The Indigenous organizations and communities of Macro Amazonia have issued a statement relating to the current situation of violence and human rights violations and infringement of international human rights law that our indigenous brothers and sisters are suffering in the department of Cauca and, in general, on a national level.
Under the framework of the Assembly of Indigenous Organizations and Communities of Macro Amazonia of the ONIC (the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia), the towns, authorities, associations and indigenous organizations met in Leticia with the aim of creating an analysis of the regional and national situation of our communities. We stand against a state which, through the central government shows its solid support to all manner of invasive, destructive, denigrating and inequitable activities. These activities are disguised under the euphemisms of ‘development’ and ‘progress’ and devastate our culture, our way of life and the territory that we have occupied for thousands of years.
It is in this manner that megaprojects threaten the planet’s natural equilibrium, attempting to sustain an unworthy and decadent economy which favours death over life, with a government that, using its own logic, does not find viable solutions to conflict and drug trafficking; with a reality that threatens the life and honour of our towns and the rest of Colombian society, which these days sees in its governors a focus of mistrust, corruption and loss of values, without which it is impossible to create a better world for all.
In this context we demand the promotion and implementation of policies for protection and to enable real and effective participation in the construction of social state based on the rule of law; one which is pluricultural, inclusive and respectful of difference and equity. Seeing the extent to which the existence of our planet is endangered, and also our culture, our way of life, and life itself – and being aware of the lack of tact of our central government in the merest details to think, speak and act in a coherent manner to try to resolve different situations, like that of our brothers in Cauca, the Government should show good judgement in respect of the traditional authorities and territorial protection. Through this statement we show our support and solidarity for the just demands being made by our indigenous brothers in Cauca and to all who are now together in the ancestral reserve of La María en Piendamó demanding respect and defense of Mother Earth.
Our demands are:
- that the national government recognizes in equal conditions the indigenous authorities of our country, who, with their proposals want to contribute towards the solution of our conflicts and to build a better country.
- that the national government commits to discuss in a fair and open way with the indigenous communities of Cauca, the situation of the conflict experienced in indigenous territories.
- That the President of the Republic Juan Manuel Santos urgently opens the dialogue requested by the negotiations at the Mesa permanente de Concertación and that the situation of the 102 indigenous communities of Colombia is revised regarding the different agreements which the government have advanced, like the 96 agreements of the National Development Plan.
- To all the actors in the Colombian armed conflict: to respect life, culture and the right to self-determination of the indigenous brothers of Colombia, in particular those of the department of Cauca.
- That the current indicators of development are evaluated, to define a different model, that does not threaten the equality and the realization of a dignified life for all inhabitants of the country.
We express to our brothers in Cauca that they are not alone in this pacific struggle of resistance and in this way, last August 10, responding to our demands, at the necessity of our communities and the call that they gave, more than a thousand indigenous people in Leticia protested to be able to enforce and guarantee our rights and territorial defence. We also have lived through periods of intense violence, like the genocide of the rubber tappers, and the extermination of our native species, the ‘bonanzas’ of cocaine, and other periods of colonization and blood and fire that we have had to live through.
For this reason we confirm that the indigenous communities in Latin America, in particular the Amazon and Colombian, have maintained a process of responsibility and defence of life, territory, cultural identity and the autonomy of indigenous towns in the interior of our states.
We know that Colombian communities, in particular the Nasa and other indigenous brothers of Cauca, are living one of the worse humanitarian crises, due to the worsening of the armed conflict, the disrespect for their sacred sites, grave human rights violations and violations of international rights law, causing hundreds of deaths and casualties, damage to civil, cultural and spiritual property, disrespect to the principle of distinction and a certain and imminent risk of physical and cultural disappearance, caused by structural pre-existing factors like poverty, abandonment by the state and the implementation of a model of development other than our conception of ‘buen vivir’ [buen vivir’, literally ‘living well’, is an indigenous world view concept of a harmonious balance between humans and nature].
For all of these reasons we call upon the international and national community to provide humanitarian accompaniment to the indigenous brothers in Cauca, who at present find themselves in the midst of crossfire, with grave consequences to their physical and cultural safety and we insist that the government and Colombian state seek a negotiated solution to the armed conflict which includes civil society and, in particular, the indigenous authorities, in the construction of real and lasting peace in Colombia.
With the air of life of our sacred plants: tobacco, coca, sweet yucca and ‘yage’ [a medicinal plant from the Amazon] left by the creator. Leticia 15 August 2012
Asamblea Macroregional Amazonas de pueblo y organizaciones indígenas
Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Trapecio Amazónico, ACITAM;
Asociación de Autoridades Indígenas de la Pedrera Amazonas, AIPEA;
ASOAINTAM; Asociación de Autoridades Indígena de Tarapacá Amazonas
ATICOYA; Asociación Ticuna, Cocama Yagua
AZCAITA; Asociación Zonal Autóctonas Indígenas del Trapecio Amazónico
AZICATCH; Asociación Zonal Indígena de Cabildos y Autoridades Tradicionales de la Chorrera
Asociación de Cabildos y Autoridades Tradicionales Indígenas de la Organización Indígenas Murui del
Asociación Consejo Indígena de Puerto Alegría; COINPA
CRIOMC; Consejo Regional Indígena del Orteguaza Medio Caquetá
AIZA; Asociación de Autoridades Indígena Zona Arika
Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia, ONIC
Translated from http://www.cric-colombia.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=986;pronunciamiento-de-la-asamblea-de-pueblos-y-organizaciones-indigenas-de-la-macro-amazonia-en-apoyo-al-movimiento-indigena-del-cauca.