A statement has been issued by the Organisation Gonawindua Tairona, which represents the Mamas.
A young Kogi, Jacinto Sauna, a young Kogi, has been shot dead in the Colombian city of Santa Marta. The Kogi community to which he belongs is in deep grief. At present no one knows who was responsible or why.

Jacinto, 21, was shot in the house where he lived in Santa Marta. His murder occurred after returning from field work with his father, José de los Santos Sauna, the official representative of the Kogi people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. José de los Santos Sauna was the official who hosted Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on his visit to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Now grief predominates. This unexplained crime follows hard on the tragedies of recent days when a lightning strike took the lives of 11 indigenous Wiwa people and a landslide killed 6 indigenous Arhuacos.

The Kogi community has issued a statement calling on the local and national governmental to wake up to what is happening to Santa Marta, which has now become one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Therefore the civil society of Santa Marta request the Inter-American Commission For Human Rights (CIDH) to provide protection to the inhabitants of Santa Marta. In the past CIDH have provided protection to the Kankuamo and Wiwa people in response to similar violent events.


We, the people and indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, are gathered in the Gonawindúa Tayrona Organisation. This represents the Mamos of the Kogi-Malayo-Arhuaco and the Arhuaco Reserves, the indigenous authorities of the Kàggaba, Wiwa and Iku people.

We make this declaration concerning the cruel murder of the indigenous Kàggaba Jacinto Sauna Zarabata, student of environmental engineering in the University of Magdalena, and son of Governor José de los Santos Sauna Limaco:

  1. With deep sorrow and indignation, we condemn the lamentable event that cost the life of Jacinto Sauna Zarabata, a young man committed to his family and studies, the husband of Judith Nuvita, also from the Kàggaba community.
  2. We express our great concern about the high level of insecurity in Santa Marta, which is diminishing the hope for a new society in which intercultural education offers a better future to our people and the rest of Colombian society.
    Having not yet recovered from the effect of the forces of nature on the Wiwa and Iku people in the past days,  an evil attack took the life of one of our people. This tragic event has not only affected his family but the whole community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
  3. We question the insecurity in which the city is immersed, insecurity that today affects our peoples with this cruel murder. We hope that this event does not remain unpunished like many others that have been forgotten, such as the murder of our leaders Napoleón Torres and Huges Chaparro, where 22 years have passed without resolution or justice having been served. Likewise, with the attack against the Governor of the Arhuaco Reserve, Rogelio Mejiía Izquierdo that took place on November the 9th 2012, in the town of Puerto Bello, Cesar.
  4. Finally we express our solidarity with the pain of Jacinto Sauna
    Zarabata’s family and with his community. We vow that his blood sown in the land of Matuna will stimulate the revival of the collective consciousness of the indigenous population, with greater appreciation of their ancestral territory and their cultural identity. This is the contribution that this young man wanted to make through his life and studies. The struggle continues to build a free and independent people in harmony with nature and other people. Our people still go on.
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