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Members of the Muisca indigenous community take part in a demonstration against Colombian President Ivan Duque’s government’s National Development Plan, in Bogota, Colombia, April 25, 2019 (Photo by Yulieth Rincon for dpa via AP Images).

Colombia’s Duque is Presiding Over a ‘Massive Backpedaling’ on Indigenous Rights

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Since President Ivan Duque took office last summer, Colombia has seen an uptick in violence against human rights advocates and community leaders, particularly from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. Observers point to the Duque administration’s hostility toward the landmark peace accord with the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, that was struck in 2016. The agreement contained a number of provisions designed to protect the country’s vulnerable groups, but the Duque administration is refusing to implement them.

In an interview with WPR, Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, director for the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America, discusses the rising violence against Afro-descendant and indigenous people in Colombia, as well as those who advocate on their behalf. The following transcript has been lightly edited for length and clarity. ...

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