Caught between the ongoing armed conflict between the Colombian army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and right-wing paramilitaries;the Paez people, also known as the Nasa, have tried different ways to protect themselves . The Nasa are a fiercely independent, autonomous native american people who live for the most part in the Northern parts of Cauca Department of Colombia, territory desired by the different warring parties for the control and development of cash crops. In the 1980s some Nasa people briefly formed their own armed group, Quintin Lame, to fight back. However, when it became apparent that Quintin Lame was doing more harm than good, it was demobilized.The Nasa then declared themselves ‘actively neutral’ and rejected all forms of violence but their neutrality attracted harassment, kidnappings, murders and massacres of entire communities. In 2001 The Nasa responded to this violence by organising the ‘Indigenous Guard’, a permanent, nonviolent, civil defense organisation. who stand guard in their territory armed with nothing but ceremonial three-foot batons. At present the Guard has about 6,000 active members charged with protecting communities by preventing the incursion of armed groups into the tribe’s territorial reserves. The Nasa people focus on building a self-sustaining community held together by an overarching philosophy of self-determination and the right to be left alone. The absence of a police force or army in some areas due to the ongoing conflict makes it necessary for the Nasa community to take care of law enforcement on their own.