Indigenous Colombian senator escapes shooting uninjured

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian senator Feliciano Valencia, a member of the Andean country’s Nasa indigenous community, said on Thursday he had escaped uninjured from a shooting attack in southwestern Cauca province.

Valencia recently acted as a spokesman for protests which drew thousands of indigenous people to capital Bogota. Marchers demanded a meeting with President Ivan Duque to discuss better protection of their lands, violence against local activists and recent mass killings.

“I have just suffered an attempt on my life,” Valencia, a member of the Alternative Indigenous and Social Movement party, said on Twitter. “I escaped unhurt thanks to Mother Nature.”

The attack took place shortly before 10 a.m. local time (1500 GMT), when a vehicle carrying the senator was hit by three gunshots, the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca said in a statement.

The attack was widely condemned on Twitter, including by the government’s high peace commission and the America’s director for advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

“The whole country repudiates any attempt against life and we demand those who are violent cease their attacks against the civilian population,” the commission tweeted.

Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Aurora Ellis