Jambalo: We continue meeting in Permanent Assembly to defend our land
March 3, 2009, by the Indigenous Authorities of Norte del Cauca
We re-affirm our position of autonomy in relation to all armed actors, whether legal or illegal. We reject the territorial occupation that disrupts the peaceful co-existence of our community and declare the armed actors and their sympathizers responsible for any situation of threat or death, abuse or harm to our leaders, authorities, and the community in general. Therefore, we will continue with the Minga* in defense of the land, life, and the autonomy of indigenous peoples.
IN THE JURISDICTION OF THE PERMANENT ASSEMBLY OF THE TERRITORY OF SAT TAMA KIWE JAMBALO CAUCA COLOMBIA AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH RESOLUTION NUMBER 002 OF FEBRUARY 26, 2009 (<http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=9596>)
We declare to the community, and to national and international human rights organizations, that:
1) As a result of the military occupation that we suffer in the interior of our lands and of the indigenous communities, the attacks and targeting by armed groups, whether they call themselves members of the national army, guerrillas, paramilitaries, or private drug trafficking groups, we continue to meet in Permanent Assembly for the defense of our lives and our land and the autonomy of the indigenous peoples.
2) We will continue with the Minga’s work of verification and evaluation in compliance with Resolution 002, approved by the authorities and the community of Jambalo, fortified by the Declaration of the second Minga of Thought of the Association of Indigenous Councils of the Norte del Cauca ACIN (<http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=9599>).
3) We again demand that the owners of “kitchens” or laboratories in our territory voluntarily leave the territory in three days time, counting from the signing and publication of this resolution.
4) The Minga reiterates that the communities’ autonomous activities will continue to expand in response to any disruption of territorial and communal integrity by any armed actor who appears on our land.
5) The guard booths on the access roads to the area and township of Jambalo be maintained, commanded by the indigenous guard, the town officials, and the community in general.
6) On March 2, the first day of the permanent assembly, the participants in the community assembly were divided into 11 commissions, in order to verify and evaluate the sites of the kitchens, laboratories, anti-personnel mines, boats, and armed groups. During the survey, explosives were discovered in some houses of community members, material for making explosives, camouflage uniforms, and a large laboratory for processing alkaloids remained.
7) When the commissions approached the site they were harassed with shots from the guerrillas, and from overhead, a plane from the Colombian Air Force. Supposed members of the army of the people EP also tried to burn the bus of the Indigenous Council of Jambalo. This action was prevented by the community.
8) A truth-finding commission from the People’s Advocacy office, accompanied by persons from Jambalo and some journalists, were detained by an armed group of the FARC in La Despensa, in the region of San Francisco, township of Toribio. They inspected the information that they carried from the Permanent Assembly, after which they let them go.
We continue with the struggle for territorial autonomy, even when faced with threats against the authorities, indigenous guard, and community leaders.
9) On March 3, the second day of the Minga, the assembly decided to continue with the verification of the territory, divided into three commissions and made their way toward the areas of Vitoyo, Loma Gruesa, and La Esperanza. On this survey, they discovered explosive artifacts, aluminum tubes, small laboratories in a rented house and a kitchen for processing alkaloids, which was partly dismantled by the community.
10) In the running of the Permanent Assembly, sabotage by people who don’t agree and those apathetic about the process continues.
11) In the continuing activity of the Permanent Assembly, the traditional authority of the Indigenous Council of Jambalo and the advisory council of the ACIN, convened an extraordinary ad hoc governing junta for March 4 in the municipality of La Esperanza in the area of Jambalo.
We re-affirm our position of autonomy before all legal and illegal armed actors. We reject the territorial occupation that disrupts the peaceful co-existence of the community and we hold the armed actors and their sympathizers responsible for any threats, deaths, abuses, and harm to our leaders, authorities, and the community in general. Therefore we continue with the Minga in defense of our territory, the life, and the autonomy of the indigenous peoples.
Network of Communication and Exterior Relations for Truth and Life
Association of Indigenous Councils of Norte del Cauca--ACIN
Telefax: 0928 - 290958 - 293999
Web: www.nasaacin.org <http://www.nasaacin.net>
Address: Calle 3 No. 7A-20
Santander de Quilichao Cauca -Colombia
* Minga, originally a Quechua term referring to work done collectively by members of a community, has come to refer to a political entity in Colombia made up of different marginalized groups (indigenous, women, workers etc.) fighting for their rights.