( Translated by Thomas Kolar, a CSN volunteer translator)

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Communications ONIC
Wednesday April 11, 2007
"a massacre announced"…we the dead call for justice so that there be no repeat of the history that we live.
     Six years ago on a day like today, 11 April 2001, a paramilitary group of more than one hundred men committed an atrocity in the region of Alto Rio Naya…because of the territorial dispute of the armed actors the result was more than one hundred dead in a massacre which also left more than a thousand displaced and more than sixty disappeared and unaccounted for.
     As we prepare for the regional assembly in Cauca leading to the National Assembly of Victims belonging to Social Organizations that will occur at the end of April (with the presence of more than sixty conflict victims from varying parts of Cauca that was convoked by the social organizations that are engaged with the assembly and with the national process) the Archbishop of Popayan and the University of Cauca will accompany a caravan of victims to the community of Naya situated by Lake Timbro to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the massacre.
     "The community of Lake Timbro has prepared a place designated as a memorial for the victims of the conflict in Cauca" -indicated indigenous authorities of the CRIC.
     Six years after the atrocity that moved the whole country, the population of campesinos, indigenous, and Afro-Colombians of the Naya River continues renewing its peaceful living with hope intact.
     Although it seems there remains nothing but death, threats, and destruction, that is not the case. Still the collective well-being is threatened from outside by forces whose strategy of war silently uses the hand of terror to silence the voices that speak for the people.
         The valley of the river Naya, better known as the Region of Naya, is located between the departments of Cauca and Valle, bordered on the east by the hills of San Vicente(3,000 m.s.n.m.) and Naya(2,650 m.s.n.m.) upon the Occidental Range; on the west by the Pacific Ocean; to the north by the rivers Naya and San Juan de Micay. It comprises an area of 170,000 hectars under the jurisdiction of the Municipalities of Buenaventura in the Department of Valle and Lopez de Micay and Buenos Aires in the Department of Cauca.
     Naya is a region where one finds all the problems that characterize the country. It is populated by three different socio-cultural groups (tenant farmers, blacks, and indigenous) who for various economic reasons have lost much of their land in recent decades. Many Afro-Colombian and indigenous farmers have no legal title to the lands that they have ancestrally held. In the last decade the upper reaches of the Naya has seen an influx of persons coming to grow coca.
     Because of its geographic location and enormous biodiversity in all temperature levels,-the western crest of the Occidental Range to the Pacific-explains the richness of minerals and the potential for agriculture and the growth of ilicit crops, this has become a strategic territory for Colombians and foreigners, for guerrillas (FARC and ELN) aand for paramilitaries (AUC). Thus, territorial disputes of paramilitary groups led to the massacre in 2001 that cost the life of more than one hundred and the displacement of more than a thousand.

Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI  53701-1505
phone:  (608) 257-8753
fax:  (608) 255-6621
e-mail:  csn@igc.org

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