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SURVIVING A MASSACRE 10230 KM / DAY 113 / JULY 7, 2011 - 03:18 / TIMBIO, COLOMBIA
The Naza, a peaceful indigenous tribe, were living deep in the jungle of El Naya, on Colombia`s Pacific coast. On April 11 2001, everything changed. Groups of armed men came into the different communities shooting, using machetes and even chainsaws. Officially, 27 people were massacred, but according to the Naza, at least a hundred people died - many were thrown in a ravine and never found. The armed men were part of the Autodefensas, the Colombian paramilitaries. They accused the Naza of supporting the FARC (one of the Colombian guerilla groups) - an accusation that was never proved. The survivors of the massacre fled to Santander de Quilichao, where they camped for three years in a bullring, surviving in part by begging in the streets.
Ten years after all of this, I am in Timbio, a town close to Popayan in southern Colombia. On a corner a young man is waiting for me with his bodyguard. He is the governor of Kitek Kewe, the new Naza community here. After three long years, the government gave the Naza a piece of land to build a new community. The community continues to receive threats against them, attempt to scare them into dropping their charges against the paramilitaries for the massacre.
Paulina Troches (85) and her husband, who is the shaman, are the oldest survivors. They have been displaced twice in their lives. They have ten children and 50 or maybe 70 grand and great-grandchildren - they can`t really remember the exact number. It makes them laugh.
DAY 363 FINAL DESTINATION