Indigenous Communities Converge in Capital to Support Government Marches and Seek Dialogue on Key Issues
On Tuesday, thousands of indigenous people arrived in the country’s capital in 100 buses with two objectives: to support the government’s marches and to initiate a dialogue with the State. They aimed to address five key issues affecting their peace in the territories of Cauca, Putumayo, Caqueta, and other regions.
The community settled inside the ‘Tercer Milenio’ park, bringing along thousands of tents, markets, mats, trucks, chivas (traditional Colombian buses), and a substantial food supply. Their goal was to stay until Thursday, September 28, or until the government talked with the leaders about agrarian reform, comprehensive peace, the defense of territories, environmental recognition, and support for their way of life.
Jhoe Sauca, a senior advisor from the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) Kokonuko, emphasized that while the current administration has the duty to contribute to the exercise of people’s right to mobilize, it does not mean that it is being done with government money. He also stated that autonomous action is at the heart of their movement, which should not only benefit the indigenous people of Cauca but the entire country as well.
The indigenous community has completely closed off the park’s perimeter, restricting access to visitors or merchants. The indigenous guard has been used to secure the location. However, scams and thefts by individuals not from the community have been reported. As a result, they have decided to block the entrance of each nearby location to protect their people.
Comprehensive Reform: The Need for Total Peace
On the other hand, Rosalva Velasco, an indigenous person from the Nasa tribe and a senior counselor at CRIC, emphasized the need for a comprehensive reform. She mentioned the importance of discussing territories and fighting for colonial titles and houses. She also highlighted the need for total peace, which has been discussed in terms of paths, dialogues, and the impacts it has had on Cauca.
As of now, the routes that the community will take to participate in the marches on September 27 are unknown. However, the indigenous people have concluded that they will begin their mobilization from the Tercer Milenio park and the National park.
92 Social Leaders Killed in First Half of 2023, Ombudsman Warns of Ongoing Violence
On July 21, in its latest report, the Ombudsman’s Office disclosed that during the first half of 2023, there were 92 recorded homicides of social leaders, encompassing indigenous individuals and human rights advocates. Ombudsman Carlos Camargo cautioned that this grim statistic underscores the ongoing violence against these leaders.
According to the agency’s statistics, between January and June 2023, the three groups with the highest concentration of murder cases are community leaders (22), social leaders (20), and indigenous leaders (16). These figures account for 63% of the homicides documented by the Ombudsman Office’s Early Warning System.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.