Indigenous peoples claiming their land denounce evictions in Urabá

(Translated by Ruolf Heller, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The evictions are being carried out by the Police’s Anti-Disturbances Mobile Force in the area of El Tigre in the Municipality of Chigorodó. Among the families who have returned there are 43 children.

Two indigenous leaders claiming their lands in the rural area of Chigorodó returned without any institutional support and arrived on Monday, February 15 at the offices of the Peoples’ Ombudsman in Apartadó, in Antioquia’s Urabá area, to report that their community is being forcefully evicted by ESMAD, the Police’s Anti-Disturbances Mobile Force.

The claimants stated that the police arrived in the area this morning and set up camp one kilometer from their dwellings. From that they announced that they would be evicted.

The indigenous group, made up of 73 people of the Emberá tribe, including 43 children and 16 women, returned to their longtime Guapá León home indicating that they got tired of waiting for their lands to be restored and because they had no way to subsist.

“We settled our lands in 1960. We need help, particularly because small children are involved. We want to work, and we have been displaced and also dispossessed. Our mother was murdered, buried and found at that location,” said Franio Domicó Bailarín.

Deyanira Domicó, their mother, was murdered in 1996 when the paramilitary forces first arrived in the area. The locals explained that the violence and murders of other family members led them to flee from the region.

Their lands, which were taken by cattle rancher Jaime Uribe, are now being held by Gregorio Uribe, his straw man.

It is situations like this one that led the Quibdó Judge of the First Civil Circuit Specializing in Land Restitution, on December 12, 2014, to order an end to all evictions in the Macondo, Blanquicet y 36 other areas near Turbo, in the area known as La Larga Tumaradó.

Although Guapá León is not within the area delimited by this ruling, it is important to state that in his decision, the judge recognized that the dwellers had returned without any institutional support. He also recognized that they were victims of evictions and dispossession and that they had a rightful claim to the land.

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