IRIN | Are indigenous Filipinos being murdered for anti-mine activism?: The United Church of Christ in the Philippines said in a statement that Lumads, a collective term for the numerous indigenous peoples of Mindanao, continued to be harassed even after fleeing their villages. In December, the displaced community camping around the church received threats that their temporary dwellings would be burned down.
“The threats have been executed, and, once again, the Lumads have been harmed,” the church said.
The Lumads find themselves caught in the middle of a violent struggle between an array of armed groups. The Philippine Army is battling the New People’s Army, which has waged a Maoist guerrilla struggle since 1969. The government army has allegedly drawn on indigenous communities to form paramilitary groups, which are accused of some of the worst abuses.
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