breiner David Cucuname Lopez from the Las Delicias indigenous reservation in the municipality of Buenos Aires in the Colombian department of Cauca last Friday, 14th January.
The attack also left four others wounded.
The teenager, who was a student Indigenous Guard of the Las Delicias reservation, responsible for protecting his community’s land and heritage, was fatally wounded when the dozen armed men opened fire on the group he was with.
The Prosecutor’s Office reported that Guillermo Chocante Ipia (named as Guillermo Chicame in some reports), who worked as a guard for the governor of the territory, also died.
The indigenous governor himself, named as Luis Fabian Camacho Guetio (Fabian Camayo in some reports), was among the wounded.
The authorities are investigating the case, and the National Police have said they believe FARC dissidents from the so-called ‘Jaime Martinez’ column were behind the attack.
Two members were reportedly arrested by the authorities on Tuesday, 18th January.
National Police director General Jorge Luis Vargas reported on the same day that preliminary evidence suggests that the leader of the Jaime Martinez column, known by his aliases ‘El Indio’ and ‘Andres’, masterminded the attack.
The FARC, which is short for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, formed during the Cold War as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary force.
It officially ceased being an armed group in 2017, when it handed over its weapons to the United Nations. Since then, various dissident groups have popped up, often involved in the weapons trade or in drug smuggling, as well as human trafficking.