jueves, febrero 05, 2015

Coloring Plan Colombia with the Children of Nuevo Amanecer


A month after having the opportunity to visit the community of Nuevo Amanecer in Puerto Asis, Putumayo as part of the Indigenous Film and Video Festival in Colombia-Daupará, we were able to return to spend some days with the community. The community of Nuevo Amanecer is made up of displaced indigenous peoples from Putumayo, mostly but not exclusively of the Siona People. The majority of the people are displaced from different communities found along the Putumayo River which is no coincidence that that there are plans to canalize this river to make it accessible for shipping barges as part of the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA). 
 
In the days we were visiting Nuevo Amanecer there were different activities focused on the integrating of the different indigenous peoples in the municipality of Puerto Asis, which included a soccer tournament, cultural performances and a march through the city. There was participation from the Siona, Awá, Cofán, Nasa, Pasto, Embera and Inga Peoples. The last day we were in the community, after the activities of integration, we shared the Plan Colombia graphic campaign with the children of the community. 

This sharing is something that had to be done for some time now. The graphic campaign of Plan Colombia was initiated in 2002 when the USA´s drug war policy already had some years existing in the region. What is depicted in the graphic is what was observed during the investigation tour; tropical forests destroyed for the cultivation of coca, all sorts of landscapes destroyed by the indiscriminate aerial fumigations of glyphosate, rivers polluted by oil spills, sickened people, violence coming from all of the armed actors that resulted in the killings of people from indigenous, afro descendent and campesino communities. Since the workshop was with children, the presentation of the graphic was very simple and the majority of the time we colored a Plan Colombia poster speaking mostly about the spiral in the lower portion of the graphic and the importance of conserving the traditional language as well as the customs and traditional practices that are in danger due to the violence, poverty, and acculturation as a result of being a displaced community on the outskirts of Puerto Asis.

We assigned homework with the children to learn in the Siona language the name of all the animals that are depicted in the Plan Colombia graphic which is due in a couple of months when we return. This year we the bees are going to regularly visit different indigenous communities in Putumayo (such as Nuevo Amanecer) impacted by oil extraction and the canalization of the Putumayo River with the purpose of supporting the local efforts of territorial defense and the conservation of language, identity and customs. Persons or entities that are interested in supporting our educational and skills-building processes in the indigenous communities of Putumayo that are in processes of resistance can contact us through polinizaciones@gmail.com.