Probe of Colombia Massacre Ordered
President Cesar Gaviria called Wednesday for an exhaustive investigation into the deaths of 20 Indian men, women and children who were gunned down by unknown assassins.
Gaviria toured the grisly scene of Monday’s massacre and told reporters he will convene a commission of officials from the judiciary and criminal justice department to investigate the “grievous” killings.
Earlier in the day, the government ordered hundreds of soldiers dispatched to the mountain region around the village of Caloto, 180 miles southwest of Bogota, the capital, to search for the killers.
The 20 slain Indians, members of the Watabe tribe, were killed at a farmhouse Monday as they began a pre-Christmas prayer dinner. Most were bound with their hands behind their backs and then shot execution-style by a suspected paramilitary squad.
Local press reports said the slain Indians had been squatting on land recently resold and that its new owners may have planned to use it for planting poppies and refining heroin.