Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert
Colombia in focus ⬿

Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert

Support our journalism. Become a Patron!
John Ahni Schertow
August 12, 2008
 

On August 11 the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN) received a letter of terror, signed by the CEC (Campesinos Embejucados del Cauca, or ‘Furious Peasants of Cauca’), announcing that “at approximately 00:00 tonight, you will receive information regarding the murders at the hands of peasants of paHECES [excrement] and the ex-guerrilla heads of the CRIC, which will be confirmed by phone and a consequences of their disrespect.”

The Nasa communities believe the letter comes from landowners and paramilitaries working in collusion with the government; and they have a called a Maximum Alert, urging the Peoples and Popular Movements of the continent to support them. Here is the full text of the alert, as posted on Dominion News.

ALERT: CAMPAIGN OF TERROR BEGINS AGAINST INDIGENOUS NASA IN CAUCA, COLOMBIA

The following was translated to English by La Chiva:

11 August 2008

Earlier this afternoon, the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN) received the text of a threat by email, which we are attaching below for you to read. This letter of terror, signed by the CEC (Campesinos Embejucados del Cauca, or ‘Furious Peasants of Cauca’), announces that “at approximately 00:00 tonight, you will receive information regarding the murders at the hands of peasants of paHECES [1] and the ex-guerrilla heads of the CRIC, which will be confirmed by phone and a consequences of their disrespect.” In this threat, we are referred to as paHECES, or ‘excrement,’ exposing the racism of the author(s).

The 7-page threat states throughout its hateful and false content the decision to defame the indigenous process and the commencement of a campaign of terror and death. The context in which this letter has been sent is that of the parapolítica [2], with the clear collusion of the Colombian government:

The threats against the indigenous movement made by the President of the Republic, who has ordered the payment of rewards for the arrest of indigenous Senator Jesús Piñacué, who is mentioned in the threat;

The recent confession of the paramilitary member Orlando Villa Zapata, involved in the 1991 massacre in El Nilo [Cauca], that said massacre was planned in the Hacienda La Emperatriz in the presence of the landowners;

The recent spree of murders in Santander de Quilichao [Cauca] of 25 young people in one week and this past weekend’s massacre of ten people in El Tambo.

This letter is the culmination of a sharp increase in threats against indigenous leaders in Northern Cauca. This threat is also based on the unfounded declarations of General Jaime Esguerra, linking functionaries of the indigenous mayor’s office in Toribío with the 6th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The initial reading of this letter obliges us to make a call of MAXIMUM ALERT to Paez leaders and community members in Cauca as well as in the departments of Valle, Tolima, Putumayo and Huila and in the cities of Cali, Popayan and Bogota. All indications lead us to believe that this letter comes from the landowners and paramilitaries in collusion with their counterparts in the government.

We urgently call for national and international solidarity. Concerted actions in solidarity will allow us to uncover the origin of these threats in order to ensure that this criminal action will face justice. The web site of www.nasaacin.org has been blocked, and internet access at the ACIN’s Tejido de Comunicación y Relaciones Externas [Communication and External Relations Network] has been cut off.

This threat was not written by peasants. Its crude yet carefully elaborated language has allowed us to discern this with certainty. We reiterate our solidarity with the Afro-Colombians and peasants with whom we have united in our shared struggle for social justice, freedom and resistance against the power of the landowners, a power that attempts to condemn us to silence and flight from our lands through the use of terror.

We will not fall into the trap of hate that tries to divide us in order to maintain an order of injustice and poverty. For life, peace, and the Freedom of Mother Earth, we defend dignity and unity and call out to collectively reject the hate of these false peasants.

We call upon the National Indigenous and Popular Movement and all the peoples of the Continent to accompany us in these difficult moments in which power cannot learn to accept our historic struggle. WE WILL RESIST!

Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) [ comunicacionescric@gmail.com ]
Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN, Cxab Wala Kiwe)
Cauca, 11 August, 2008

PLEASE FIND THE TEXT OF THE ACTUAL THREAT AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
IN SPANISH: http://colombia.indymedia.org/news/2008/08/91354.php

We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

independent uncompromising indigenous
Except where otherwise noted, articles on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons License
IC is a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies (cwis.org), a 501C(3) based in the United States