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Police attacks leave one person dead and several injured in Colombia’s Cauca Valley region

Since Saturday, thousands of peasants, indigenous people and afro-Colombians have been mobilising for a nationwide strike called for 30 May. Amongst their demands are calls for improvements in health, education, access to land and a moratorium on extractive projects. While the government, emboldened by the progress in formal peace talks with insurgents, claims that the current model of economic development is not up for debate, popular social and political movements argue that any durable peace must include deeper transformations in society.

During the course of the mobilisation, Willington Quibarecama Nequirucama, a 26 year old indigenous man, died “on arrival at emergency health facilities after a trauma to the head caused by a collision with a van”, according to local reports.

Luis Fernando Arias, senior counsellor from the National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia, confirmed that the man had been participating in the national strike, at La Delfina, on the road linkinh the municipality of Buga with Buenaventura, in the south west of the country, where thousands of indigenous people are reported to have taken to the streets.

Indigenous groups request the immediate presence of the United Nations and the Red Cross, to guarantee the right to protest is respected.

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