miércoles, junio 20, 2012

La Voz de Matambo Vol. 7: Festival of the Sun: Recuperating Our Territory

The Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) is an indigenous initiative to traverse and get to know more of our own territory as a space of social, cultural, political, economic construction, as well as the construction of historical memory and ancestral knowledge. Additionally we seek to identify the conflicts present regarding the natural resources upon which we depend.

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Program: Trek of the Andean Peoples on the Millennium Andean Path – Kapaq ñan chinchaysuymanta

June 22
First Part of Trek: Trek and Offering at the Laguna del Buey
Depart Papallacta (South Cauca) to San Antonio (San Agustin). Start at 5 AM.
June 23
Second Part of Trek: Trek
Depart: San Antonio towards Kinchana (San Agustín – Huila). Start at 6 AM.

Forum: Defense and Liberation of Mother Earth
Parish House of San Agustín – Huila. Start 5 PM.
June 24
Offering to Tayta Inti and Pachamama, initiation of Grand Ancestral Celebration of INTI RAYMI- Ritual in the sacred Tulpa Willika Nina.
Jatun Wasi in the Indigenous Resguardo of Rumiyaku.
Pitalito, Huila.
Start at 8 AM.
June 25
Forum: Festival of the Sun, Territory and Megaprojects.
Central Park of Pitalito, Huila.
Start at 8 AM.

Ritual in Honor of the Cacica Gaitana
Central Park of Timaná, Huila.
Start at 11 AM.

March and Ritual at the joining of the Suaza and Magdalena Rivers.
La Jagua, Garzón, Huila.
Start at 3 PM.
June 26
Forum: Land and Territory- Gains and Advances in the Resistance of Asoquimbo.
Central Park Bolivar of Garzón, Huila.
Start at 8 AM.

Forum: Memory of of Territory with Grandparents
Community of Rio Loro, Gigante, Huila.
Start at 10 AM.

Forum: Liberation and Protection of the Mother Earth- Gains and Advances in the Resistance of Asoquimbo.
Central Park of Gigante, Huila.
Start at 12 Noon.

Closing of Festival: Experience of Campesino Reserve of El Pato, Caqueta- Ritual of Recuperation of the River- Screening of Documentary Film: el Gigante.
Cruce de la Plata – Paso del Colegio Bridge (Gigante, Huila).
Starts at 4 PM.
The Movement for the Liberation and Defense of Mother Earth
Information: 321 230 0156
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 The Region of South Colombia and the entire country recognizes how fundamental and strategic the Magdalena River is to the communities and populations, their cultures and way of life. None the less, facing this vital hydrological reference is the questioning of the neoliberal concept of development and growth. Instead, the defense of Hydrological and Agro-Nutritional Sovereignty against the business of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project, that puts at risk the existence and survival of the communities that have historically inhabited the banks of the Magdalena River, the entire Upper Magdalena River Valley and the systematic violation of the rights of these inhabitants.  
In this sense, it is necessary to create visibility around the struggle, peaceful resistance and civil disobedience against the corporate control of all territories, generate consciousness by walking our word, dialoging about our knowledge for the defense of our territories; biodiversity and genetic diversity sovereignty; nutritional sovereignty, security and autonomy; the cultural birthrights of our country and security. The reaffirmation of the Indigenous Resguardos established in the Colonial Era and all the communities affected by the mega-projects of mining, energy, and agricultural industry, conceded by the Colombian Government to the national and multinational corporations such as: Endesa, Emgesa, Enel, Emerald Energy, Anglo Gold Ashanti, among many others. We also struggle for the construction of a sovereign and autonomous mining, energy and agricultural policy and a holistic agrarian reform that guarantees self-determination of the territory by indigenous and campesino communities as well as other legitimate inhabitants of these areas. This must also include the construction of a new Environmental Statute that recognizes ancestral authorities and the Universal Rights of a Healthy Environment that supersedes the appropriation of our strategic territories and ecosystems by transnational corporations, and finally the creation of Agro-Nutritional Campesino Reserves and the suspension of granted and future environmental licenses for natural resource extraction.


  1. Of the area to be inundated, 95% of those lands are part of the Amazonian Protectorate Forest Reserve and the Colombian Macizo (Highlands). They are some of the “best agricultural lands in the region… and it would be difficult to establish the same agricultural productivity in the area because of lack of applicable lands”. (Ombudsman´s Office)
  2. Eight community cooperative businesses that produce sorghum, cacao, corn and rice with an annual value of over U$18 million would be lost.
  3. More than 200 campesinos have been displaced by the purchasing of lands, some without proper compensation, over 1,500 affected people have not been included in Emgesa´s census nor are they protected by the State in having their rights recognized.
  4. The affected areas have about 842 HA of riparian forest and tropical dry forest, populations of fish essential for local food security, 103 species of birds, 13 species of reptiles and three species of mammals that are endangered: pacarana, night monkey and neo-tropical river otter.
  5. Hydroelectric energy is not clean or renewable energy: it affects natural life cycles, destroys ichthyo-diversity and produces methane gas and global warming from the decomposition of organic material. It leads to the privatization of water, land and biotic resources as has been recognized by the Global Commission on Dams.
  6. It is a private business that, at the cost of public rights, is being constructed with the argument that the country needs more electricity when “Colombia produces a surplus of energy at 4,761 MW” according to the Banks of Development Initiatives of Antioquia in 2011.
  7. The exclusion of those affected from participation in the decision-making process, the lack of prior consultation regarding the building of the dam, the change in use of the land and the environmental norms and inconsistent legal procedures in the approving of the Environmental License. Law 160 of 1994 establishes that for the area of the Quimbo each family unit has a right to 30-50 HA if they possess a property of 5 HA or less.
  8. The Comptroller’s Office of the Republic, the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and Natural History-INCANH, the National Anticorruption Unit, the new Unit of Environmental Crimes of the Attorney General and the Mayor of Bogotá have all investigated and followed the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project for destruction of the environment and archaeological remains, social and psychological trauma, destruction of local production chains and social fabric, the violation of all the fundamental rights of the affected population and putting at risk the resources of the State and life and well-being of the inhabitants of the region.
  9. The construction of an Agro-Nutritional Campesino Reserve subsidized by the state as an alternative and renewable energy model that guarantees access to resources such as land, water, defense of campesino economies, the right to work, the conservation of social fabric, the preservation of strategic ecosystems, the conservation of the territory as a public good and the participation of the communities in the creation and verification of the plans that secures the holistic and integral bettering of the quality of life of this very same population.
  10. Endesa-Enel and the Government have lied, stigmatized, criminalized peaceful protest and violently displaced the affected as a response to early arguments.

Asoquimbo has been in…

·         Italy on April 29, 2012 subscribed to the “International Campaign against Enel´s Energy Model” with over 50 organizations from all over the world.
·         In Gigante and Garzón on June 1st a meeting with council members to promote a Popular Consulta as stated in Article 53 of Law 134 of 1994.
·         In Paicol, Huila on June 6th in a meeting with the 14 Parishes of the Vicaria of San Sebastian, invited by Monseñor Jaime Tovar, to share Asoquimbo´s arguments and invite to participate in the Festival of the Sun.
·         In La Guajira on June 7th  & 8th for a Forum on Mega-Mining regarding the diverting of the Rancheria River and for the Defense of the Territory and new sovereign and autonomous Mining-Energy-Agricultural policies.

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