Colombia: The Minga has a life of its own
Colombia in focus ⬿

Colombia: The Minga has a life of its own

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November 25, 2008

The Minga LIVES, may the MINGA LIVE! We call for a Colombia of the people without owners; all the wisdom, all the pain, all the experience, all the words, all our grandmothers and our memories guide us. We are going to live because we are forever tired of the pain, death and greed of those that continue to rob us of a life of peace.

The Popular and Indigenous Minga, which began more than six seeks ago in
La Maria, Cauca, came to a close yesterday in Bogota, Colombia’s capital and most populated city.

Of course, the Minga isn’t really over. In fact, it’s only just come to life, as Ezequiel Vitonás, a Nasa leader from Toribio, stated on Friday.

“The minga does not end here, the minga continues with its call, waking up the conscience of the people and uniting forces, sharing pains, walking the word without looking at borders nor limits. Because the hope for life transcends these physical spaces, and each and every one of us is responsible for taking care of and watching grow this little child that today is being born,” said Vitonás.

And so, while the mobilization ends, the minga becomes something greater. Something that cannot end with a word or with a kind gesture from the government.

It is now something that has “a life of its own,” as the Final Working Document of the Minga states. Something that, like every new born child, must be nurtured, protected, and encouraged so it can meet its full potential.

The Walk of Our Word: Colombia Will Walk the Minga!

An excerpt of the the Final Working Document from Minga. You can read the full version at

Today, November 21, 2008, the Social and Community Minga has a life of its own. But those of us who proposed it and continue to proclaim its points must share the work of raising it in its infancy, so that the Minga reaches its maturity, and begins to walk its own steps, which are the steps of each and every one of us.

With these words, we assume the simultaneous commitment, on the one hand, to protect the Minga, being a fundamental part of her, but on the other hand, to let her walk freely, so that she moves in the direction that all of us provide her. This is because she that was born here, she that wants to continue to live – that is, the Minga of the People – is much, much more than what we individually can offer her based on our own particular capacities. This is what makes us enthusiastic, but at the same time nervous. There is no simple way to carry out the Minga. This is the truth, and for us it is a tremendous challenge.

What were simply ideas, dreams and desires just a short while back are today concrete and immediate imperatives. The countless letters of solidarity, the many manifestations of support, the various interpretations of the minga, the perceived opportunities that have emerged, along with the many inherent contradictions, are now confronted by a demand for a concrete reality.

From the point of view of the Minga of the People, the hour of truth has arrived. We call on a conscientious mobilization and offer generously our capacities as a people to work to protect and promote the struggle for life and dignity in Colombia. Either we confront the established order, expose it for what it is, and resist it, or we act within that order, and thereby help consolidate it. The established social and political order will not change with the latest phase of our organizing and mobilization, which ends here today, after a long march over the past six weeks. However, this Minga of the People is meant to fundamentally change that order.

The principal challenge we face consists of us having the wisdom to share with the people the underlying sense of the Minga (that is, the five point agenda that we include here), and not sacrifice its overall purpose and fundamental objectives while we obtain some concrete gains in the process towards social transformation, towards unity and a comprehensive coordination of our peoples.

Today, from the Plaza Simón Bolívar, we proclaim and hand over the Minga to everyone in order to confront the development model that has been imposed on us by actors of greed. We take this action in order to knock down the laws that displace us from our lands, and rob us of our collective resources. We do this in order to establish resistance and solidarity as concrete mechanisms to defend us all from a state that has been hijacked, one that permanently persecutes us. We do this to make sure that the state keeps its word, one that has cost us in blood. We do this to weave a path where all of us stop being considered ‘nothing’ at the service of the very few, to convert us into creators of a society where justice, liberty and the defense of Mother Earth become realities and principles.

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