Letter from Cuvarado to Reconciliation Commission
Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN volunteer translator)
September 6, 2009
Humanitarian Zone of Caracoli
Mr. Eduardo Pizarro León Gómez
Director, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission
We have learned that the Reparation and Reconciliation Commission intends to develop the work of the Commission on Historical Memory with our communities and in our territory. To do this you have been sending letters and establishing relations with members of the superior council of the Río Curvaradó watershed. It has been said that you are hoping that we will participate in the search for truth, justice and reparation, as well as administrative reparation, strengthening of our organizations and recognition of the victims “if there are any.”
We know that mister Camilo Villamizar will be in Río Sucio between the 15th and 17th of September; one of those days he will go to Carmen del Darién to meet with the authorities of the area.
Through this open letter, we wish to make our position known with respect to the Reparation and Reconciliation Commission, which you head, in relation to our communities of the Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó watersheds, which form part of the Humanitarian Zones and Biodiversity Zones.
- No one has been authorized by us in the Curvaradó watershed to establish contact or reach agreements with the National Reparation and Reconciliation Commission.
- The Reparation and Reconciliation Commission does not recognize the decision we made as part of the Movement of Victims of State Crimes to not be part of the mechanisms created under Law 975, in which there is no recognition of the creation of the paramilitary forces as part pf the strategy of the State. In the midst of the armed conflict, we have been victims of the paramilitaries; we have suffered 15 displacements, more than 140 murders, documented forced displacements, sacking, environmental destruction, loss of land and fraudulent mechanisms to avoid returning the land; the XV and XVII Brigades are there, and they have had support from the levels of highly placed generals.
- Mister Eduardo Pizarro León Gómez, on different occasions we have said that the reason for not returning the land is to divide the communities, in a previous communiqué en which we denounced this and gave the lie to it.
You have not served truth, and have hidden from the eyes of humanity that what has been created here is a model of agrarian counter-reform, a model for the destruction of our identity and of human life, and that military officers, business people and high-level commanders and politicians are behind this.
- The Reparation and Reconciliation Commission refuses to see that we come to it seeking real truth , justice and reparation within an international system before the injustice of the Colombian justice system that has not responded to the demand for justice.
- The government of which you are a part has wanted not to recognize our right to seek mechanisms of protection such as the Humanitarian Zones and Biodiversity Zones, accuses us of being guerrillas, all in order to develop infrastructure projects and agro-businesses that assault our biodiversity and our nutrition, our education, our health.
- Through its intervention, the government forgets that the people responsible for the crimes, and the beneficiaries of the crimes continue operating here; they threaten us, they kill us, the pressure us. How can the truth be constructed under these conditions? We have read things written by members of the Historical memory Commission and we do not understand, we do not comprehend how it can be, knowing their qualities, serving in that role, that they do not want, nor do they believe, to crate a false reality about our country, since although they are not part of the government, their actions give legitimacy to the government.
- As part of the Movement of Victim of State Crimes, we have opposed mechanisms like extradition, like the Law of Victims because it does not recognize the truth and the history we have lived through. As part of the Movement, we have gone to the Ethics Commission; there for a year and a half, we have demonstrated the mechanisms of impunity, we have provided proofs and testimonies, they have come to out territory to corroborate what we say, our memory is deposited there until conditions exist for life, for free expression, and this truth will be delivered to a Truth Commission. We feel obliged to reiterate once again our opposition to participating en spaces called for by the Reparation and Reconciliation Commission.
We demand respect for our decision, that there be a true return of our territory in the least possible time.
We are victims of human rights violations, of the illegal appropriation of our territory and of the failure by the government to return it. We are victims of impunity, which allow the threats against our lives and the lives of those who accompany us, and the use of the land and our territory by the business people who are the beneficiaries of paramilitarism.
We sk you, Mister Pizarro, to share this letter with the members of the historical Commission, and we invite them to join the efforts of the victims, to join the Movement of Victims of State Crimes, that they recognize the Ethics Commission and thence provide the truth that Colombia needs to have democracy. This includes decisions about life, including resigning, coming here, to see what we are living through here, what we are, what we have been and what we dream, because the truth is here, with proofs and witnesses.
The Association of Humanitarian Zones and Biodiversity Zones of Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621