Wayuu Prehearing in Cabo de la Vela
June 18 and 19:
Permanent Peoples' Tribunal
"Historic Extermination of the indigenous peoples of Colombia"
"SUCHII WAKUAIPA" – for our cause.
June 18 and 19, 2008 – Cabo de la Vela, Alta Guajira
In the framework of the process of examining the activities of multinational corporations, by means of a session of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal in Colombia (TPP, according to its Spanish acronym). The National Authority of the Indigenous Government of the ONIC (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia) and the Wayúu indigenous people, through its Painwashi, Aaciwasug, and Wayúu Women's Force organizations, as well as the indigenous communities of Cabo de la Vela, call their brother people, the Wayúu of Venezuela and Colombia, in addition to the Wiwa, Mokana, Zenú, Koggi, Chimila, Iku, Kamkuamo, and Yukpa indigenous peoples, and the social and grassroots organizations from Guajira and the rest of the country, to human rights organizations, international bodies, national, regional, and local authorities in La Guajira, Riohacha, Uribía, and Sur de la Guajira, and national and international solidarity groups, to join with and support the defense of natural resources, lands, and indigenous cultures in Colombia.
For the Wayúu people, the arrival of the grand megaprojects and transnational corporations to their lands has constituted a threat to their culture and their survival as a people, as of the arrival of the first coal-extracting transnational corporation in Wayúu territory, approximately in 1971, affecting the cultural, spiritual, territorial, and social interests of the people, causing a systematic and repeated violation of their rights, with negative and irreparable consequences, such as: militarization, recolonization of their lands, persecution and singling out of their leaders by security forces, and negative affects on public health with the arrival of unknown diseases.
As of 2001, the presence and maneuvering of paramilitary forces was proven in different parts of the Guajira department, with the support, tolerance, and complicity of the Colombian state; since 1993, many Wayúu families (250 members) have been victims of persecution, harassment, and death on behalf of the actions of security forces (national army), paramilitary and guerrilla structures, constituting the ethnocide of the Wayúu people in clear violation of international humanitarian law, and of the individual and collective rights of a people.
"As the Wayúu people we have millennial rights that are recognized in the political constitution and in international agreements, and we also have, as a people, the duty to defend our lands to guarantee to our future generations the just conditions to guarantee our continuance as a people, demanding from the state the fulfillment of article 7 of the constitution and agreement 169 of the International Labor Organization, and other national and international treaties which guarantee the promotion, protection, and defense of the rights of indigenous peoples in our country."
"We as the Wayúu people can not allow the cultural death of our ethnic group, when little by little they take away our ancestral lands, involving us in the armed conflict that this country is currently living, plundering in an indiscriminate manner the Wounmainka (our land). With grand megaprojects like the Cerrejón mines, transnational gas pipeline, anti-oxidant lagoons to clean raw materials, the Jepirrachi and Joutai project, and giving titles of indigenous land to corporations and others unconnected to our people."
Because of this, the National Authority of the Indigenous Government of the ONIC (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia), and members of several local organizations of the Wayúu people, invite you to join us for the preliminary Wayúu hearing, which will be carried out on June 18 and 19, 2008, in Cabo de la Vela – Alta Guajira.
For more information, contact Adriana Metaute of ONIC at 2842168 – 3103742936, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Locally: with Anastasio Ezpeleta 3103693520 - Izaida Pino 3167416961.
We ask participants to bring utensils (plate, spoon), and a chair.
Luis Evelis Andrade
Senior Director, ONIC
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621