(Translated by Peter Lenny, a CSN volunteer translator)

Urgent Request to the Inter-American Human Rights Court
[14 October 2008] [Author: Tejido de Defensa de la Vida – ACIN] <>
The letter is to request protection for the peaceful protest we are making in Cauca in view of the disproportionate use of force by the Colombian State.

Santander de Quilchao, 14 October 2008.
Mr. Santiago Cantón
Executive Secretary
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir,

The letter is to request protection for the peaceful protest we are making in Cauca in view of the disproportionate use of force by the Colombian State.
Since 12 October last we have put out this message, which defines the aim of our peaceful mobilisation:
1. We do not accept “Free Trade Treaties” like the one “negotiated”, behind closed doors and without consulting us, with the USA, Canada, the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and any other that pursues the same purpose of dispossessing us of our rights, cultures, knowledges and territories, exploiting the wealth and peoples and stealing the economic riches and capital in order to subordinate us. We want treaties between peoples, for peoples and for life, and not between masters against peoples and the Mother Earth that they are killing off with their greed.
2. We denounce, oppose and demand the repeal of the constitutional reforms and legislation for looting under which they are surrendering what is ours to private interests and consigning us to silence, to stupidity, to forced labour, to exclusion and to death. Many laws and reforms have already been implemented or are on the way. Among the worst of these are the Rural Statute, the Mining Code, the Water Laws and Water Plans, the Forest Law… We will struggle to have them repealed.
3. No more terror under Plan Colombia, Democratic Security and para-politics, which are infesting all our territories and sowing them with death and displacement on the false pretext of achieving their “social recuperation”. The world has to learn how the government of the USA and the US Army South Command are setting up Coordination Centres for Comprehensive Action, from where the are occupying territories to hand them over to transnational corporations using the resources of the peoples of both here and there. In such conditions, protesting is not a crime but an obligation which is being converted into a crime by those who fear freedom. The lords of war who use terror to steal and kill should leave. We want to judge, on our territory and according to our law, those who have turned us into victims by using the power of the State, the para-State and war, regardless of where the are from or what their discourses or purported justifications.
4. We demand compliance with the rules, agreements and conventions that are being systematically ignored. Not just Decree 982 of 1999 or the accords of the El Nilo Massacre of December 1991 and the Emperatriz accords of September 2005, but also Law 21 of 1991 and Convention 169 of the ILO. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should become law and be enforced. But we do not demand these things just as indigenous people. The Agrarian Mandate, trade union rights, public services, fundamental rights, women’s rights and their long and painful struggle:

5. Let us construct the Peoples’ Agenda. From a country with owners and no peoples to a country of peoples with no owners. Let us advance from our pain of 516 years of persecution and struggle without rest and commit ourselves to share and feel the pain of other peoples and other processes. This fabric or pain paves the way to replacing this illegitimate, rancid institutionality at the services of transnational capital by way of local bosses, for a Government of Popular Wisdom. Let us press ahead with the commitment we made in the “Visit for the country we want” and we propose that all of us – men and women – convene the National Peoples’ Congress as a creature whose birth is announced by this mobilisation, at which we will name the collective word to march it towards the new country that is possible and necessary. We will set out our calling to join with the achievements of the other peoples of Latin America towards an America of its Peoples.
To that, the State is responding with the disproportionate force of the regime to silence our words with bullets and repression. We are informed from María Piendamó that the community is surrounded by the Colombian National Army, and there are also armed civilians in the hills and around the highway, who are firing at the community. The repression is very heavy and, nonetheless, they have not managed to open up the highway where some 9,000 people are resisting the aggression.
To date, this outrage against the peaceful community in opposition has left the following wounded and arrested:

-Hermes Arbey Díaz de Huellas Caloto
– Mauricio Menza de Jambaló (wound in the forehead)
– Benjamín Ramos del Resguardo de Tálaga, Caldono (wounded in the left eye and with a projectile in the chest)
– Mariano Morano Dizú, President of the Communal Action Board, La Palma Pitayó (firearm wound to the head, with signs of cerebral decortication, transferred to Popayán)
– Enyi Ulcué de Pueblo Nuevo, Caldono (firearm wound in the left leg)
– N.N. Serious blow to the head
– John Freddy Piñacue, 16 years old (forehead wound from club)
– Mario Guetoto de Delicias (nose wound)
– Diomedes Quinto de San Andrés de Pisimbalá.Wound in the forehead.
– Joaquín Cotocué de San Andrés de Pisimbalá. Wound in the forehead.
– Milciades Tumbo de San Andrés de Pisimbilá.
– José Ferney Pardo de Inzá, Tierradentro.
– Adolfo Quitumbo Yatacue de Corinto
– Harold Cucuñame de Honduras. Zona Occidente
– Delio Quitumbo de Toribío. Wound in the left leg.
– Mario Huetoto.Del resguardo de Delicias, Buenos Aires. Wound  in the left eye.


Leonardo Chocué de Tierradentro
Eduardo Cotoina de Tierradentro
Pablo Dagua de Corinto

Note that, also this week, Nicolás Valencia Lemus and Celestino Rivera were murdered, and we have just been informed that yesterday, 13 October, at around 9:00 p.m., the 23 year old indigenous commune member, Cesar Hurtado Tróchez, belonging to Resguardo de Guadualito, was murdered. He was at home resting when 4 men arrived and riddled him with bullets.
At the time of closing this partial report, we received the information from people at the health centre in La María that more wounded have arrived, several with gunshot wounds, and helicopters are flying over the upper part of La María. This is a massacre!

Tejido de Defensa de la Vida
Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca
14 October 2008
10:50 a.m.

Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI  53701-1505
phone:  (608) 257-8753
fax:  (608) 255-6621

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.