One month after the assassination of indigenous leader Virgilio Trujillo, impunity reigns

Photo: La Patilla

 

On June 30th, the indigenous leader of the Uwottuja people in Amazonas, Virgilio Trujillo Arana, was shot to death. A month after that crime that shocked the hearts of the indigenous communities of southern Venezuela, there has been no progress in the investigation or any arrests.

By La Patilla

Jul 31, 2022

“A month after the murder of a defender of the Amazonas territory, the Public Ministry has not carried out any action, while the harassment of the Uwuttoja community, where Trujillo was originally from, continues,” said Olnar Ortiz, coordinator of indigenous peoples of the NGO ‘Foro Penal’.

According to the official report, witnesses saw when the 38-year-old Uwottuja leader got out of a van and was shot several times in the head from that same vehicle. Trujillo was known for his fervent defense of the jungle and the territory of his Uwuttoja brothers. Through his work, he fought to evict armed groups and illegal miners, among other criminal activities.

The officers of the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations Corps (Cicpc) found three projectile shells at the scene of the event. The hypothesis that is handled is of an alleged hired assassin. Various organizations spoke out to condemn the crime and demand justice.

Mr. Trujillo was also coordinator of the ‘Indigenous Territorial Guard’ (Guardia Territorial Indígena) in the Autana Municipality. These are groups made up of natives to protect their territories from the armed gangs that invade them to carry out illegal mining and other activities that destroy the jungle.

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