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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Tue Nov 20 18:29:43 2001
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 00:31:23 -0600 (CST)
From: Weekly News Update <wnu@igc.org>
Subject: Weekly News Update #616, 11/18/01
Article: 130491
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
X-UIDL: O-pzr9HkIcxLWwE

Indigenous face down rebels

Weekly News Update on the Americas,
Issue #616, 18 November 2001

On Nov. 12, some 4,500 Paez indigenous people from six reservations intervened to halt an attack by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the police station in the town of Caldono in Cauca department. Armed only with traditional staffs of command--wooden sticks which symbolize authority--the Paez arrived about an hour after some 150 fighters from the FARC's Sixth Front and its Jacobo Arenas column began shooting at 15 police agents holed up in the station. The indigenous came in response to a plea for help from reservation governor Luis Omar Rivera, made through the church speakers. The Paez men, women and children placed themselves between the rebels and police and demanded that both sides stop shooting.

The Paez say they are prepared to expel any armed groups operating in their ancestral territory, whether they be rebels, police, army or paramilitaries. We won't endure any more attacks against indigenous people and civilians, said Margarita Pena, an indigenous council member from Caldono. We want them to leave us in peace and we will pay whatever price is necessary to clear the violent ones from our reservations. [El Tiempo (Bogota) 8/14/01;