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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:35 PM

Violence in western Colombia displaces indigenous people


At least 400 indigenous people fled their villages in western Colombia in the last few days to escape violence attributed to the FARC.

Community leaders have recently condemned FARC activity in the area and say they have been subject to threats and intimidation. Now hundreds of people, including Embera indigenous people and other rural workers, are flooding into the square of their nearest town, Tado, to escape the violence. Regional officials also blame the FARC and say that six indigenous people have been killed in the region in the last 15 days.

The governor of the region blamed both the FARC and the ELN and claimed that the guerillas have been forced to withdraw for fear of confrontation with the army.

However according to local officials more displaced people are still moving towards the town. "The situation is worrying, because Tado authorities are unable to provide security to the displaced," said one official. Town officials have asked Colombian authorities to strengthen security in the area and carry out investigations to clarify the origin of the threats.

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