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Indigenous Guard of Cauca (ACIN Organisation)

The Indigenous Guard of Cauca, member of the ACIN organisation, is a community protection network made up of women, men and children who defend their territories without weapons. It originated in Colombia’s violent south-western Cauca region, and in 2001 it began to operate as an organized collective. Most Indigenous Guards from Cauca are from the Nasa Indigenous group — the biggest, most organized of the groups — who have trained other communities throughout Colombia over the years to defend their own territories. Their main purpose is to protect their ancestral lands from armed groups, who want to take control of it.

The last couple of years of a peace process has raised hopes for an end to the decades long conflict that has plagued Colombia. However, the negotiations between the government and the FARCs have not had a significant impact on the safety and security of human rights defenders in the country, which remains one of the countries with the highest rates of killing of HRDs in the world.