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Brenner David Kokonami, Indigenous activist murdered at age 14 in Colombia- Corriere.it

From Sarah Gandolfi

Breiner David Cucuame was part of Cauca Self-Defense Groups, a territory contested by drug traffickers and other illegal groups. The killer El Indio is a defector from the former guerrilla FARC

Die at fourteen to defend a nature reserve, Mother Earth. This also happens in Colombia. Last Friday happened to Brenner David Cocoam, He was born as a native of NASA Who decided to protect the lands of his ancestors, in the province of Cauca, from the aggression of other men, armed and dangerous: paramilitary groups, ex-gangsters, drug dealers, etc. etc. Bandits are dangerous enough to be shot in cold blood. The first environmental scientist was killed in 2022 in a Latin American country, where ecologists, indigenous people and minors are often victims of brutal murders.

According to the Colombian police, the person responsible for the death of Brenner is Alias ​​El Indio, defector of the defunct FARC guerrilla movement and today columnist Jaime Martinez. The attack took place in a rural area north of Cauca: young Brenner was escorting his father after a day’s work when the two collided with a group of heavily armed men, raising the alarm on the spot by immediately calling an Aboriginal guard on patrol. Ex-combatants had shot dead first the adult Guillermo Chicami, and then the young Brenner, who was hit by several bullets. Reserve chief Fabin Camayo was also wounded in the shooting.

Indigenous guards usually consist of unarmed men and women who deal with the collective defense of their lands and carry batons as a symbol of power. He is often surrounded by a student guard to whom Brenner belongs. Once upon a time, they were respected by armed groups, not anymore. At least 78 human rights defenders were killed last year, according to the UN human rights office. For the Ombudsman’s office, which also includes social and environmental leaders, the number is even higher: 145 in 2021.

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Another episode of violence sparked a wave of feelings and anger across Colombia. Even indigenous authorities are pointing the finger at dissident fighters who broke away from the FARC after the peace agreement signed with the government more than five years ago. The Indigenous Regional Council has defined the teenage victim as Guardian of Mother Earth, Guardian of the Territory, Guardian Student of the Indigenous Kiwi of Cegna of Las Delicias Reserve, Life Protector of Children, and NASA Tribe Champion for Teamwork and Big Dreams.

North Cauca, where the majority of NASA residents live, has always been a powder keg: Corridor to the Pacific for drug smuggling routes. A region where FARC defectors, ELN fighters, drug traffickers and even supporters of Mexican criminal gangs operate. The police and military fail to control the area and indigenous communities are often left on their own To counter the attacks of illegal armed groups.The death of young Brenner David Cocoam, a champion of environmental protection in his local community in Cauca, fills us with grief, and the reaction of President Even Duque on social networks. .

Jan 19 2022 (change on Jan 19 2022 | 15:49)