Communiqué of the International Delegates at the 4th Ecological Ecumenical Movement, Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó

Christian Aid, kolko, Witness for Peace u.a. | 15.02.2012

Communiqué of the International Delegates Present at the 4th Ecological Ecumenical Movement, February 10-15th, 2012
Las Camelias Humanitarian Zone, 2-15-2012

The international organizations present at the 4th Ecological Ecumenical Movement, from Frebruary 10 to 15, 2012, in signing this document, verify that during the march we observed or heard testimony of the following:

-Pressure and threats from paramilitaries operating to benefit large businesses, and in coexistence with the public forces, are prevalently and presently affecting indigenous, afro-descendent and mestizo communities.
– Responsible for these pressures toward the communities is the ongoing vying for land, impeding its free use by the small-scale farmers who legally and collectively own it.
– In the indigenous reservation of Alto Guayabal, mining companies have carried out explorations without undertaking prior consultation of the indigenous Embera community, as required by law.
– Banana companies have surveyed the land with the purpose of implementing banana and plantain crops for intensive agriculture, without the permission of the community.
– A years-old obstruction in the Jiguamiandó River remains unblocked, despite a ruling by the Superior Court of Chocó that called for its dragging given the harm it causes to arable lands and forest, as well as to transport.
-Coca crops in the communal territory of Santa Rosa de Limón as well as in the collective territories of Jiguamiandó y Curvaradó were introduced against the will of the communities and threaten their safety and rights to their lands.
-Difficulties persist at military check-points for the communities in transporting food goods and gasoline destined for ordinary use within the Humanitarian and Biodiversity Zones.
As international delegates on the march and witnesses to these issues, we affirm our solidarity with the communities visited (the Humanitarian Zones of Caño Claro- Andalucía, Nueva Esperanza, Pueblo Nuevo, and Las Camelias, the Biodiversity Zone of Santa Rosa del Limón, and the Humanitarian Environmental Reservation SO BIA DRUA Alto Guayabal Coredocito). We support the demands and proposals for action of the communities, annexed to this communiqué.
Given our observations, we feel strongly that land restitution in Colombia be executed with guarantees of safety and with respect for the rights of small-scale farmers to determine their own crops, with the support necessary to prosper.

Signed:

Christian Aid, Great Britain and Ireland
Kolko- Human Rights for Colombia, Germany
The International Ethics Commission
The School of the Americas Watch, United States
Witness for Peace, United States

In Curbaradó, Jiguamiandó and Santa Rosa de El Limón, 200 delegates representing Colombian communities and organizations from Ecuador, England, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States have verified the perpetuation and reengineering of repression and territorial control affecting civilian communities in peaceful resistance to the armed conflict that surrounds them. Given the severity of the issues facing the communities – as confirmed by this international commission – a swift and effective response to the preoccupations outlined in the “FINAL Declaration of the 4th Ecological Ecumenical Movement MARCH BY 200 PARTICIPANTS FOR THE 15TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE “BLACK SEPTEMBER” AND “GENESIS” OPERATIONS, COMMANDED BY RITO ALEJO DEL RÍO” are warranted.

The communities propose:

1. That the Colombian state and multinationals respect the communities’ commitment to inhabit and exist on their territories, that they acknowledge their status as a civilian population in the midst of an environment of armed confrontation. This respect would be shown through the provision of protective measures, as well as through the upholding of their right to the protection and recovery of the biological and ecosystemic wealth of their territories.
2. That the Santos administration, as part of its discourse to tackle the “Black Hand”, should confront the criminal apparatus encroaching on the territories of Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó. This would mean taking on the land invaders brought in with the capital of banana companies, eradicating the illegally planted crops of large companies such as palm oil, plantain, and cassava as well as confronting the paramilitary apparatus behind the coca crops and laboratories that process coca leaf for cocaine production, permitted by the 17th military brigade.
3. That the Santos administration inform the communities comprehensively, transparently, and adequately about projects that it proposes to advance in their territories, as dictated by the National Constitution and its adoption of ILO Treaty 169, requiring that the rights of rural, black, and indigenous communities be protected and that they be openly consulted about projects.
4. That the Santos administration recognize that, for the people in their territories or those wishing to return to them, there have been no specific responses to their demands for protection, debts owed for internal resources or response to the demands of the international systems for protection. Leaders acting as representatives for the many in their communities denouncing violations of life and territory continue to present these aforementioned circumstances in government meetings.
5. A negotiated political exit to the internal armed conflict, by manner of a process in which the communities would participate, offering their specialized experience in peace-building in humanitarian zones, refuge zones, humanitarian reservations, spaces of temporary shelter, permanent assemblies, and meeting space. Inclusion necessitates the acknowledgement that their deliberate and constructive democracy-building benefits the communities’ access to healthy living circumstances, education, health care, truth, justice and holistic reparations, as well as to the protection of the natural wealth and ethnic identities particular to their territories
As such, they support the ongoing conversation protagonized by Colombians for Peace, the meeting at Barrancabermeja “Dialogue is the way” and Cali’s “People’s Congress,” as well as the initiatives made by COMOSOCOL and MOVICE. The communities are constructing humanitarian proposals and comprehensive peace. Peace does not stem from or depend on President Santos alone.
6. That Santos declare the memory houses and monuments of homage to the victims as National Monuments, and as patrimony of humanity. Also, that the Historical Truth Commission be consulted in the process, and their proposals, which have been constructed over many years with the International Ethics Commission (part of the Movement of Victims of State Crimes), be consulted and consented in the process.
7.Recognition of community proposed alternative development plans, given the historical exclusion of victims from development plans which favor national and multinational companies in the communities’ territories and compromise the sanctity of these sacred sites.
8.That participation in the Ecological Inter-Church movements to take place in Dabeiba and Cacarica in June and November 2012 be promoted.
9. That the movements of El Quimbo, Puerto Gaitán, La Jagua de Ibirico, Cajamarca, Sur de Bolívar, Magdalena Medio, upper, lower and mid Putumayo, La Guajira and el Cesar, and Santander, against the mining operations that deny the communities sovereignty and their sovereignty over their environment and ecosystems, be supported. They call for the mutual support and convergence of the victims of state crimes, war victims, victims of climate change, and victims of corporate projects, all of whom are denied rights to their territory.

Community Councils of the Humanitarian and Biodiversity Zones of Jiguamiandó y Curbaradó- Community Councils of Cacarica members of the Communities for Self-Determination, Life and Dignity for Cacarica –Cavida- Ullucos San Francisco Reservation Toribio –Cauca.- Victims Association of San Antonio Inzá –Sowers of Peace. – Displaced Families of Argelia –Cauca. – Victims Association of Riosucio –Clamores.- Life and Work Community la Balsita –Dabeiba Antioquia. -SO BIA DRUA Humanitarian Environmental Reservation –Alto Guayabal Coredocito. – Local Councils of Ibudó, Bidoquera –Ancadía-, Nuevo Cañaveral, Jaibia – Coredocito- and Alto Guayabal. – Community Council Santa Rosa de El limón –Vigía de Curbaradó. – New Union Community –Pedeguita y Mancilla. – Santa Rosa de Guayacán Humanitarian and Biodiversity Reservation of the Nonam of Bajo Calima – Comunidad Ceibito –Bajo Calima. – Crucero Community –Bajo Calima. – Youth United for the Wellbeing of Calima – Las Pavas Community- Community Council of Río Naya. – Agroecological Association Ester Cayapú – Trujillo –Valle. – Agroecological Association Koinonía – Trujillo Valle. – Agroecological Association of Relatives of Victims from Trujillo Valle. – Regional Nasa Council of Putumayo Kwe.Sx. – Small- Scale Farmer Reserve Zone of the Perla Amazónica. – Meta Civilian Community for Life and Peace