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Guardia Indigéna de Cauca

Indigenous Collective
Front Line Defenders Americas Regional Award

The Indigenous Guard of Cauca (Guardia Indígena del Cauca) is a community protection network made up of women, men, boys and girls who defend their territories peacefully and that is part of are part of The Association of Indigenous Councils of the North of Cauca (ACIN). Most of the members belong to the Nasa indigenous group and one of their main objectives is to protect their autonomy and ancestral lands from those who seek territorial control. Since 2001, the Guardia Indígena del Cauca has trained other communities to defend their own territories.

HRDs in Colombia work in a violent and unsafe environment. They are subjected to threats, intimidation, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, physical assaults, torture, killings, illegal searches of their homes and offices and stigmatisation as a result of their activities in defence of human rights. The perpetrators of these abuses are frequently paramilitary groups, many of whom have links to the government or security services, or armed opposition groups.