Virgilio Trujillo Arana, indigenous leader of the Autana Municipality, in Amazonas State, defender of the jungle and coordinator of the Uwottuja Territorial Guardians, was shot to death by allegedly contract assassins.
According to the NGO Kapé Kapé, Mr. Trujillo was shot twice by unidentified persons on Thursday afternoon in the “El Escondido” sector of Puerto Ayacucho the capital of Amazonas State. Local journalist Carolina Azavache reported that he was shot in the head.
“The authorities have already started investigations into the case and, so far, they have not reported a motive for the incident,” Kapé Kapé said in a statement.
The indigenous leader, Virgilio Trujillo Arana, is known for being a fervent defender of the Venezuelan Amazon and for being against the presence of armed groups in the jungle, mines and indigenous territories of the Uwottuja people.
“Virgilio Trujillo was part of the territorial guard that located a clandestine track in “San Pedro del Orinoco” and that we documented in ‘Corredor Furtivo’. He asked nearby communities not to accept the presence of armed groups,” commented journalist María Ramírez Cabello on her Twitter account.
Meanwhile, the Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Amazonas (Orpia), said that the entire region is in mourning. “We demand justice from the civil and military authorities for the murder of our comrade who struggled and defended our territory,” Orpia stated.
También por años han pedido el desalojo de los grupos irregulares de sus territorios y han rechazado la violencia, la invasión de tierras, la introducción de máquinas para explotación minera y el porte de armas, entre otras actividades ilícitas.
— María RamírezCabello (@mramirezcabello) July 1, 2022