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| 10/7/2009 12:00:00 AM

Three held in slayings of indigenous Colombians

Oct 7--Three suspects have been arrested in the August slaying of 12 indigenous Awa people in southwestern Colombia, the military announced Tuesday.

The three men, at least one of whom is believed to belong to the Marxist guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, were members of Los Cucarachos crime gang, Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said. Los Cucarachos are involved in drug trafficking, extortion and kidnappings, the minister said.

The robbery of 3 million Colombian pesos ($1,550) appears to have been a motive, Silva said. A group of hooded men men entered an Awa house and killed everyone inside, including women and children, Silva said at a news conference.

"That was a very dark day in the history of human rights and violence in Colombia," he said.

The suspects were not identified Tuesday because they were in the process of being charged, Silva said. He added that authorities believe the men had been working as paid assassins and narcotraffickers in the area.
 
Read more here.
 
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