A declaration, made as part of the Second Mission in Support of the Kankuamo Indigenous People of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, condemns the repeated violations of international humanitarian laws by the Colombian ‘public forces’ (a term that envelopes the country’s army, navy, air force, and national police force) that have been proven to occur within the Kankuamo reserve. The
After visiting the Atanquez, Chemesquemena, Guatapurí and La Mina communities, and following meetings with local spiritual and institutional indigenous authorities, the
As a result of a meeting between the Mission and the municipal authorities of Valledupar and the Cesar provinces, the following agreements were reached and taken on board by the Provincial Administration: the relocation of the troops situated on sacred sites and areas protected by international humanitarian laws, such as schools and medical centres; and to respect of the rights of the indigenous authorities of the four Sierra Nevada communities to prior consultation and endorsement in the face of any intervention in their territories, especially with regard to the construction of the Besotes dam.
Additionally, there was a commitment made to advance arrangements with the municipal government to eliminate the Corregidurías of the Kankuamo reserve, as these interfere with the autonomy and strengthening of its own government; and to bring forward negotiations with the Colombian Institute of Family Wellbeing (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar or ICBF) to adjust the evaluation and operation systems of the community children’s centres to traditional practices, as well as improving the economic conditions of the community centres’ women workers.
The secretary of the provincial government has also made a commitment to guarantee all the participants of the Mission, as well as their team of reporters, entry into the Valledupar Judicial Prison in order to investigate the situation of the Kankuamo men and women unlawfully, and in some cases arbitrarily, detained; victims of unjustified court orders.
The NGOs, and the political, social and unionist organisations participating in this
First published in http://www.adital.com.br
Translated by UpsideDownWorld.org translator, Rachel Eckersley