Communication to the Public, the Social Organizations and State Institutions from El Movimiento Campesino de Cajibio

Translated by: Emily Schmitz
Edited by: Nora Walker

The Cajibio movement, led by local farmers, which has been organizing Cajibio communities in the department of Cauca for the past twenty years, manifests:

1. A profound concern for what has been happening in the Los Naranjos farm, located in the Pajosa settlement in Cajibio, where local farmers and indigenous are fighting for their lands and the earth.
2. The situation in which the Cajibio communities live today as a result of land shortages; each family has, on average, 1.4 hectares and 890 families which are reported as in need of land. These problems have been amplified by the presence of the multinational Smurfit Kappa, Colombian Cardboard, which owns large extensions of land dedicated to pine and eucalyptus plantation, and the production and cultivation of illicit and mono crops; factors which affect food sovereignty, the conservation of natural resources and the economy of the region – fundamental principals for conditions which allow for a dignified way of living.
3. Our organization recognizes the right of farming, indigenous, Afrocolombian and urban communities to defend their lands. We understand and value the history of community organization, struggle and mobilization that farming communities in Cajibio have developed over the years.
4. We do not agree with State policies regarding land; they are unjust due to the manner that State institutions have mismanaged land divisions in communities and they have not guaranteed access to land to those with the greatest need.

We call the Cauca social movement as well as the rest of the country to:

1. Recognize the roots and history of the Cajibio farmer communities in this region; their work and struggle has given life and contributed to the development of this municipality.
2. Not allow for the division of communities by State policy and denounce the malicious treatment of lands by institutions such as INCODER, which, alongside the State, have divided communities and institutionalized land guaranty for farmers, indigenous, afro-Colombians and urban populations.
3. Create space for policy debate and for the collective construction of destructive agrarian policy such as coordinating mobilization actions towards demanding the rights of our communities.

We demand that:

The government of the Cajibio Municipality organizes communities towards the construction of land policy for the Municipality that will guarantee the right to ownership and land use.
Local, Departmental and National State institutions assume responsibility for conflicts and listen to communities; take their suggestions into account to allow for a real commitment to just and fair land management and transparent policies that guarantee the right of communities to their land.
We claim that INCODER is responsible for this situation of conflict between farming communities and indigenous for land policy mismanagement in Cauca, for not acknowledging communities and organizations in decision making processes and for not taking institutional responsibility during moments of conflict. We require that National Authority, with the power of decision-making, be present in Cajibio in order to help find a solution to land problems there.

June 21, 2012, Cajibio

Author: El Movimiento campesino de Cajibio
Location: Cajibio
Date Published: June 21, 2012
Source: El Movimiento campesino de Cajibio

(This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.)

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