February 5, 2000
Malaria ravages indigenous Colombia tribe

                   BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Health authorities have warned that after two
                   months of torrential rain, Colombia's largest indigenous tribe faces a malaria

                   The disease, spread by mosquitoes which breed in stagnant water, has
                   swept through the 125,000-strong Wayu tribe, Victor Alvarez, director of
                   the Health Ministry's office of epidemiology, said Friday.

                   "In December and January alone 3,700 cases were reported," he said.
                   "Seven of those people died."

                   The outbreak has been fiercest in the deserts of the northeastern Guajira
                   peninsular, which straddles the Venezuelan border on the Caribbean coast.

                    Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.