Magdalena Cocubana

She was an indigenous leader and healer of the Makaguán people, belonging to the Macarieros community in the municipality of Tame, Arauca. She worked for the rights of indigenous communities and promoted respect for ethnic traditions.

She had extensive knowledge of the Macarieros’ history and traditions. That is why she was an outstanding woman within indigenous movements such as Ascatidar and the Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement. Her work was stopped on September 2, 2019, when she was murdered.


For the Makaguan indigenous people, the land is communal, all families have free access to the spaces, as long as the working areas of each group are respected, and they work according to their customs.



It has a population of 323 people. The government assigned them a territory of 16 hectares, therefore they live in overpopulation. Additionally, the area is threatened by the Culebrero River.



They belong to the Guahibo linguistic family. The Macarieros were nomads dedicated to hunting, fishing, gathering and cultivating yucca.

Currently they have been forced to settle and cultivate in the small territories assigned to them by the government. As a result, the soils of their small and overcrowded regions deplete quickly and it is not productive for long.


MAGDALENA COCUBANA was an outstanding Social Leader within the indigenous organizations ASCATIDAR & MAIS.


ASCATIDAR = Association of Councils and Indigenous Authorities from Arauca Region

ASCATIDAR represents 35 indigenous communities and works to safeguard their territories and people. Unfortunately, for years, oil companies and armed groups have been a threat to the indigenous people living in Arauca.

More info:

MAIS = Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement

The MAIS is a proactive, renovating, pluralistic, democratic, inclusive movement which defends Human Rights and Mother Earth. It leads political proposals to construct a model of society based on good living, governance, peace and the country's ethnic, political, social and cultural diversity.

More info:



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