Source : Leader Ingá Community, Putumayo, Colombia
Published : Thursday, March 21, 2013
(Translated by Jack Laun, a CSN volunteer translator)
The following is a translation of the message by Taita Aureliano Garreta Chindoy, Vive President of OZIP, who is a leader of the Inga indigenous community in the Sibundoy Valley in Putumayo Department, in response to the closing of its proceedings by the MICI of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
Thank you, Dr. Lavadenz for sharing the information about the determinations which have been taken unilaterally by the IADB and INVIAS (the Colombian Government’s road construction agency: translator) in their rush to consolidate the IIRSA (Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of the South, a development plan to link South American economies through new transportation, energy and telecommunications projects: translator), by means of the construction of the piece of road running from San Francisco to Mocoa (variante San Francisco-Mocoa). This road is gong to affect the ethnic, socio-cultural, environmental and economic integrity of the INGA and KAMENTSA peoples of the Putumayo and the Colombian Amazon. This is a legacy which we will continue to defend for the preservation and the defense of the Amazon region as the World’s Natural Reserve of Humanity, the largest and most important environmental reserve, in accord with our views as indigenous peoples, and for the rest of the inhabitants of the world.
The above information (the decision to proceed with construction of the road: translator), corroborates the concern which high officials of the Government (in the Ministries of Interior, Mines and Energy, Environment, and Transportation) have shown. They have concluded that we indigenous peoples are an obstacle to development and therefore they seek desperately to make regulations concerning Prior Consultation (the Constitutional and legal requirement that the government conduct consultations with indigenous peoples before it undertakes projects which will affect indigenous lands and communities: translator) to facilitate the advance of the initiatives set forth in legislative measures, such as the development of mining and energy mega-projects and roadways through indigenous lands, among others.
From the foothills of the mountains of the Andean Amazon region, territory of our ancestors, which had a high cost to them confronting the Spanish Crown, to leave the cultural inheritance and the territory of our Chief Carlos Tamiaboy, today more than ever we show our resistance and roundly reject the undermining of our rights. Very soon we will be sharing an invitation to the Congress of the Indigenous Peoples of the Putumayo, where the MANDATE for the PRESERVATION, the DIGNITY and the DEFENSE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE PUTIMAYO AND THE COLOMBIAN AMAZON REGION will be established.
Aureliano Garreta Chindoy
Vice President, OZIP
Traditional Authority of the Inga Condagua Reservation (Resguardo)