ARMED thugs are driving terrified families from their homes in Colombia as big businesses hunt for precious minerals, campaigners have warned.
Human rights activists visited Scotland last week to warn of a disaster in the South American country as hundreds of thousands of people are forced to flee and their land is poisoned.
Robert Daza Guevara said the indigenous Awa people have faced violence and intimidation, their women attacked and their children kidnapped by paramilitaries.
And he told how nine campesinos – agricultural workers – were massacred in June last year. He added: “An unknown group arrived and shot indiscriminately.”
Guevara was publicising a report that exposes how the fight for minerals has devastated vast areas and resulted in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people.
The study, due out tomorrow, was organised by ABColombia, a project backed by five charities who operate in the country, including the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund.
It focuses on the Colombian government’s rapid expansion of its economy based on the mining of coal, gold and copper.
Their goals for 2021 are to double coal exports, quadruple gold and triple the mining sector. ABColombia say 35 per cent of Colombian territory is at risk from mining and 64 groups of indigenous people, including the Awa, face extinction.
And they say about 40 per cent of Colombia’s drinking water is at risk of contamination.
Source: Daily Record UK