Today, more than 60.000 people arrived in Cali. Even more arrived later. The sugar cane cutters, the Women’s Movement (Ruta Pacifica) and many mor delegations. Although tense and under threat, the Valle University campus seemed like a festival of colors. Music, hugs, tired faces, debates, huts and made-up "cambuches". Now, a few are deciding on behalf of the majority. The carry an enormous responsibility and task. They have earned the trust of the people, but also the obligtion to understand this momentous ocasion. However this might evolve, what has been achieved is a path, a decision to mov forward, to change the structure of oppression, to walk towards a path of dignity and freedom. We know that this decision has been made and it will happen. We will make it happen…
Colombia Review: The Minga Continues
Colombia Review is a project of Pueblos en Camino and La Chiva
Continuing our previous coverage <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/colombia-review-indigenous-uprising.html> of the popular and indigenous Minga underway in Colombia, we have compiled a number of articles, communiques and audio and video material for you. This is by no means exhaustive, as new developments are flooding our inboxes every day. Still, we hope this synthesis will help you to translate consciousness into action. We would like to acknowledge the writing and translations of Mario Murillo, who has been a formidable force in these past months, producing excellent analyses and up to the minute coverage of what has been going on in Cauca. Check out his blog for regular updates on the situation: http://www.mamaradio.blogspot.com <http://www.mamaradio.blogspot.com/> .
We cannot emphasize enough the need for continued international pressure in support of the Minga, especially as the horrible news of bombings in Bogota and the habitual ignorance of the Colombian press in covering the Minga serve to distract and distort what is truly a monumental step towards increasing people power in Colombia.
At the bottom of this edition, please read our call to action, where we propose that the Minga be transnational. Now is the time to think of ways in which we can break the divisions imposed by distance, false borders and supposedly different realities. The pain of the Minga is being put into action: the word is being walked. Can we share that pain and take it on as our own? Can we make all causes our own and articulate transnational responses to transnational problems? We must!
The Declaration of the Minga
No More Terror and Avarice: We propose a new path for the people for a new country <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/declaration-from-minga-of-people-la.html>
This important text is the Declaration of the Minga of the People, La Maria-Piendamo, Territory of Dialogue, Coexistence and Peace, a proposal for a new country. It speaks for itself.
12 October 2008
The Minga’s Agenda Advancing <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/mingas-agenda-advancing.html>
Uribe responds to the five point agenda of the popular and indigenous Minga. The Minga responds.
ACIN, translated by Mario A. Murillo, 20 October 2008
Pueblos en Camino: A Letter to Canadian Authorities on Cauca <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/letter-to-prime-minister-harper.html>
We strongly urge the Canadian government to call on President Uribe to cease violence immediately and support an International Commission to the region to monitor the situation. We also strongly urge the Canadian government to rethink its position on free trade with the Colombian government, which has demonstrated a complete disdain for the rights of Indigenous people and other groups, and has a long history of brutal human rights violations.
Pueblos en Camino Collective
La Chiva, Canada: Your Pain and Demands We Make Our Own <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/colombian-brothers-and-sisters-your.html>
We not only empathize with your demands for justice and the desperate situation you have faced in these last days, decades and centuries, imposed by so-called governments. We feel the sadness of your injured and dead. Your pain is ours, too. Your struggle is not only an indigenous struggle confined to Colombia. We have made this struggle ours, for it is one for life, peace and human dignity, values that transcend all false borders. [∑] Our victory will be the laughter of our children, in dignified peace and freedom.
La Chiva Collective, Canada, Canada-Colombia Project, 24 October 2008
International Federation of Human Rights: No More Murders of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia <http://www.colectivodeabogados.org/article.php3?id_article=1446>
The FIDH repudiates this disproportionate use of force and expresses its profound concern for the reports of armed civilians protected by the police shooting at the protestors from the mountainside, as well as for the acts of barbarity committed by members of ESMAD, which resulted gravely wounding an indigenous person with a machete. They had also left this person on the ground for several hours and impeded the arrival of ambulances to assist him.
FIDH, 18 October 2008
European Union Parlaimentarians’ Declaration <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/eu-parliamentarians-declaration-on.html>
A model for Canadian and US representatives?
Various MEPs, European Union
The Minga Continues: We are Neither, Nor Do We Condone, Terrorists <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/minga-continues-we-neither-are-nor-do.html>
We will defend ourselves with no arms other than our staffs of authority. We call on all social movements and peoples to mobilize, but to do it without arms, peacefully and towards the fulfilment of the objectives of the agenda. Those who use arms act expressly against the orientation and position of the process and the Minga, serving the regime the excuse it needs to attack.
ACIN, translated by La Chiva, 16 October 2008
Uribe, ¿por qué no te callas? <http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=8987>
Impresionante. El Presidente rodeado de la cúpula militar en el Palacio de Nariño. El General Naranjo vuelve a hablar con su característica convicción y fuerza. Estaban rectificando con supuesta valentía una mentira: la Policía sí disparó. Pero habría sido mejor que se callara a que rectificara una mentira con otras.
ACIN, Nasa-ACIN http://www.nasaacin.org <http://www.nasaacin.org/> , 23 de octubre 2008
La Otra Colombia <http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2008/10/24/index.php?section=opinion&article=028a1pol>
La Minga es el modo en que los de abajo han decidido "concertar la palabra y convertirla en camino". Es apenas el primer paso. Pero el que marca el rumbo y deja huella.
Raul Zibechi, La Jornada, 24 de octubre 2008
Who is Behind Today’s Six Bomb Blasts in Bogotá? <http://mamaradio.blogspot.com/2008/10/who-is-behind-todays-six-bomb-blasts-in.html%20>
The editorial writer for El Tiempo, (which just so happens to be owned by the Vice President’s family) tells us we should not come to any preconceived conclusions that ultimately play into the hands of terrorists by "planting uncertainty in the people," thereby destroying "the confidence the country has recuperated in its institutions." It is ironic that this so-called "confidence" in the country’s institutions comes amidst the troubling revelations at the DAS, the mass indigenous mobilizations in the south, and the ongoing Para-política scandal surrounding close allies of the president, a scandal that, for various reasons, seems to have been put on hold for the time being as the media focus on other unfolding crises.
Mario A. Murillo, MAMARadio <http://www.mamaradio.blogspot.com/> , 23 October 2008.
To Cut Down a Rebellion <http://www.killingtrain.com/node/657>
On the convergence of the sugarcane workers’ struggle and that of the indigenous of Northern Cauca∑ "Colombia’s movements continue to shoulder more than their fair burden against one of the most brutal regimes in the hemisphere. The regime can’t be allowed to drown out their story."
Justin Podur, Killing Train, 21 October 2008
Por que decidimos marchar a Cali y NO a Popayan <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/por-que-decidimos-marchar-cali.html>
La Minga de Resistencia Social y Comunitaria decidió marchar de La María (Piendamó-Cauca) hacia la ciudad de Cali. En ningún momento se pensó ir a Popayán, capital del departamento. Esa decisión tiene razones de gran peso político. La Minga tiene conciencia de que hoy ya no enfrentamos a la vieja clase terrateniente de Popayán. A ella la derrotamos en los años 80 del siglo pasado (s. XX) cuando empezamos a recuperar, de hecho, nuestro territorio.
Anonymous, La Maria-Piendamo, 21 de octubre 2008
Media Representations of Popular Mobilizations Ignore Movement’s Message <http://mamaradio.blogspot.com/2008/10/media-representations-of-popular.html>
This is an excellent article on the propaganda war waged by the Colombian mainstream media against the participants of the Minga. It would take a video broadcast by CNN to force Uribe to admit that the army had indeed fired on protesters (see the video by CNN’s Karl Penhaul below).
Mario A. Murillo, MAMARadio, 18 October 2008
Indigenous Colombians Begin 10,000-Strong March Against Uribe Government <http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/23/indigenous_colombians_begin_10_000_strong>
More than 10,000 indigenous Colombians have begun a protest march against President Alvaro Uribe. Marchers are protesting the militarization of their territories, the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the failure of Uribe’s administration to fulfill various accords with the indigenous communities. We speak to Rafael Coicué, an indigenous leader who lost sight in his left eye when he was assaulted by [ESMAD ˆ the Colombian Riot Police], and Mario Murillo, a US journalist and professor currently in Colombia.
Democracy Now!, 23 October 2008
Update from Cauca, Colombia: Indigenous resistance and state repression <http://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/download/29695/34338/50146/?url=http://www.radio4all.net:firstname.lastname@example.org/3632-1-caucaoct162008.mp3>
Colombian activist Manuel Rozental discusses the current situation in Cauca and outlines the five point popular and indigenous agenda proposed by the Minga
Interview by Dawn Paley, The Dominion <http://www.dominionpaper.ca/weblogs/dawn/2213> , 16 October 2008
CNN Exposes what the Colombian Press Could Not <http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/10/22/colombia.shooting.video/index.html#cnnSTCVideo>
Uribe was forced to respond to this specific report by CNN, showing what the ACIN has been proving all along. Still, with over 130 wounded and one dead, Uribe claimed that one member of the public forces had opened fired on the protesters. One bad apple?
Karl Penhaul reports for CNN, 22 October 2008
Rafael Coicue on CNN en espanol <http://mamaradio.blogspot.com/2008/10/rafael-coicu-on-cnn-en-espaol.html>
Long-time indigenous activist, Rafael Coicue, explains the situation in Cauca. Rafael was shot in the eye this past July 2008 by ESMAD, the Colombian riot squad, while passing by confrontations on his motorcycle, costing him vision in one of his eyes. This interview is in Spanish; however, for English content, please check out Rafael and Mario Murillo on Democracy Now! (above).
Uribe miente: pruebas contundentes <http://video.google.es/videoplay?docid=3246911261618368591&hl=es>
A pesar de que el presidente Álvaro Uribe insiste en que los pueblos indígenas somos terroristas y niega la brutal agresión de la fuerza pública contra la movilización de los pueblos, aquí están los hechos que demuestran todo lo contrario.
Video produced by ACIN, 22 de octubre 2008
Call for Action
THE MINGA MUST BE TRANSNATIONAL
You’ve read the communiqués, watched and listened to the videos and audio. You recognize the need for, and value of, international pressure in support of the popular and indigenous Minga of the Peoples and against the repression of the regime in Colombia. You recognize the complicity of the Canadian government by declaring the regime a close ally, negotiating a free trade agreement with no one’s consent but its own, and remaining silent while the regime massacres its own people. You want to do something about it.
As a first emergency step, we encourage you to write letters to your MPs, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Canadian Embassy in Bogota, and the Colombian Presidency telling them that you will not stand for it. "Not in our name," as they say. If you don’t feel you have the time to write a letter of your own, copy and paste or print off one of the letters above, and tell them you support it (The Pueblos en Camino Letter <http://canadacolombiaproject.blogspot.com/2008/10/letter-to-prime-minister-harper.html> is an excellent model, which you can also sign on to by sending an email to email@example.com).
This should take less than five minutes. Easy peasy!
Prime Minister’s Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Embassy in Bogota: email@example.com
Department of Foreign Affairs: 1-800-267-8376 (toll-free in Canada)
Canadian Embassy in Bogota: 011 (57 1) 657 9800
LET’S FAX IT TO THEM!
La Chiva is organizing a ‘fax action’ campaign directed at the targets identified below. This weekend, we will be sending all we can to these offices (and over and over again) to ensure that the Minga’s agenda is heard. We encourage you to join us!
Fax Action Targets
Canadian Embassy in Bogota: 011 (57 1) 657 9912
Prime Minister’s Office: 1 (613) 941 6900
Department of Foreign Affairs: 1 (613) 996 9709
Aside from this initial campaign, supporting the Minga is a process. The Minga is more than an indigenous proposal but one for all peoples. Everyone has their own particular part to play. Free trade agreements affect us all, as do the privatization of our healthcare system, the superficial nature of our democratic processes, the ‘flexibilization’ of our livelihoods, the conversion of all life into a commodity, the planet a wasteland. The same transnational ‘death project’ targeted by the Minga is in our cities, towns, schools, hospitals, and forests.
Given that (and more!), we propose that the Minga be transnational. Let’s get moving∑
Que todas las causas sean nuestras! Tod@s somos nasas!
La Chiva is a collective of people working in solidarity with Colombian and Canadian social movements and communities.
La Chiva is a collective of people working in solidarity with Colombian and Canadian social movements and communities.