( Translated by Rolf Schoenborn, a CSN Volunteer translator)
REPORT No. 001
PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION BY THE INGA
AND KAMENTSA INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
The Inga and Kamentsa Indigenous Peoples staged a PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION in front of the Santiago, Putumayo, city hall at 11:00 a.m. on October 23, 2014, thereby signaling their continued struggle for autonomy and disapproval of and opposition to the Anglo-American Company plans, which involve exploratory drilling of four holes by diamond drill in the Municipality of Santiago. We the Inga and Kamentsa peoples reconfirm our resounding ‘NO’, which we and our governors had voiced on March 30, 2014, in regard to this project to be undertaken in the Municipality of Santiago by the Anglo-American Company. In the course of our protest, official letter Number 91, dated October, 17, 2014, was presented.
We respond with our Answer to the call for a Prior Consultation meeting in the workshop stage on analysis and identification of impacts and formulation of management measures with the San Andrès Colonial Reservation regarding the four-hole drilling project in the Municipality of Santiago.
Concerning the intervention of the Inga and Kamentsa peoples, the Alto Putumayo indigenous governors call on civil and church authorities, as well as on people in general, to stand up for their unanimous decision to say ‘NO’ to the ANGLO-AMERICAN PROJECT in the San Andrès Colonial Reservation and ‘NO’ to all other mining projects, because of the destructionn of the quality of life of all people in the Department of Putumayo, the Colombian Amazon and South America in general. It is our responsibility to safeguard the Right to water, air, and life of the children and following generations. The damages inflicted to the cosmo-environment would be irreparable.
This demonstration exposes the desinformation to be found on the internet, which seeks to stop the peaceful demonstration of our indigenous people. We also speak out against the meetings attended by ANGLO AMERICAN and Prior Consultation officials away from the San Andrès Inga reservation in order to deal with the ANGLO-AMERICAN four-hole diamond drilling project in the Municipality of Santiago. Although some people may not be in agreement with all of the decisions spelled out in our March 30, 2014 letter, we, the Governors of the indigenous people living in the CARLOS TAMIABIOY ancestral land, call on the people to be prepared to defend our children’s Right to life, water and air and also that of future generations.
We also denounce the fact that the people living in the Muchivioy district of Santiago are scared by mining companies into believing that the eruption of a volcano might be imminent; but the people have made it clear that they will defend the Right to their land and, if necessary, with their lives.
Mayor LILIAN MARITZA CHAMORRO JURADO (appointment issued as per Decree 144 of October 20, 2014) has indicated that she discovered that the meeting called for by the Interior Ministry has been canceled and she also expresses concern that the Mayor happens to be in Bogotà, in spite of the fact that it is important to come to an agreement with the community.
Municipal Clerk ALBENY SALAS RODRIGUEZ states on behalf of the municipal ombudsman that the Rights of the community must be guaranteed and in this particular case the Right to Prior Consultation, which is protected by the Colombian Constitution. This is a Right which is not to be infringed upon and therefore she intends to watch further developments closely.
Mayor TITO IVAN BARRERA will be addressing the demands made by the indigenous peoples.
In conclusion, the indigenous peoples in the ancestral Inga and Kamentsá territories headed by the Governors ratify the document, issued on March 30, 2014 and say NO to the ANGLO-AMERICAN project, not only for reasons put forward in this document but also because of the threat to the quality of life of all the peoples of the Colombian Amazon and all of South America. They also proclaim that they will defend their Fundamental Right to life with all that Mother Earth has to offer to them, and they will not allow any further damage to it.
In accordance with the foregoing, we sign this document on behalf of the people concerned on this day, the 23 of October 2014 at 1:35 p.m.
Hon. Edgar Alex Tisoy Tisoy
Taita Governor, Inga People Santiago
Hon. Lilian Chamorro
Mayor (Decree 144 of Oct. 20, 2014)
Hon. Antonio Cuatindioy
Taita Governor, Inga People San Andrès
Albeny Salas Rodriguez
Cipriano Chindoy Jacanamejoy
Governor, Sibundoy Kamentsá Council
José Getial Tisoy
Taita Governor, Inga People (Colon)
Segundo Silvestre Chindoy
Governor, Inga Kamentsá Council, San Francisco
San Pedro Inga Mama Governor