Our families are being exterminated!!
(Translated by Rich Henighan, a CSN volunteer translator)
The Great Bi-National Awa Family gathered in FCAE, UNIPA, CAMAWARI and ACIPAP
Bi-national Awa Indigenous Territory Columbia-Ecuador, Sept. 29, 2009
The Senior Awa Authority of Ricaurte (CAMAWARI), The Federation of Awa Communities of Ecuador (FCAE), The Unity of the Awa Peoples (UNIPA), and The Association of Native Authorities of the Awa of Putamayo (ACIPAP), together we join ourselves in the Great Awa Family and make the following statement before national and international public opinion about the worsening of the grave humanitarian crisis in which we are living for the last few years.
1. Since the start 2009, acts of violence in the territory of the AWA people have been increasing at the hands of the armed groups which operate in Columbia. The massacre of February 4, 2009 in which thirteen people were killed, among them men , women and children, in the Tribal Reserve of Tortugana Telembi in Barbacoas presents itself. A second massacre was reported on August 22, 2009 in the Tribal Reserve of Gran Rosario, Turnaco Municipality. Here twelve persons were killed (seven children, the smallest only six months old, two women, and three men) and three others remain gravely injured and are still recuperating. Since this massacre, three more comrades were assassinated. On Sept. 13, around 9 PM in the jurisdiction of Altaquer, Barbacoas Municipality, Mr. Luis Guanga, about 45 years of age, was murdered with a knife. On Sept. 15, around 3:30 PM, in the village of Llorente, Pianulpi gap, the 18 year old youth Jose Raul Guanga from the community of Boas de Imbapi in the Hojal la Turbia Reserve, municipality of Tumaco was killed by some armed men dressed as civilians, faces uncovered, who shot him seven times. At 7 PM he died in the local health outpost. Alerted by the calls of the community, the police applied first aide, but unfortunately, due to the lack of an ambulance he was not carried quickly enough to a secondary or tertiary care center. On September 16, at around 7 PM, Mr. Carlos Guillermo Pascal Nastucuas, 21 years of age, of the Kuambi Yaslambi Reserve was assassinated with a knife in the community of Altaquer, Barbacoas Municipality. Today, after so much tragedy and tears shed, we are seeing, very worried, how the murders continue. Piedra Verde Reserve, Barbacoas Municipality, September 23: Senora Mercedes Guanga was killed at 5 PM. Ten men in military garb forced her with her family (approximately fourteen people) into the house, they required money of them, money that they did not have. Then they shot Mercdes. As a result of this murder, her family has been displaced.
2. The list of victims of these killings now reaches to forty-one confirmed assassinations within the last year, events which have caused large displacements of people. With the massacre of Tortugana Telembi (UNIPA), there were approximately 400 people displaced; in Turnaco up to now, there remain 300 displaced. Between 2006 and 2009 UNIPA alone has recorded 2000 displaced persons. CAMAWARI has recorded 2000 displaced, of which 400 live in Ecuador. This number represents more or less the total Awa population in Ecuador.
In accord with universal human rights, we demand:
1. An urgent investigation, coordinated with the Awa People’s authorities, to insure that these deeds once again not remain unpunished, as continually happens in Columbia.
2. The total fulfillment of the Rights to Truth, Justice and Reparations for the victims of these deeds of violence described above.
3. The application of corrective measures insuring the protection of the Great Awa Family.
4. We reject the use of Awa territory by all the armed actors for the establishment of any military bases, influence, and occupation.
5. Finally we ratify once again our position of autonomous action apart from, and impartiality towards, all the armed actors.
6. We require concrete actions from the international community so that all acts of violence should cease. We include massacres, disappearances, threats, or threatening signs, displacements, individual and collective rapes, physical and psychological violence—all those violent deeds resulting from the armed social conflict which the Columbian people live under.
CAMAWARI : CABILDO MAYOR AWÁ DE RICAURTE (The Senior Awa Authority of Ricaurte)
FCAE :FEDERACIÓN DE CENTROS AWÁ DEL ECUADOR (The Federation of Awa Communities of Ecuador)
UNIPA : UNIDAD INDÍGENA DEL PUEBLO AWÁ (The Unity of the Awa People)
ACIPAP : ASOCIACIÓN DE CABILDOS INDÍGENAS DEL PUEBLO AWÁ DEL PUTUMAYO (The Association of Native Authorities of the Awa of Putamayo)
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621