martes, febrero 23, 2010

Seven Bases

Diane Lefer and Hector Aristizábal
U.S. and Colombian officials signed an agreement granting the U.S. military access to seven Colombian bases for ten years.

ImageThe United States thereby increased its ties to the military known for the worst human rights abuses in the Western Hemisphere and is a troubling indication of what can be expected of the Obama Administration and its promise of change. Does this agreement (signed in the fall of 2009) really change anything? We take a look at the history of each of these bases as well as conditions in the surrounding communities and the nation as a whole.

#1: Tolemaida

This base, located in Melgar, Cundinamarca, has been sending students to the School of the Americas for Army Ranger training for more than 50 years. The US military and its contractors already have a long association with the base where they have enjoyed immunity from prosecution for such crimes as the rape and sexual abuse of Colombian girls as young as twelve (documented by video), and the trafficking for profit of arms to illegal paramilitary groups. The new agreement will allow unparalleled access by the US armed forces and will apparently continue diplomatic immunity for US personnel, both military and civilian.

In Bogotá, just 43 miles to the northeast, more than 1,000 people arrive each day as they flee violence aimed at stealing their small rural landholdings usually for the benefit of paramilitary bosses, narcotraffickers, transnational corporations and their government allies. The US-supported Colombian military has done nothing to protect approximately 4 million internally displaced people, 75 percent of whom are women and children, left homeless and impoverished.

While US policy is to fund the war on drugs and the war on the FARC, the cocaine trade provides employment and income to more than one million Colombians and the armed conflict is one of the nation's largest sources of work. In Colombia, a minority of the population has steady employment. Most of the potential workforce consists of the unemployed, those who've given up looking for work or who participate in the informal economy of day laborers, street vendors, armed insurgents, and criminals. Workers lucky enough to have steady employment for a 48-hour week at the minimum wage do not earn enough to purchase a basic market basket of goods for a family of four.

The Colombian Ministry of Defense has estimated that more than 4,600 FARC members and more than 1,300 ELN members are minors and that most guerrilla fighters had joined the guerrilla ranks as children. Witness for Peace learned of a school in Bogotá where 80 children dropped out in a single semester to join the FARC, motivated not by ideology but because their families couldn't afford to feed them.

Education and employment opportunities will have more impact on the civil conflict and the cocaine trade than more weapons, more military training, and more war.

#2. Bahía Málaga

This naval base in Valle de Cauca department is located outside Buenaventura which, as the nation's largest Pacific port, is also notorious for its role in exporting cocaine--a clear rationale for the base. The city itself is

dangerous and impoverished though it serves as a gateway to some of Colombia's premier tourist beach resorts and lies near an essential ocean ecosystem.

Over the past several years, the workforce of mostly Afro-Colombian and indigenous sugar-cane cutters and sugar refinery workers have labored in slavery-like conditions in Valle de Cauca and neighboring Cauca department. The 18,000 workers who went on strike in 2008 were, predictably, called FARC terrorists by Colombia's President Uribe.

The department capital of Cali was the destination that same year of tens of thousands of indigenous protestors and their Afro-Colombian and campesino allies who undertook an eight-day march to focus the nation's attention on their call for a Life Plan that honors human development and the environment instead of the Development Plan promoted by transnationals and the government that focuses on resource extraction with no concern for consequences. The development plans that equal Death Plans for millions are enforced and implemented by the Colombian military.

The Colombian Constitution affirms specific rights--including land rights--to Afro-Colombians as well as to the indigenous populations but both minority groups continue to suffer discrimination. The US State Department reports that indigenous people are the country's poorest population and have the highest age-specific mortality rates and rates of intestinal diseases, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and malaria.

Valle de Cauca borders the department of Chocó which a former Colombian president referred to as the "country's piggy bank" because of the richness of its vast mineral deposits and other natural resources.
Chocó, with the highest percentage of Afro-Colombian residents in the nation, also has the lowest per capita level of social investment and ranked last in terms of education, health, and infrastructure while suffering some of the country's worst political violence.

Throughout Colombia, Afro-Colombians are driven off the land they own and their leaders are targeted for assassination. Native leaders who resist the degrading exploitation of their traditional lands and try to ban military actors from their resguardos (reservations) are labeled FARC sympathizers and have been assassinated at a rate that would translate in the US to more than 21,500 elected officials and community leaders murdered for political purposes each year for the last 10 years. The Awa people are particularly at risk as their homeland spans the Colombia-Ecuador border, considered a strategic military area by the government. Massacres in February and August of 2009 claimed the lives of 25 people including children.

#3: Palanquero

The base is situated in the heart of Colombia, near Puerto Salgar on the Magdalena River, the country's principal inland waterway, notorious for the mutilated bodies floating downstream or, unseen, confined to its depths. While the guerrilla movements continue to carry out killings, kidnappings, sabotage, and other atrocities--extensively covered by the mainstream media, the vast majority of murders, disappearances, and other human rights abuses have been rarely covered in the press and clearly tied to the Colombian Army and its paramilitary allies.

Direct military funding from the US for Palanquero was supposed to stop when courts found it was from this base that planes dropped a US-made rocket on the village of Santo Domingo, killing18 civilians. Palanquero was later "recertified" for assistance. The advanced radar equipment installed here by a US team was indispensable in the operation that killed FARC Commander Raúl Reyes. The bombing of his camp across the border in Ecuador caused an international incident and is one of the reasons the US lease on the Forward Operations Base in Manta, Ecuador was not renewed.

Palanquero has become the most infamous and talked about of the seven bases because of a US Department of Defense Air Force document that stated the site "provides a unique opportunity for full spectrum operations in a critical sub region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-US governments, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters." [emphasis added] Colombian government documents state the agreement provides for cooperation against narcotrafficking, terrorism, and "otras amenazas de carácter trasnacional" (other threats transnational in character). Documents were later revised to eliminate language suggesting the US might mount operations against any target in the South American continent and the US administration has offered high-level assurances, but we've seen revised documents before. Just one familiar example: Descriptions of torture techniques were blacked out in the SOA Manual while the practice continued around the world including by US forces. In Colombia, during the first six months of 2008, government security forces were involved in 74 incidents of torture, a 46 percent increase compared with the first six months of 2007--and those are merely the incidents that were noted by the US State Department.

#4: Cartagena

As the home of the country's largest naval base, and with the omnipresent police and military on the streets, Cartagena--even during the worst periods of violence in Colombia--continued to attract tourists with its beaches and cultural life. Its patrimony of Spanish Colonial architecture won the city designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The US has conducted joint training exercises with Colombian sailors here.

Cartagena is also the site of a sprawling shantytown with thousands of displaced and desperate young people, prime recruit material for criminal organizations and illegal armed actors. Rightwing death squads visit these streets to strike and kill, and the government's security forces--ever present in tourists areas--do nothing to make life here secure.

Instead of more military, Cartagena needs more programs like El Colegio del Cuerpo, a local dance company that trains young people from impoverished backgrounds. Through the discipline and expressiveness of creating beauty, youth at-risk learn not only about the art of dance, but a new sense of ethics. As the founders explain, in Colombia, the human body is too often a disposable thing, made to be tortured, mutilated, murdered. At El Colegio del Cuerpo, youth once inured to violence learn to respect the human body--their own, and the bodies of others.

#5: Apiay

This air base also hosts the Colombian Army and Navy as well as hundreds of US military personnel and contractors who have been there since 2004, supporting the anti-FARC military campaign called Plan Patriota. Given that oil and gas facilities are often a guerrilla target, it's worth noting that Apiay is also home to an oil refinery. A gas pipeline to Bogotá runs from the nearby city of Villavicencio which has been overwhelmed, like Bogotá, with internally displaced people who live in new slums that lack access to clean water. There's no sanitation in poor neighborhoods and the electrical grid is insufficient to meet the needs of the city.

Water, sanitation, electricity, city services. Those are the exact concerns being addressed in the city of Medellín by the youth organization, Red Juvenil which offers a positive model for the nation. These young people--conscientious objectors from the poorest and most violent neighborhoods--reject recruitment by all the armed actors. The say no to the guerrilla, the paramilitaries, the cartels, and the Colombian military as well, and instead focus their efforts on civic improvement.

#6: Larandia

This base in Caquetá department is home to Colombian counter-insurgency brigade No. 89, trained at WHINSEC. Most of the several hundred US military advisors, Special Forces, and DynCorp contractors sent to the country by Plan Colombia have been based here.

In the Spring of 2009, Human Rights First reports that 97 people in Caquetá including prominent and well-respected activists and intellectuals suddenly found their names, addresses, and photographs circulated on a military intelligence list linking them--without any corroboration--to the FARC just as they were about to testify about abuses and "extrajudicial killings"--a euphemism for State-sponsored murders and lynchings--carried out by the Colombian military. Being named as a FARC sympathizer is tantamount in Colombia to having a target pinned to your back.

Throughout the country, such accusations are routinely made against those who resist war. "Peace Communities" such as San José de Apartadó, which deny access to all armed groups, whether legal or illegal, are relentlessly targeted by the Army, police, and paramilitary forces and suffer threats, massacres and disappearances.

Larandia's role in Plan Colombia, since 2002, has been as the takeoff and landing site for the aircraft that have fumigated the neighboring Putumayo region with toxic herbicides. Cocaine cultivation has not diminished, the supply remains unchanged, but local people have suffered extreme hunger as their food crops were sprayed and destroyed, toxins impacted people's health as well as the environment in the Amazon basin, "the lungs of the world."

Rumors now circulate about a deal: Colombian President Uribe approves US access to bases in exchange for Obama supporting a Free Trade Agreement by which the US could continue to subsidize domestic agribusiness, thereby threatening the livelihoods of Colombia's small and subsistence farmers. Their lands are already being illegally grabbed and transformed to palm oil biofuel plantations--food for machines rather than people. Under the FTA, the US could regulate its own financial sector but Colombia would not be allowed to do so. Colombia could not give preference to local businesses in awarding government procurement contracts or in any way privilege Colombian businesses over transnationals.

Every successful world economy has gone through a period of protecting and developing its own business and industrial base. The FTA presents Colombia with almost insurmountable obstacles to doing so. While the wealthy would become wealthier through their participation in multinational schemes, the majority of Colombians would be trapped in a backwards economy exporting natural resources, monoculture products such as biofuels, and raw materials, all of which rely on an exploitable underclass of workers.

While Colombia needs a Fair Trade program that encourages the development of a competitive 21st-century economy, Uribe's government remains tragically committed to neoliberalism. A better model is being tried elsewhere on the continent: ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) is based on the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and a vision of social welfare, barter and mutual economic aid.

#7: Malambo

Air Force officers from Malambo, located on Caribbean coast in Colombia's Atlantic department, have trained at WHINSEC. In the 80's, in addition to its anti-narcotics operations, the base was charged with defense against a presumed Sandinista threat. No wonder South and Central American countries are not reassured by US statements that all operations will be confined to Colombian territory.

At the end of 2009, at the Second International Conference for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, delegates from twelve Latin American countries pledged to cooperate on a campaign that seeks to have other nations follow the lead of Bolivia and Ecuador, two countries that have a ban on foreign bases written into their respective national Constitutions.

In recent years, US military joined with the Colombian Air Force to bring disaster relief to the departments flood zones. They have also garnered favorable press by participating in joint medical missions.

Flooding is common along the coast and regularly creates disaster and disease in Barranquilla, the largest city of the department, which has no rainwater drainage system or flood prevention plan. If infrastructure needs were addressed, the military wouldn't have to respond to frequent disasters. If the department had sufficient clinics, hospitals, and health care personnel, the population wouldn't have to wait for the infrequent arrival of medical missions.

In 2009, the mayor of Barranquilla faced a disciplinary investigation by an anti-corruption agency after his sudden dismissal of 2,300 municipal workers who were members of trade unions. Union leaders and journalists who voiced opposition to the mass firings received death threats. Threats and actual killings are nothing new for union leaders at the local Coca-Cola plant.

Violence against trade unionists in Colombia increases every year with multinationals linked again and again to the hiring of assassins.

In Argentina and Chile, people are now being held accountable for crimes against humanity committed during their Dirty Wars. In Colombia, when arrested paramilitary leaders begin to testify about their connections to high ranking government officials and US and transnational corporations, they are quickly extradited to the US to face drug charges, putting them out of reach of Colombian prosecutors, human rights organizations, victims and their families. Not only do Colombian perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity for their past crimes, the abuses are ongoing.


When funding for the SOA was threatened, the Department of Defense renamed it WHINSEC. The agreement on bases represents one more example of sleight-of-hand: As Congress loses faith in Plan Colombia after investing more than six billion dollars, the DOD taps the military budget to keep the failed policies going with even less Congressional oversight.

The Obama Administration's decision to extend US military muscle to an extent previously unknown threatens to destabilize the entire region. Yes, South American countries have had their border skirmishes and brief armed conflicts, but American bases create a scenario for what could potentially be a major war on the continent. At the same time, the US presence will lead Colombia's neighbors to respond to this anxiety by buying more weapons and raising more national armies. Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru will spend on their militaries the money that could and should go to improving the quality of life for all their citizens.

The agreement represents more of the inevitable failure that comes from policies that rely on the military paradigm. In Colombia, as in Afghanistan, military might has failed and is destined to fail. In neither country can the military put a dent in drug trafficking. In both countries, a weak central government has little or no presence--except for military presence--in much of the country and fails to provide even basic services. Military action inspires insurgency and resistance, while warlords and corrupt government officials continue to profit from war.

Social justice is the road to peace.

Hector and Diane have co-authored The Blessing Next to the Wound (to be published Spring 2010 by Lantern Books), his story of surviving torture and civil war in Colombia and how he now seeks a path to healing for himself and others through engaging the imagination in works of activism and art.

lunes, febrero 22, 2010

Leaders of Colombian Wayuu People Go into Exile to Escape Violence and Criminalization

3 indigenous leaders from the Fuerzas de Mujeres Wayuu (FMW) (Force of Wayuu Women) movement have recently been forced to leave their territory in order to protect their lives. Their work in defence of their territory, as well as their international denunciations about the operations of transnational companies in their territory, have resulted in them being threatened by paramilitaries and the criminalization of their activities. Several members of the Organización Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu have become the target of investigations and extrajudicial followings, by the Uribe government in response to their work. This has all become a lot worse in the last few months.

One of the women who has been forced into exile recently participated in the Climate and Social Justice Caravan in Europe during the mobilizations around the Copenhagen climate Summit. Another of the persecuted leaders is a health and medicine coordinator in the village of Cuatro Vías. This is where the train which transports coal from the Cerrejon open pit coal mine passes by. The companies which form part of the Cerrejón coal complex are: BHP Billiton, Anglo American Plc, Glencore and Xtrata.

In the beginning of February 2010, the UNHCR – UN High Commission on Refugees –, together with the MAPOEA-Support Mission for the Peace Process in Colombia, and the Early Warning Systems from the Defensoría del Pueblo carried out a fact finding mission in the Alta Guajira to document militarization by paramilitary groups and the violation of the Wayuu People’s human rights. Despite this monitoring, the Colombian government continues to show a complicit indifference, leaving the leaders no other option but to go into exile and necessitating that they demand formal Protective Measures from the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

Below is a detailed document in which the organization presents their situation and calls for international solidarity.

The Colombian organizational alliance, Force of Wayuu Women [La Alianza Organizativa Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu,] calls upon the Peoples of Latin America and the World, and on public opinion throughout the world, to denounce the recent harassment that the collective is experiencing. The situation has resulted in members of this movement being forced to leave Colombia and move to Venezuela.

1. Risk Report No. 002 [Informe de Riesgo No. 002] for Maicao, dated the 27th January 2009 (from now on referred to as IR. No. 002-09) issued by the Defonsoria del Pueblo’s Early Warning System [Sistema de Alertas Tempranas (SAT) de la Defensoría del Pueblo] explicitly mentions the fact that the women and men leaders of the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu (FMW) movement, are vulnerable to aggression and attacks by armed groups. This is due to the organizational work that they are carrying out, involving their participation in various national and international fora where where they have denounced the human rights situation of the Wayúu people. The report also highlighted the fact that some of the organization’s activists have been systematically subjected to threats and intimidations, already for some time.
2. In the same vain, with Risk Report No. 017 of the Intermediate Reach for Riohacha and Dibulla, dated 9th July 2009 [Informe de Riesgo No. 017 de 9 de julio de 2009 de Alcance Intermedio para Riohacha y Dibulla] (from now on referred to as IR. No. 017-09-A.I), the Defensoría del Pueblo reiterated once again that the women and men leaders of the SJW-FMW are at high risk. In particular, the report concludes that one particular section of the Wayuu communities especially warranted protective measures, namely the women and men leaders of the movement Sütsüin Jiyeyu Wayúu - Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu (SJW/FMW) who live, and carry out their political activities, in Riohacha and Dibulla. In the last weeks, every time that they carried out political and organizational work in La Guajira concerning defence of territories and the rights of the Wayúu victims to access the truth, justice and reparations, as well as when they were critical of megaprojects, the leaders were followed more often and experienced an increase in harassment, intimidation and threats by the illegal armed structures that exist in the wake of the demobilization of the AUC. These armed actors perceived their demands and struggles as getting in the way of their interests.
3. Furthermore, the above mentioned IR. No.017-09-A.I indicates that the Wayúu communities located in the area of the Caribbean Trunk Road [Carretera Troncal del Caribe] especially on the route between Riohacha y Dibulla and Wepiapaa, Santa Rosa and Las Delicias Reserve, to mention just a few places, are at risk. This is due to the serious territorial dispute which is currently underway between rival illegal armed structures that exist following the demobilization of the AUC. According to the IR. No. 002-09, and for reasons cited above, this means that the Wayuu communities in the corregimientos in the border area with Venezuela, Carraipía and La Majayura are especially at risk, as well as some other different neighbourhoods. [note: this is a Colombian legal administrative term, that approximately translates in English to village level authority]
The reports issued by the Defensoría del Pueblo by way of its Early Warning System [Sistema de Alertas Tempranas] warned of the risk faced by members of FMW. In May 2009, two women from this organization received death threats. This led to their decision to leave the territory. Despite the fact that one of the women has now returned, they have both had to restrict their movements. The recent threats have meant that three other members of the organziation also find themselves forced to leave the territory. With its complicit silence, the state institutions have shown complete apathy concerning the recommendations contained in these reports. Such behaviour is very typical of the Colombian “democratic security” government.
Levels of fear are increasing. The following members of the organization Force of Wayuu Women [Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu] have become victims of extrajudicial investigations and are being followed by the Colombian army, because of “supposed links with groups classified as terrorist”: Karmen Ramírez Boscán, Leonor Viloria and Linnei Ospina. This is due to their international work denouncing and intervening about the impacts of transnational companies, the armed conflict and the destructive policies that the Colombian government pursues against indigenous peoples. The fear of losing their freedom or of being killed by armed actors, due to the seriousness of these false accusations has forced these members of the organization to leave their territory. Some remain in Colombian, others have left the country. In this respect, Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Envoy about the situation of human rights defenders, issued these preliminary conclusions following her visit to Colombia in September 2009: "a fundamental reason for the insecurity experience by human rights defenders lies in them having false accusations levelled against them and their systematic targeting by government functionaries [which accuse them of being] “terrorists” or “members of the guerrilla”.
We denounce the systematic extermination and marginalization of indigenous peoples in Colombia and the persecution and murder of their leaders, in a country where genocidal and repressive operations occur against these peoples. By way of an example, it is worth drawing attention to the fact that according to the Constitutional Court’s auto 004, 34 indigenous Peoples are at risk of being displaced, due to factors relating to the war. The Wayuu are amongst these peoples. 4 million people throughout the country have been forcibly displaced and are victims of massacres by the paramilitary, the army or the guerrilla.
In July 2008, the Peoples’ Tribunal [Tribunal de los Pueblos] in Colombia levelled charges against the Alvaro Uribe Vélez government consisting of genocide against the indigenous peoples and for criminalizing their resistance movements. It must be emphasised that indigenous peoples have been, and continue to be, repressed and threatened, suffering assaults, raids and the loss of their liberty.
- For the above reasons, we call upon the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) to seriously consider implementing Medidas Cautelares for the board members of Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, as well as the local Wayuu communities which belong to FMW in La Guajira. [note: Medidas Cautelares is a specific legal mechanism to formally ensure that Protective Measures are applied].
- We demand that the Colombian government puts in place protective measures for those members of the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu organization who remain in the territory at high risk, and also that it guarantees the safe return of the 4 members who have been forced to leave the territory. In this sense we demand that the Colombian Cancillería convenes an urgent meeting to concretize follow up to the Medidas Cautelares.
- We demand that the government of the Bolivarian Repúblic of Venezuela offers protective measures and the due assistance as envisaged in international agreements concerning refugees to the members of FMW who are already in Venezuelan territory. In the same way, we also demand that they receive appropriate differential treatment that not only takes into account the fact that they are women, but also that they are indigenous Wayuu People, where the women experience different levels of treatment and participation..
- Finally we make a fraternal appeal to national and international human rights organizations, to Diplomatic Missions and Corps accredited to work in Colombia, and to the Peace and Human Rights Commissions in the Colombian Senate that they write to the Colombian Authorities to demand that they act in accordance with the Constitution and honour the country’s international commitments in terms of human rights and that they monitor the serious situation of the Wayuu People.

“Porque en Wounmainkat, los Únicos Gigantes Somos los Wayuu”
“Becuase in Wounmainkat, the Only Giants are We the Wayuu”
Campaign for the Elimation of all forms of Violence Against Our Earth, Wounmainkat
Casa de la Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu
Cuatro Vías, Maikou (Wajiira)
19th Febraury 2010
Please direct your correspondence to the following addresses:
Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos)
President of the Republic (Presidencia de la República)
Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez,
Cra. 8 No..7-26, Palacio de Nariño,
Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71
Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32
Santa Fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+571) 640 04 91
UNHCR, Colombian Office (Oficina del ACNUR en Colombia)
Oficina en Bogotá D.C
Cll 113 N° 7-21 Torre A Of 601 Edificio Teleport
Tel (091) 6580600 Fax 6580602
UNHCR, Venezuela
Parque Cristal, Piso 4, Oficina 4/4
Urbanización Los Palos Grandes
Avenida Francisco de Miranda
Caracas, Venezuela
Tel. (58 212) 286-3883
Fax (58 212) 286-9687
Central Telefónica: (0057-1) 644.55.55
Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Presidencia de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela
Defensoría del Pueblo de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela
secretariared@defensoria.gob. ve

el Quimbo, no es Realidad


Con Fumigación de Químicos en el Territorio de las Comunidades Negras del
Naya, se atenta contra la vida y la permanencia ancestral en un territorio
que cuidamos a la humanidad. De manera indiscriminada e inconsulta desde el
sábado 13 de febrero del 2010 a partir del medio día se inició la aspersión
aérea de químicos desconocidos sobre nuestro territorio colectivo del Naya.
Nos fumigaron las comunidades de Chaverrú, Meregildo, El Pastico, El Trueno
y Sagrada Familia.

La fumigación se mantuvo hasta horas de la tarde en estas comunidades de
parte media y baja del río y fue realizada por la policía antinarcóticos a
través de una avioneta escoltada por al menos 4 helicópteros artillados de
las fuerzas militares. Además de la fumigación indiscriminada, la presencia
de los helicópteros generó nuevamente terror en nuestra población, en
especial en los niños que temían que fuera a pasar los ametrallamientos como
en el 2008.

Más o menos a la misma hora se inició la aspersión aérea de químicos también
en el río Micay, por el sector de Zaragoza y el resguardo indígena de

El lunes 15 de febrero de 2010, desde las 7:30 a.m. aproximadamente, se
reanudó la aspersión aérea de químicos desde las comunidades de Juan Santos
y Juan Nuñez hacia la bocana de Tambor. Miembros de nuestra junta directiva,
que nos encontrábamos en un trabajo con la Corporación Autónoma del Valle
del Cauca - CVC, en torno al Plan de manejo ambiental, fuimos testigos de
cómo a las 10:30 a.m. nuevamente avionetas escoltadas por helicópteros
artillados hicieron aspersión de químicos por las comunidades de Primavera,
El Trueno, Betania, Juan Santos, Juan Núñez y el sector de la quebrada La
Paiteña, en los alrededores del corregimiento de Puerto Merizalde.

Esta fumigación desconoce el desarrollo de la propuesta de sustitución
propia que venimos impulsando desde el 2008, en un proceso de
sensibilización y resistencia frente a la llegada de coca. Desde ese momento
las amenazas se han presentado contra el representante legal y los
acompañantes de la Comisión de Justicia y Paz, a través de panfletos
firmados por ³Águilas Negras².

La propuesta de sustitución propia la hemos dado a conocer al gobierno
nacional durante el 2009 y consiste en la recuperación de semillas de pan
coger y la implementación de parcelas agroforestales, iniciativas
agropecuarias con familias e instituciones educativas que han dicho no a la
propuesta de siembra de coca traída por externos al río.

Nosotras y nosotros ya tenemos más de 100 parcelas agroforestales que han
servido para eliminar la coca y 3 granjas integryales agroecológicas con
estudiantes. Cerca de 200 iniciativas de sustitución de la coca por arroz,
banano, frutales, de consumo diario; el fortalecimiento en la siembra de
productos como Papa China, chontaduro, borojó, caña, hortalizas, banano,

Y seguimos avanzando en la sensibilización, toma de conciencia y sustitución
propia, porque no queremos ni la erradicación manual que implementa el
gobierno con desmovilizados y fuerza pública, ni fumigación por aspersión

Desde que aparece la coca en el Bajo Naya, en el 2008, hemos sido claros en
responsabilizar al Estado por su permisividad en el control perimetral que
asume en las Bocanas y entradas al río, desde enero de 2002, cuando fuimos
beneficiados de las Medidas Cautelares que nos otorgó la CIDH.

La población afronayera hemos sido víctimas de crímenes de lesa humanidad
como los cometidos en abril del 2001, víctimas de la falta de voluntad
política del gobierno para titular nuestro territorio colectivo, a pesar de
haber agotado todos los trámites jurídicos, víctimas del desconocimiento de
330 años de vida en el territorio, víctimas de las ofertas agroindustriales
que nos ha hecho el gobierno, víctimas de los intereses mineros y de
extracción de nuestra biodiversidad.

Nuevamente nos victimizan, en el marco de la política de seguridad
democrática que ha encontrado en la coca el mejor pretexto para querer
desplazarnos, para vincularnos en el conflicto armado interno y para
asegurar nuestros territorios para el mercado internacional con la firma del
TLC con Estados Unidos y Europa.

Ante la violación a nuestros derechos, lo indiscriminada e inconsulta de la
fumigación y mientras recogemos el diagnóstico de los daños generados por la
aspersión del químico EXIGIMOS:

1. Se detenga de inmediato la fumigación de químicos en el territorio
colectivo del río Naya, que el gobierno nacional venga a nuestro territorio
y vea lo que estamos haciendo para la sustitución de la coca que ingresaron
foráneos con complicidad de la propia fuerza pública, que hace control en
las entradas y salidas del río Naya.

2. Que el gobierno nos diga qué tipo de químico ha utilizado en aspersiones
aéreas en el río Naya, en cantidad de concentración y cuánta cantidad han
derramado de ese veneno en nuestro territorio.

3. Qué se reconozca con el título legal colectivo de nuestra habitación de
hace más de 330 años

3. Qué se conforme una comisión de verificación tenga los siguientes

a. observar los daños causados a nuestro territorio colectivo y a nuestra
población con las aspersiones aéreas de químicos del 7 de septiembre del
2009 y las realzadas el 13 y 15 de febrero del presente año.

b. A partir de la verificación de los daños se compense a los afectados y se
dé la orden a la policía antinarcóticos de abstenerse a continuar las
fumigaciones en el Naya.

c. La razón para detener la fumigación no debe entenderse como una
complicidad con los cultivos de coca, por el contrario exigimos al gobierno
el reconocimiento y apoyo en nuestra iniciativa de sustitución propia sin
erradicación con desmovilizados y sin fumigación. Nuestra decisión es sacar
la coca del Naya a través de parcelas agroforestales e iniciativas

d. Que se acepte por parte del gobierno que en esta comisión de verificación
participen además de nuestros acompañantes de la Comisión de Justicia y Paz,
otras organizaciones nacionales e internacionales defensoras de los derechos

330 años de vida ancestral en el Bajo Naya, 330 años protegiendo nuestro
territorio biodiverso, 330 años resistiendo a la esclavitud, a la guerra,
330 años protegiendo un patrimonio de la humanidad para que otros no lo
vuelvan mercancía para el TLC. 330 años no parece importarle en absoluto al
gobierno colombiano, mucho menos la vida de los 19.000 afronayeros y
afronayeras que hoy habitamos y seguiremos haciéndolo en el Territorio del


Arrancó firmatón contra El Quimbo


En cumplimiento de una de las decisiones de la Asamblea General de la Asociación de Afectados por la construcción del Proyecto El Quimbo, realizada en el Poblado de Rioloro Gigante el 16 de enero de 2010, se inició, el pasado 13 de febrero, el proceso de recolección de firmas para solicitar al Alcalde y a los Concejales del Municipio de El gigante “se convoque a todos los habitantes del municipio para que se pronuncien, de conformidad con los procedimientos previstos en la Ley 134 de 1993, sobre la urgencia de impedir la construcción del proyecto Hidroeléctrico El Quimbo en el territorio de El Gigante”

El viernes 12 de Febrero, por iniciativa del Concejal Rolando Botello, se realizó una reunión con la mayoría de los Concejales del Municipio, donde Plataforma Sur de Organizaciones Sociales explicó los alcances de la iniciativa de la Acción Popular e invitó a los integrantes del Concejo Municipal a apoyarla en defensa del territorio y sus comunidades.

El lanzamiento de la iniciativa se realizó el 13 de febrero con la participación de representantes de los corregimientos, juntas de Acción Comunal, Asoquimbo, concejales, miembros de la Asociación de Cacaoteros, entre otros, después de compartir el video: “El Quimbo no es una realidad” que fue enviado a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.

Plataforma sur, expresa su reconocimiento a todas las personas que se han comprometido con tan importante iniciativa y convoca a todos los huilenses a rechazar las pretensiones del Gobierno y de Emgesa de modificar las obligaciones sociales y ambientales consignadas en la Licencia Ambiental para favorecer los intereses de las multinacionales ENEL (Italiana) y Endesa Emgesa.

jueves, febrero 04, 2010


A continuaciòn encontrarà el Link del video EL QUIMBO NO ES UNA REALIDAD, Nùmeros 01,02,03,04,05,06,07 que deberà ir marcando independiente y secuencialmente porque ocurre en algunos casos que al terminar cada uno se presentan interferencias con otros videos que no hacen parte de nuestra narrativa. LA CLAVE ESTÀ EN EL ENCABEZAMIENTO "EL QUIMBO NO ES UNA REALIDAD" Y EL NUMERO RESPECTIVO.
Este video es producto del proceso de resistencia por la defensa del territorio y las comunidades afectadas por el proyecto hidroelèctrico El Quimbo concesionado por el Gobierno Colombiano a la transnacional Endesa Emgesa que hoy controla la Italiana ENEL. Hace parte de la Sistematizaciòn El Quimbo: ¿Crecimiento o Desarrollo Ecosocial? elaborada por el profesor Miller Dussàn C. y publicada en (ver documento adjunto) El video de caràcter testimonial pretende convocar la màs amplia movilizaciòn contra el megaproyecto El Quimbo, por una Reserva Campesina Agroalimentaria subsidiada por el Estado y solicitar a la Comisiòn Interamericana de Derechos Humanos envìe de inmediato una Misiòn Especial para que se ocupe de la afectaciòn de los derechos humanos y ambientales que hoy se vive en la Regiòn. Esperamos sea divuldado ampliamente.

Las Comunidades Afro-Colombianas piden al Presidente Uribe reunirse para discutir la situacion de seguriad en sus territorios

Afrocolombia, Territorio Región del Pacifico, Pacifico Sur, 1 de Febrero de

Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Presidente de la Republica de Colombia.

Señor presidente

En los últimos días hemos denunciado el asesinato de los líderes del Consejo
Comunitario de Manglares en el rio Micay Milton Grueso Torres y José Félix
Orejuela- líder sobresalientes del Consejo. Como consecuencia de estos
asesinatos, varios líderes comunitarios se han desplazado y salido de la
zona, lo que constituye un duro golpe para las dinámicas organizativas de
nuestras comunidades.

Simultáneamente con esta situación, hemos denunciado igualmente las
fumigaciones indiscriminadas en los ríos Guapi, Guajui, Napi y San Francisco
que desde el 5 de enero se adelantan y que además de destruir el pan coger
de las comunidades, contaminar la aguas para consumo y uso humano, han
causado desplazamiento forzado hacia la cabecera municipal de Guapi. Estos
desplazados no han recibido ningún tipo de ayuda humanitaria por parte de
las instituciones del estado. Las fumigaciones también están ocurriendo en
el municipio de Timbiquí en los Territorios Colectivos de los Consejos
Comunitarios Negros Unidos, Renacer Negro, Negros en Acción, Parte Baja del
Saíja, Patía Norte San Bernardo y Parte alta sur del Saíja. En el Auto 005
del 2009, la Corte Constitucional ordeno al Gobierno Nacional un conjunto de
medidas para proteger a las Comunidades Negras del desplazamiento forzado
interno. En un año, ninguna de estas órdenes ha sido implementada,
en especial la que tiene que ver con la formulación e implementación de
planes de protección a nuestras comunidades. Además de incumplir con las
ordenes de la Corte Constitucional, el gobierno sigue adelantando acciones
en nuestros territorios que generan, como en este caso desplazamiento
forzado interno y ponen en grave riesgos los derechos y la vida de nuestras
comunidades y sus líderes.

En noviembre del 2008, nuestras organizaciones presentamos un documentos con
propuestas al Vicepresidente Francisco Santos, en una reunión efectuada en
Guapi, en la que además estuvo presente el congresista norteamericano
Gregory Meeks. En esa oportunidad acordamos con el Vicepresidente de la
Republica hacer una reunión para avanzar en la discusión de nuestras
propuestas y su implementación. Desde entonces como lo hemos reiterado en
varias oportunidades, hemos estado a la espera que esa reunión se concrete.
En junio del 2007, presentamos en el documento el Consenso de Cali, en el
marco del II Consejo Comunal Afrocolombianos una propuesta en igual sentido
al propio Presidente de la Republica. Desde entonces esperamos respuestas a
nuestras iniciativas. Apenas en estos días leíamos en la primera página de
el Periódico EL Tiempo, los anuncios del Gobierno Nacional sobre la
erradicación manual forzada en varios zonas del país, entre ellas, el
departamento de Nariño.

Estos anuncios contrastas con el poco interés en avanzar en la
implementación de unos acuerdos con voceros de comunidades que hemos
reiterado, que en la biodiversidad del Territorio Región del Pacifico ni "
Coca para fines ilícitos, ni palma" y puesto sobre la mesa nuestra voluntad
de avanzar en procesos autónomos de erradicación con el apoyo de la
institucionalidad y de la cooperación internacional.

Como fue planteado ya por vía telefónica y en conversación con varias
entidades del estado, estamos proponiendo una reunión entre el gobierno y
voceros de nuestras organizaciones y consejos comunitarios para que
acordemos las medidas de protección inmediata para las comunidades y sus
líderes, la implementación de las ordenes del auto 005 y el proceso que
conduzca a la erradicación autónoma por parte de las propias comunidades a
partir de alternativas de bienestar expuestas en diferentes planes
comunitarios y ambientales. Dadas nuestras circunstancias, esta reunión no
puede ser en la costa caucana, por ello proponemos que la reunión se realice
en la ciudad de Cali.

Teniendo en cuenta la gravedad de la situación esperamos una repuesta

De ustedes, en el espíritu de nuestros ancestros y ancestras

Asociación de Consejos Comunitarios de Timbiquí
Asociación para la defensa del Ambiente y nuestra Cultura Negra Asomanos
Consejo Comunitario Renacer Negro
Consejo Comunitario Patía Norte San Bernardo
Consejo Comunitario Parte Alta Sur del Saija
Consejo Comunitario Parte Baja del Saija
Consejo Comunitario Negros en Acción
Consejo Comunitario Negros Unidos
Consejo Comunitario Alto Guapi
Consejo Comunitario del Napi
Consejo Comunitario Guajui
Corporación Ancestros..
Cc. Corte Constitucional, Procuraduría General de la Nación, Defensor del
Pueblo, Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Comisión Interamericana de
Derechos Humanos, Dirección Acción Social, Programa Presidencial para los
Derechos Humanos, Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos.
Pueden Contactarnos en los correos electrónicos y teléfonos siguientes: , , , , 318, 3532475 , 3206811976
, 3204883295.

Asociacion de consejos comunitarios Timbiqui . Cauca. Cel: 3128253508.
Tel: 092 - 8403072. Fax: 092 - 8403043.

Dear Colleagues and Friends in solidarity with Afro-Colombian struggle,

In only two weeks, four Afro-Colombian leaders have been murder, and several
have been death threaten. Fumigations have caused the internal displacement
of more than 100 Afro-Colombians. The violation of Afro-Colombian
fundamental rights continued escalating. Effective and structural
measurements must be taken by Colombian government in order to guarantee the
safety and integrity of Afro-Colombians, and promote the respect an
observance of their rights. Read more (documents in Spanish and English) at

Stay alert to take action.

En solo dos semanas, cuatro lideres han sido asesinados y varios estan bajo
amenazas. Fumigaciones han causado el desplazamiento interno de mas de 100
familias. La violacion de los derechos fundamentales de los Afrocolombianos
continua escalando. El gobienro colombaino debe tomar medidas estructurales
effectivas que garanticen la seguridad en interidad de los Afrocolombianos y
promueva el respeto y aplicacion de sus derechos. Lea mas al resoecto (en
Español e ingles)

Permanezca alerta para tomar acciones.