jueves, agosto 23, 2012

Minga de Resistencia de los 14 Pueblos Indígenas del Putumayo - Minga of Resistance of the 14 Indigenous Peoples of Putumayo

La Minga de Resistencia de los 14 Pueblos Indígenas  del Putumayo, presente en el Resguardo Indígena Inga de Condagua - Mocoa Putumayo, hace un llamado de solidaridad a todos los medios alternativos de nivel Local, Nacional e internacional, a visibilizar y ser garantes de la actual situación de vulneración de los derechos humanos, los derechos territoriales y la represión por parte del Estado Colombiano al negarse al diálogo con las comunidades que se encuentran desde hace 2 semanas esperando a que se realice la mesa de trabajo que el gobierno Nacional se comprometiera a desarrollar desde el día 3 de Agosto. Por otro lado la Defensoría del Pueblo y organismo competentes de Derechos Humanos, NO han hecho presencia en el lugar,  y se teme por la integridad y seguridad de las comunidades puesto que en estos momentos el ESMAD con cerca de 400 efectivos, están arribando al lugar después del anuncio de Secretario departamental de Putumayo de la orden de despejar la zona, es responsabilidad del Estado lo que pueda suceder con las comunidades que aquí estamos presentes, puesto que éste incumplió los compromisos pactados. 


The Minga of Resistance of the 14 Indigenous Peoples of Putumayo, present in the Inga Reserve of Condagua, Mocoa, Putumayo, is making a call of solidarity to all local, national and international alternative media to help communicate, accompany and witness the current situation of human and territorial rights violations and the repression of the Colombian State which refuses dialogue with communities in the Minga. These communities have been for over two weeks waiting for a roundtable working group that the National Government had committed to hold on August 3rd and failed to do so.   On the other hand the Public Defender and other competent human rights organizations have not been present in the area putting in concern the safety and integrity of the communities present after the Secretary General of the Department of Putumayo ordered the clearing of the area and 400 ESMAD Agents have been sent. It is the State´s responsibility what may happen to these communities that are present in the area only because of the State´s inability to adhere to the agreements made.

miércoles, agosto 22, 2012

Despite Repression, the Minga in Huila Continues for the Liberation of Mother Earth

On the evening of August 8, communities belonging to the Movement for the Defense and Liberation of Mother Earth, made up of the Nasa, Misak & Yanacona Peoples of the Regional Indigenous Council of Huila -CRIHU- and the Association of Affected of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project-ASOQUIMBO-, among others, began to arrive at the bridge of the Pescador River in the Municipality of El Hobo (Huila) giving initiation to the permanent assembly of the Minga for the Liberation of Mother Earth .

Since its start, the Minga has been planted as a space of peaceful social construction that demands the presence and answers from President Santos and the responsible Ministers regarding the problems facing the heart of Huila, in particular the mining and energy policies and related impacts in the territory and communities that ancestrally and historically occupied the region. The Minga has four demands: 
1.      The suspension of the Mining-Energy Locomotive mega projects, in particular: the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project, the presence of oil company Emerald Energy in the Páramo of Miraflores Peak Reserve, and the recent total expropriation of the Huacacayo-Yuma-Magdalena River to Chines State owned company Hydrochina as part of the Master Advantage Plan of the Magdalena River.
2.      Access to lands for campesinos and indigenous peoples
3.      Demilitarization of territories
4.      A political solution to the armed conflict.

The permanent assembly of the Minga was accompanied by the Indigenous Guard- the Caretakers of the Territory- and took charge of the security of the Minga´s participants, mingueros, and where the assembly was being held. To promote the process, rallies were held along the highway to inform the public. The peaceful mobilization established a space from where it could demand its rights and the presence of national leaders to the area of concentration. The State´s response was the presence of Police that totally locked-down the highway and thus risked the lives of mingeros by spreading false information that the mingueros would harm other inhabitants in the region in an attempt to distort the meaning and dignified and peaceful process of the Minga. From the beginning, the role of the Police was to stigmatize the participants as subversives, not only in language but also by sending special counter-guerrila operative forces, as well as anti-disturbance agents.

On August 13 the Riot Police (ESMAD) attacked around 2,000 mingueros. An armored vehicle, tear gas, explosives, police brutality and a disproportionate use of force left 25 injured. While the order that was given was to burn the camps where the mingueros were living and to force everyone away from the bridge, the resistance and struggle of the Minga against State forces defended the territory and maintained its permanent assembly. Two ESMAD agents were injured during the attack and were immediately attended to by the medical mission of the Minga. One of the men carried a 9mm gun, various explosive devices, which along with helmets, shields and uniforms that were detained during the police attack were later given to the People´s Defense- Huila Regional, in the absence of the General of Police, Rodolfo Palomino.

The days following the police attacked at the Pesacador Bridge, police helicopters continued to circle the Minga day and night, and more ESMAD agents and armored vehicles were brought into the region.
The Police and Media continued to criminalize the social protest. From the onset the strategy of the government was to divide the union between indigenous peoples and campesinos in an attempt to end the situation with a bureaucratic agreement. During this time leaders of the Minga traveled to Cauca and were able to speak in the dialogue held between the Minga in Cauca and leaders from the National Government, helping to push State representatives to recognize the legitimate process of the construction of the Minga in Huila. There was also a mobilization in the municipality of Oporapa in the south of Huila against Hydrocina´s presence in the region and it company´s appropriation of the Magdalena River.

In a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Interior, president of the CRIHU and leader of the Minga, Leonardo Homen, expressed that “the government only comes to sit down with communities after there has been a massacre and some amount of dead. When there is a process such as a Minga we are told that it is an issue of security, that’s what the Vice Minister told us, but if we were in electoral campaign season then they would go to the last corner, then there is no security problem, but since it is a public debate, they do not want to assume responsibility. That is why we only want people that have decision making abilities.”

In addition, the campesino from the community of the Honda and member of ASOQUIMBO, Jesus Elias Benavides, asked Cifuentes, a representative of the Ministry “how does a indigenous or campesino community get to dialogue with the State after what happened on the thirteenth” Cifuentes responded that, “she was traveling and state functionaries do not work on the weekends.”

On August 16 an Act of Agreement was reached between the National Government and the Movement for the Defense and Liberation of Mother Earth that committed the State to make available the responses to all the former petitions, demands, investigations and studies requested by the Movement, as well as the updating and turning over all the agreements and pacts that were not kept by the national and regional government with both the indigenous and campesino communities before August 30. Also agreed was that the State give a date before August 30 to plan and hold the Roundtable of Commitments in Neiva between September 6 -20 to reach solutions regarding the demands cosigned in the Act of the Movement as well as guarantee to cover all costs and logistics for the Roundtable in Neiva.

During the following weeks the Minga for the Defense and Liberation of Mother Earth, while traveling throughout the Upper Magdalena and Colombian Highlands met with other sectors to participate in the Minga and the March to Neiva for the Roundtable of Commitments. In the days following the signing of the Act, over 60 organizations from Chile have pronounced their support for the inhabitants of Huila and a rejection to the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project and the Corporation of the Upper Magdalena, while CAM has suspended some of the activities of the Emerald Energy oil-company.

While communities wait and see whether the State will assume responsibility regarding its commitments in the Act of Agreements, the indigenous peoples, campesinos, fisher-people and other participants in the Minga continue to build and walk together, defending the territory and liberating Mother Earth for the cultural and biologically diverse inhabitants of the Huilense Territory.



Avanza la liberación de la madre tierra – la Minga continúa

En la noche del 8 de agosto del 2012 comunidades pertenecientes al Movimiento por la Defensa y Liberación de la Madre Tierra, integrado por los Pueblos Nasa, Misak & Yanacona del Consejo Regional Indígena del Huila -CRIHU- y la Asociación de Afectados por el Proyecto Hidroeléctrico el Quimbo -ASOQUIMBO-, entre otras; empezaron a llegar al puente del río Pescador en el Municipio de El Hobo (Huila) para dar inicio a la asamblea permanente de la Minga por la Liberación de la Madre Tierra. Desde su comienzo la Minga se plantea como espacio de construcción social pacífica, que exige la presencia y respuesta por parte del presidente Santos y los ministros competentes a las problemáticas que atraviesan el corazón del Huila, especialmente sobre la política minero energética y sus impactos en el territorio y las comunidades que histórica y ancestralmente lo han habitado.

Son cuatro demandas de la Minga: i) la suspensión de los mega-proyectos de la Locomotora Minero- energética, en particular los Mega-proyectos que se denuncian son: el Proyecto Hidroeléctrico El Quimbo, la explotación petrolera de la Emerald Energy PLC en el Cerro Páramo de Miraflores y la reciente entrega del río Huacacayo-Yuma-Magdalena en su totalidad a la empresa-estatal China, Hydrochina como parte del Plan Maestro de Aprovechamiento del Río Magdalena, ii) acceso a tierras para indígenas y campesinos, iii) la desmilitarización de los territorios, y iv) la solución política al conflicto armado.

El desarrollo de la Asamblea permanente de la Minga estuvo acompañado por la Guardia Indígena -los Cuidadores del Territorio- encargada de la seguridad de los mingueros y del lugar donde se adelantaba la Asamblea. Para visibilizar el proceso se realizaron concentraciones en la carretera, informando al público. La movilización pacífica estableció un escenario de exigibilidad de derechos, solicitando la presencia inmediata de los mandatarios nacionales en el lugar de concentración. La respuesta del Estado fue la presencia de la Policía, quienes bloquearon la vía totalmente y pusieron en riesgo a las comunidades mingueras al decirle a los transeúntes que corrían riesgo, porque podían ser agredidos por parte de los mingueros, tratando de desfigurar el sentido y proceso pacífico y digno de la Minga. Desde el inicio el papel de la Fuerza pública fue intentar estigmatizar a los participantes de la minga como integrantes de grupos subversivos, no solamente en el discurso, sino también en el despliegue de fuerzas especiales contra guerrilla y la presión con la fuerzas anti disturbios.

El día lunes 13 de agosto el Escuadrón Móvil de Anti Disturbios -ESMAD- atacó a alrededor de 2.000 mingueros. Una tanqueta, gases lacrimógenos, explosivos aturdidores, brutalidad policial y el uso desproporcionado de la fuerza  más de 25 mingueros lesionados. Aunque la orden era quemar los cambuches donde dormían los mingueros y desalojarlos de la zona del puente, la resistencia y lucha de la Minga defendió el territorio y siguió en asamblea permanenteDos agentes del ESMAD resultaron heridos quienes fueron atendidos de inmediato por la misión médica de la Minga. Uno portaba un revólver 9 mm y varios artefactos explosivos, los cuales fueron retenidos junto a cascos y uniformes durante el ataque de la fuerza pública, luego se entregaron a la Defensoría del Pueblo- Regional del Huila, ante la ausencia del general de la Policía, Rodolfo Palomino. 

Los días siguientes al ataque de la fuerza pública en el Puente del Pescador, helicópteros de la policía seguían vigilando día y noche a la Minga. Fueron traídos a la región más tanquetas y agentes del ESMAD. La policía y medios continuaron criminalizando la protesta social. Desde un comienzo la estrategia de los representantes enviados por el gobierno fue la de dividir la unión indígena y campesina, y solucionar con otro acuerdo burocrático donde el Estado no cumpliera con su parte. Durante este tiempo  líderes de la Minga fueron al Cauca e intervinieron en el diálogo de la minga del Cauca con el Alto Gobierno, promoviendo que representantes del Estado reconocieran el proceso legítimo de la Minga en el Huila. También hubo una movilización en el Municipio de Oporapa en el sur del Huila en contra de la entrega del río Magdalena a Hydrochina y denunciando la presencia de la empresa en la región. 

En un encuentro con representantes del Ministerio del Interior, el presidente del CRIHU y líder de la Minga, Leonardo Homen, resaltó que “el gobierno solo viene a sentarse con las comunidades para hablar después que ha habido una masacre y alguna cantidad de muertos. Cuando ya ven un proceso como una minga nos dicen que ya es un tema de seguridad, así nos dijo el vice-ministro, pero si fuera en campaña allí sí llegaría hasta el último rincón, allí sí no hay problema de seguridad pero como es debate público entonces no lo quieren asumirlo. Eso es porque queremos personas con poder de decisión”. También el campesino de la Comunidad de la Honda e integrante de ASOQUIMBO, Jesús Elías Benavides, preguntó a Cifuentes, delegada del ministerio “cómo hacía para que una comunidad indígena o campesina lograra una interlocución con el Estado cuando sucedían hechos como los del 13” a lo que respondió Cifuentes, “que estaba de viaje y los funcionarios no trabajan los fines de semana”.

El día Jueves 16 se logró el Acta de Acuerdo entre los delegados del Gobierno Nacional y el Movimiento por la Defensa y Liberación de la Madre Tierra, donde se acordó que: el Estado necesita tramitar una respuesta escrita de las solicitudes, indagatorias, investigaciones e informes solicitados en el acta del Movimiento por la Liberación y la Defensa de la Madre Tierra así como la revisión y la entrega de informes en cada uno de los convenios y pactos incumplidos de carácter nacional y departamental, realizados con indígenas y campesinos antes del 30 de agosto. También se acordó que el Estado propusiera una fecha antes del 30 de septiembre para realizar la convocatoria de la Mesa de Compromisos en Neiva entre el 6 y el 20 de septiembre con relación a las solicitudes consignadas en el Acta del Movimiento, y gestionar las condiciones y logística para la Mesa en Neiva.

En las semanas entrantes el Movimiento por la Defensa y la Liberación de la Madre Tierra estará recorriendo el territorio del Alto Magdalena convocando a otros sectores sociales para participar en la Marcha de la Minga hacia Neiva para la realización de la Mesa de Compromisos. Ya en los días desde la firma del acta de acuerdos, más de 80 organizaciones sociales en Chile se hanpronunciado en contra de El Quimbo y la Corporación del Alto Magdalena -CAM- hasuspendido algunas de las actividades de la petrolera Emerald Energy. Mientras se espera durante las siguientes semanas cómo el Estado asume sus responsabilidades frente al cumplimiento del Acta de Acuerdos, los y las indígenas, campesinos, pescadores y otras personas partícipes en la Minga siguen construyendo y caminando juntos, defendiendo el territorio y liberando la Madre Tierra para todos los habitantes de la diversidad cultural y biológica del territorio Huilense.



martes, agosto 21, 2012

Comunicado de la Gran Minga de Resistencia por la Defensa de los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas en el Putumayo y Bota Caucana

Las autoridades, líderes y representantes de los diferentes pueblos indígenas del  departamento del Putumayo, la Bota Caucana y el corregimiento de Jardines de Sucumbios (Ipiales-Nariño) se encuentran hoy reunidos en el resguardo indígena de Condagua,  dando cumplimiento al acuerdo realizado con la Comisión Delegada de derechos Humanos, y representantes del gobierno nacional  el 26 de agosto de 2012 en el marco de la Gran Minga de Resistencia por la Defensa de los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas.
Dentro de los compromisos se acordó REUNIRNOS NUEVAMENTE EN EL RESGUARDO DE CONDAGUA  A partir del 3 de Agosto pero en reunión en oficio enviado por el delegado presidencial Gabriel Muyuy expuso que por tramites legales en las Instituciones se aplazaba la reunión para el   16 y 17  de Agosto a fin de ANALIZAR LA PROBLEMÁTICA TERRITORIAL QUE PADECEN LOS PUEBLOS indígenas del Putumayo.  
Las comunidades se desplazaron con anticipación PERO EL GOBIERNO  INCUMPLIO A ESTA REUNION en consecuencia agrava la credibilidad del gobierno ante  las comunidades indígenas presentes y agudiza  la vulneración de derechos de los Pueblos. Por estos hechos las comunidades indígenas presentes  se declaran en asamblea permanente hasta que se hagan presentes los representantes del gobierno tal como se acordó en la reunión del 25 de agosto de 2012 en el resguardo de Condagua. 

Cabe anotar que el incumplimiento del Gobierno a reunirse con las comunidades  Indígenas se le ha vuelto una costumbre, por lo tanto se le sugiere a ser serio y responsable en los compromisos que adquiere con las comunidades indígenas.
En constancia Firma el equipo político de la minga permanente de los pueblos indígena del putumayo, la media y baja bota caucana.

domingo, agosto 19, 2012

El Quimbo en la Agenda Mediatica

Notan alguna diferencia? Mientras el Esmad golpea a un campesino a tal punto de dejarlo inconsciente, sin prestar atención de primero auxilios. La comunidad indígena y campesina le brinda atención y cuidado a dos miembros del Esmad que resultaron lesionados.




sábado, agosto 04, 2012

Minga of Resistance Launched against Quimbo Dam and Other Resource Extraction Projects

Source: Upside Down World

In the weeks following the Festival of the Sun that the culminated June 26th in the park of the town of Gigante, the Movement for the Defense and the Liberation of Mother Earth has been preparing for the next Minga. A traditional Andean practice of collective and communal work, in recent years the Minga has gathered strength in indigenous communities as a collective and communal mobilization in defense of territories that have been assaulted by state policies of militarization and resource extraction. In recent weeks the media has focused on the Nasa people in north Cauca liberating their territories of the presence of armed groupsHoever, not much has been mentioned about the weeks-long Minga of Resistance in the Sibundoy Valley in Putumayo against the San Francisco Highway and mining in sacred territories, as well as national mobilizations against mining and energy projects that kicked off August 1st that have brought people into the streets from la Guajira to Medellin.

 In the opening days of July, despite photos continuing to surface from the Quimbo construction site showing the retention walls cracked and the river continuing its resistance to being diverted and workers from the site claiming that the tunnel in which the river was to be diverted in is also cracked, the press continues to neglect the story. Emgesa, the energy company responsible for the dam´s construction and operation, has still not been able to fully divert the Huacayo-Magdalena River and Emgesa and the Director of Environmental Licenses of the Ministry of Environment, Luz Helena Sarmiento, still have not made any announcements or have given explanations about the first and second die-offs of fish that have occurred in the dam´s construction area.

In attempts to criminalize the Association of Affected of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project (Asoquimbo) and South Colombian University Professor Miller Dussan, Colonel Juan Francisco Pelaez Ramirez of the National Police of Colombia, ordered on March 7 an investigation of Dussan for his behavior caught on video during violent and illegal displacement of local inhabitants from the banks of the Magdalena River on February 14 and 15.  Days later, on March 16, Emgesa´s legal representative for Judicial and Administrative Affairs  Jairo Ernesto Arias Orjuela, requested information from the South Colombian University regarding Professor Dussan´s resume, later clarifying that it was to solicit a background check through powers of the Attorney General's Office. As a result of these hostile actions, an international campaign led by academics has come out in support of Professor Dussan and the work he has done in defense of the affected communities. 

On July 10, the first communities that Emgesa supposedly successfully negotiated with in 2009, la Escalaereta and Balseadero, formed a strike at the entrance of their community after local inhabitant, day laborer and renter Carlos Alberto Marín, was displaced when Emgesa workers destroyed the house he was living in after the owner sold the property.  
“To date we do not want leave this territory, though we feel forced by the government to leave our lands. The environmental license says that we are to be relocated to an area where we will be set up in conditions that ‘are equal to or better’ then how are living now, though to date the company is showing its true colors and is going back on its words” explained resident of la Escalereta, Estela Gutierrez. Inhabitants of the two communities formed the strike demanding that the company keep its end of the negotiations made in 2009, that renters be recognized as part of the affected population, and that a new census be opened.

While Emgesa agreed to relocate the entirety of the two communities to the Llano of the Virgin, director of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project Julio Santafe told local media days later during roundtable assemblies that the company did not have the land to relocate the communities so land owners would be compensated for their property, but that communities of la Escalereta, Balseadero, San Jose de Belén and Veracruz will not be relocated and that the company refuses to open another census. Upon finding out that there would not be another census and that they would not be relocated, the communities of Rioloro and Veracruz, members of Asoquimbo, have also taken up a blockade denying entry of representatives from Emgesa into their community.  While lacking funds to meet with the demands of the Environmental License, Codensa (Colombian Endesa Conglomerate) and Emgesa had a 29.43% net increase in the first 6 months of 2012 which translates to $247 million in profits for Codensa and over $349 million for Emgesa.

In the final weeks of July, the Social Pastoral of the Colombian Episcopalian Church and Conservative Party Deputy of the Regional Huila Assembly Sandra Milena Hernandez exposed that even before the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project has been completed, a team of 17 geologists, hydrologists, architects, and civil and hydraulic engineers have been touring southern Huila performing the preliminary studies and preparing to purchase more lands for more dams. Chinese company Hydrochina, along with CORMAGDALENA (Autonomous Environmental Corporation of the Magdalena River), have been surveying the sites of Pericongo Canyon, the Guarapas River and the Sombrerillos Canyon that would cover the world famous Estrecho del Magdalena in San Agustin. As a result of these actions, the potentially affected communities in the municipalities of Pitalito, San Agustin, San José de Isnos and Oporapa have been having public forums to inform local inhabitants about the social and environmental impacts of these projects and prepare for the upcoming struggles against Hydrochina.

Governor Cielo Gonzalez  and other regional politicians of the Department of Huila  were not aware of the presence of the survey team in Huila told inhabitants of the Municipality of Palestina on July 22 that during her term as governor she “would not allow any more hydroelectric projects in Huila”. Hernandez, who denounced the survey team to local media, also sent a formal complaint to the Ministry of Defense to only be reprimanded and threatened for her actions by Colonel Pelaez Ramirez. The actions against Hernandez and Dussan are treated as clear evidence and are being denounced for the criminalizing of freedom of speech and expression.

As a result of this advance in the transnational-corporate takeover of the Magdalena River and territory of Huila, on July 30 a public debate was held in Neiva regarding the impacts of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Projects and future dams in the Department of Huila, while once again invited guests such as Minister of Environment Frank Pearl and Director of Environmental Licenses Luz Helena Sarmiento did not attend. Secretary General of the department of Huila, Julio Cesar Triana, guaranteed that “the Departmental Government was making sure that the commitments made to those affected by the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project are being met”.

Zoila Ninco, day laborer, fisher-woman and member of Asoquimbo from the community of La Jagua reminded those in the public debate that do not even live in the affected region that, “I am here to demand answers from the government regarding the destruction that has occurred in our region and to remind everyone that where the Quimbo Dam is being built is where we will have our Campesino Reserve, we do not want this dam or any dam in our territory”.

In response to continued assault of the Upper Huacayo-Magdalena River Valley and the Colombian Macizo (Highlands) Asoquimbo, the Regional Indigenous Council of Huila- CRIHU, the Civic Movement of La Plata and the other entities in Huila that make of the Movement for the Defense and Liberation of Mother Earth will commence a Minga for the Recuperation and Liberation of Mother Earth in the following week.