Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

Wednesday, August 23 de 2017
 

Curvaradó

Action for dignity in the face of the government’s failure to follow through.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Caño Manso Humanitarian Zone in Curvaradó sent a letter to the Interior Minister, the Vice President, and the Ombudsman, telling them about the actions for dignity in the territory in the face of the government’s failure to follow through on its commitments to the families and communities in the Curvaradó Basin.

Caño Manso Humanitarian Zone, Curvaradó, September 20, 2013.

AURELIO IRAGORRI VALENCIA Interior Minister

ANGELINO GARZÓN Vice President of the Republic of Colombia

JORGE ARMANDO OTÁLORA National Ombudsman

On July 13, 2012, we carried out an action for dignity, which was not supported by the government, but which received solidarity from many people around the world.
After our legitimate, peaceful action, for our lives and territory, for the dignity of our territory, the businessmen stated, lacking any truth, that the community had “kidnapped” ten workers. Because of this, members of the government came to Caño Manso on July 15, 2012. Present were Colonel Mejía (the police commander), the attorney general, and the inspector general, these last two from the municipality of Apartadó. But with these persons there was no agreement made to carry out the orders of the Constitutional Court.

On July 17, 2012, a delegation from the top level of government came to give a solution to us as the ancestral population and owners of the territory that we are. The delegation was made up of Colonel Vallejos from the army, Sergeant Buitrago and Colonel Mejía from the police, Beatriz Acosta and María Paula Ordoñez. In this visit, an agreement was reached between the community and the businessmen. On the part of the community, we made a commitment not to carry out any actions as long as the government carried out its commitments. On their part, the businessmen made a commitment to not continue working in our territory, to not bring in more people, and to not occupy the territory with cattle.

On April 9, 2013, the inspector Guillermo Padilla came to make a verification in order to carry out the eviction of the businessmen. The official told the community that he had informed the administrator of the Mayoría, i.e. the big house on the bad-faith occupiers’ plantation, that he gave them between 15 and 20 days to leave, that if they did not do it, he would take other measures, such as bringing machinery to destroy the big house.

Eight days after the inspector’s visit, the cattle businessmen, instead of removing the cattle, began bringing in buffalos and more cattle that have caused incalculable damage to our territory and to our subsistence crops.

Since August 19, they have brought in a blue tractor with gondolas carrying wire for an electric fence and posts for the wire. They also brought in solar panels.

The new administrator Narciso Escobar Diaz, who arrived a month ago to replace the administrator Holmedo, has brought in outsiders to live in the big house and work in the territory.

On August 20, six workers and the administrator Narciso started to install an enclosure with the posts and electric fence wire. The fence is one hundred meters from our Humanitarian Zone. The fence installation has been completed on three hectares and is continuing to expand.

We are aware that the legal representative of Pedeguita and Mancilla, Dominico Palacios, is dividing up land in the Bijao Onofre zone for repopulators brought in by the businessmen.

Mr. Andrés Medrano, an original resident of Caño Manso, who lives in our Humanitarian Zone and is also an original owner of land in Bijao Onofre, found on the wall of his house in Bijao Onofre a sign saying, “Leave because we need the farm.”
Added to this situation in which we live in the territory is the fact that our community and fourteen more communities in our Curvaradó Basin have been excluded from our right to participate in the committee that decides who has the right to voice and vote in the assembly that elects the legal representative in the territory. Consequently, we fear that the representation will remain in the hands of persons close to businessmen such as Molano, as happened in May 2010 when the Constitutional Court prevented the Uribe administration from handing over the land to the illegitimate representative Germán Marmolejo, who was placed in that position with the backing of businessmen like Colonel Molano.

For the above reasons and in view of the failure of the government and businessmen to implement the court orders, we have taken the decision to carry out a new action for dignity in our territory starting on Monday, October 1, to prevent the cattle from destroying our crops and from continuing to destroy our territory.
We hope that, beginning today, the national government and the State will guarantee our right to life while we carry forward the work of modifying the biodiversity zones and the humanitarian zone affected by the business occupation.

RESIDENTS OF THE CAÑO MANSO CURVARADÓ HUMANITARIAN ZONE

cc:

Constitutional Court section for following up on the orders concerning Curvaradó and

Jiguamiandó

United Nations

Inter-American Human Rights Commission

Christian Aid

Witness for Peace

Justice and Peace Commission

 
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