Neither Dead nor Displaced from Cabildo Cerro Tijeras
(Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN volunteer translator)
Altamira, July 10, 2009
Yesterday the week ended that the Black Eagles had given as a deadline to the members of the Cerro Tijeras Cabildo [governing council—SC] in the department of Norte de Cauca to leave the area under pain of being murdered. While there had been massive demands and denunciations ventilated by different friendly organizations, during this week of uncertainty there has been no pronouncement nor a single government action to defend the lives of the threatened persons.
This is not the first time that we in Cauca raise an early warning about things that have happened to our communities and territories. However on NO occasion have we been listened to, and many of these barbarities have needed in massacres that could have been avoided. We accuse the government of complicity by omission in the slaughters that have brought such sorrow to the ancestral peoples of Colombia. Your passive attitude, your words that find no echo, and your indolent behavior convert you into a suspect of the highest order, “silence is a confession” our elders say.
Mister President, we do not want your words of condolence for our dead, we do not need your glittering promises with which you repair your silence, we want nothing from you; instead of your gifts we insist that you fulfill your constitutional duty to safeguard the life, honor and possessions of the Colombian people. The government’s silence has caused more death and sorrow that that caused by the guerrillas through their awful behavior.
In the face of such threats the community, fully supported their leaders that for no reason should they leave the region. If they want to murder them, they will have to do the same with the four thousand people registered in the Cabildo. We are not going to run away nor leave our territories in the face of the cowardice of the armed men. We are not going to allow multinational companies foreign to our country and inclined to wipe out everything in their path to come here on the basis of a false promise of development. We encourage everyone to join our angry voice in a strong song; let no one stay behind when it’s a question of life itself. Everyone must be converted into a reflective voice in the spaces in which they move. Let’s talks with our neighbors, with our pals, with our teachers, in the house with our people—let’s put the topic of life, of dignity, on the table; it’s time for us to begin to talk with our own words.
Threatened: Governor of the Cabildo ([Ms.] Melba Güetio), President of ASI (Enrique Güetio, under precautionary measures of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights because of the denunciations in the case of the massacre of Naya), Education Coordinator (Leandro Güetio, also under precautionary measures), President of the Junta de Acción Comunitaria [Community Action Board—SC] (Leonardo Güetio), Municipal Council Member of Suárez (Meraldiño Caviche), and members of the commune: Ismael Quina, Nelson Ulcué, Pedro Guamanga, Belarmino Cuetia, Floresmiro Cruz Coyo and Jaime Cuetia Cruz. Whatever happens to any one of these persons is the direct responsibility of the national government, by omission and permissiveness.
The community of Cerro Tijeras has understood that the threat is not limited to just these names, and that the entire indigenous collective there is threatened. Definitely, every time that someone tries to intimidate a citizen, it is all Colombia that is at risk.
Cabildo Indígena Cerro Tijeras [The Indigenous Council of Cerro Tijeras]
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621