Members or agents of the Colombia army are suspected to be responsible for the assassination of 12 members of the Awá indigenous group in Nariño department while they were sleeping in their homes on 26 August 2009. The victims of assassination included seven children and one woman, who earlier had denounced the assassination of her husband by members of the army.
The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia has reported that up to 110 men, women, and children fled the village in fear of new attacks, and have taken refuge under crowded conditions in the nearby community of La Guayacana.
With this latest massacre, 38 Awás have been killed this year in deliberate attacks, underlining the government failure to implement effective measures to protect the Awás, despite the indication that further attacks were forthcoming. Representatives of the UN in Colombia and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people have demanded that the government investigate the massacre swiftly and punish those responsible.
"Sigue El Exterminio Awá," El Tiempo (25 September 2009), at:
A raíz de la masacre del pasado 26 de agosto se desplazan masivamente comunidades Awá, Consejo de Gobierno Indígena (ONIC), 8 September 2009, at: http://www.onic.org.co/actualidad.shtml?x=36236.
Human Rights Watch, "Colombia: Investigate Massacre in Southern Region," 27 August 2009, at: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/08/27/colombia-investigate-massacre-southern-region;
"Experto de la ONU condena asesinatos de indígenas en Colombia," 26 August 2009, at: http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/6029D2BE060FFAF7C125762300564B71?opendocument
OHCHR, "Naciones Unidas en Colombia condena una nueva masacre de indígenas Awa," 26 September 2009, at: http://www.hchr.org.co/publico/comunicados/2009/comunicados2009.php3?cod=20&cat=74.