A farmer has been shot and killed during a protest against the presence of soldiers in the country’s turbulent Cauca
Colombian officials said on Friday that 28-year-old Mauricio Largo was killed the day before when Nasa Indians and other locals clashed with riot police in a rural area of the municipality of Caloto.
Residents are demanding that the military and leftist rebels leave the southwestern region. They say they are tired of being caught in the crossfire of Colombia’s long-running conflict.
Caloto security official Jesus Arbey Martinez said on Friday the Caloto protesters are demanding that a group of about 500 soldiers encamped in the area move away.
Their demands align with those of the 115,000-strong Nasa tribe, whose members forcibly removed soldiers from a strategic hilltop earlier this week.
Nasa tribal leaders will also decide the fate of four suspects accused of attacking civilians, indigenous leaders in the region said.
Nasa Indian leader Marcos Yule told the the Associated Press news agency on Friday the four could face such punishment as floggings or exile if convicted in this weekend’s trials before the tribal elders.
The four suspects, members of the leftist rebel group, were seized on Wednesday.
President Juan Manuel Santos says the government will not yield to the Indians’ demands to remove the soldiers.