( Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN volunteer translator)
ONIC Comuniqué 236
November 3, 2007
ONIC: 25 Years of Resistance!
The cross of the Awá people is heavier every day. The indigenous people who live in the reservations of La Cuchilla del Palmar and Maguí, live and fall caught in the crossfire.
In the Calvary that they confront day by day, the list of their members lost keeps growing, because of the three armed groups that are fighting over the Awá territory. In 2007 up to now, there are 27 Awá indigenous people of CAMAWARI who are abandoning the mother earth in the midst of Spring.
In a public communiqué of November 2, The Association of Traditional Indigenous Authorities (Asociación de Autoridades Tradicionales Indígenas Awá-CAMAWARI, denounce the fact that on the 24th of October the indigenous man Vicente Nastacuas was murdered by members of the Column Mariscal Antonio José of Sucre of the FARC, within the Maguí reservation.
According to family members’ versions, “this compañero was taken from his house by tricks and later killed; until now his cadaver has not received the required treatment, for fear of retaliations.”
It is worth pointing out that just like Vicente, on the 31st of August the Awá indigenous woman Esther Nastacuas was murdered by the same guerrilla column in the community of Quembi, in the Nulpe reservation in the Alto San Juan River district.
In the face of this true ethnocide of an ancestral people, we sound the alert one time more, we denounce one time more, we demand one time more that the Defensoría del Pueblo (the official human rights office) make know the Declaración Defensorial (Human Rights Declaration) which was shared with the public on August 10th, and which in its “whereas” clauses corroborates what is happening and continues to happen to the Awá people.
To the Colombian State and its government of “democratic security,” that they account for the permissive silence in the face of the ethnocide of the Awá people. To the FARC guerrilla army and the other armed actors, that they respect the unwavering decision of this and all the indigenous peoples of Colombia to respect their autonomy and self-government, and their thousand-year position of not participating in a conflict that is not ours, that our weapon is the word, to continue defending ancestral territories. Because…In the face of rifles—the word!
National Indigenous Organization of Colombia—ONIC