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Indigenous Colombians march on capital to demand action on human-rights crisis

INDIGENOUS Colombians will arrive in the capital Bogota on Monday after a massed march across the country to demand urgent action over a deepening human-rights crisis.

Thousands joined the Collective Action in Defence of Life, Territory, Democracy, Justice and Peace (Minga) march, which started on Thursday amid growing anger after Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez refused to meet with indigenous representatives in Cali, south-west of the capital, earlier this week.

They are concerned over a rise in the killings of social-movement leaders and those from Colombia’s myriad indigenous groups, with the country’s armed forces and paramilitary organisations believed by many to be responsible for the deaths.

A group of Cali’s public-health workers accompanied the march on its journey to Bogota “to avoid a Covid-19 outbreak inside the march," Mayor Jorge Ospina confirmed.

Minga spokeswoman Anadeida Secue said: “The social and student organisations are also with us: we not only want answers from the president, we want to hear the voice and feelings of all the Colombian people.”

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