Colombia: Black Communities in Cauca Peacefully Occupy Government Offices

Colombian Government Must Respect Agreements with Black Communities

The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) is monitoring the peaceful occupation of the Colombian Institute of Rural Development (INCODER) in Popayan, Cauca. Black community councils, social movements, and grass roots organizations organized under the Afro-Caucan Territorial Development Working Group decided to occupy the INCODER offices after the government failed to comply with agreements established at a meeting on October 8. The agreements with the government were intended to resolve long-standing land titling issues in Cauca.

The Working Group has presented a seven-point list of demands that includes issues related to territory; mining in Afro-descendant territories; the speedy purchase of prioritized and collectively titled lands; the implementation of Constitutional Court Order 005; and the development and implementation of a “good life” plan (plan de buen vivir) for Afro-Caucan communities. The Working Group’s first two statements regarding the peaceful occupation are included below.

ACSN believes that the government must comply with the October 8 agreements and ensure the safety of those participating in the peaceful protest. In order to do so, Viceminister Anibal Fernandez de Soto and other representatives of the Public Ministry listed in the statements below should participate in the dialogues with the Working Group in the INCODER offices of Popayan.

Please take action by contacting Viceminister Anibal Fernandez de Soto at or on twitter at @anibalfds and @IncoderColombia with the following message:

“We are following the peaceful occupation of the INCODER installations in Cauca. We hope that you will personally participate in the dialogues with the Afro-Caucan Territorial Development Working Group in order to ensure the participants’ security and that the agreements are implemented.”

For more information, please contact:

Charo Mina Rojas ( or Anthony Dest (

*The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) includes TransAfrica Forum (TAF), Global Rights, Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), U.S. Office on Colombia (USOC), International Working Group of PCN, Colombia Land Rights Monitor, and activists and scholars Joseph Jordan, Eunice Escobar, Naila Rosario, Tianna Paschel and Arturo Escobar. Peace Brigades International (PBI) serves as an international observer.