Monday, December 1, 2008

Comunidad Indígena Nasa rescata 7 secuestrados en Caldono

Folks,

This is an amazing story that once again shows the force of will and resistance of the Nasa communities of northern Cauca, as they struggle for autonomy in the midst of an ongoing invasion of their territories by so many illegitimate armed actors. As they point out in this missive (in Spanish) from the cabildos of Pioyá, Pitayó and Jambaló, come where the violence may come - be they the false positives of the Armed Forces or the kidnappings of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC - these armed groups are enemies of the people and are in direct opposition to the life plans of the communities.

This specific incident that occurred last week involved the kidnapping of seven indigenous people on the road between Silvia and Jambaló, including six members of the mayoralty of the municipality of Jambaló, and one member of the Ministry of Education, whose vehicle was intercepted last week by four heavily armed hooded men who identified themselves as being from the sixth front of FARC.

As the word spread throughout the community of the kidnappings, the authorities, together with the Indigenous Guard, la Guardia Indígena, mobilized to pursue the kidnappers and win the people's immediate release. The rescue operation was assisted by the local community radio station in Caldono, Pell Sxam “Pueblo de los Carrizales. Because of the location of the station, the announcers witnessed in which direction one of the groups of kidnappers had gone, notifying the people through the airwaves. The disciplined pressure of the community, from the Guardia to the many children who participated in the rescue, forced the guerillas to hand the people over to them, despite eyewitness accounts describing the guerillas firing into the air to push the people back in an act of intimidation.

These events demonstrate two things: that through militant non-violence and community resistance, and not through the violence of the state security forces, the people can indeed confront the intransigence of the guerillas head on and serve as a symbol to the rest of the country. The all-out military confrontation spearheaded by the Colombian government through its severely tainted "Democratic Security Strategy" does not and will not resolve the profound problems facing the country, of which the FARC are just one manifestation.

Secondly, the FARC, as a guerilla force, should immediately cease their armed operations, which only serve as an excuse for the current regime to carry out its own reign of terror in the communities. So many people have already said it, although the FARC leadership does not seem to be paying any attention. That this incident occurred in the wake of the massive six-week indigenous and popular minga that brought together tens of thousands of people from many different sectors throughout the country calling for a profound political and social transformation of Colombia demonstrates once more how little capacity the FARC has for popular mobilization, and how isolated they are from the reality on the ground. The real threat to the regime and the entire system comes from the indigenous movement and its allies.

I'll have more on these developments a bit later. For now, here is the press release in Spanish from Cauca. Share it with others if you can:

11/30/2008

Fuente: Cabildos

Autor: Cabildo Indígena de Pioyá, Cabildo Indígena de Pitayó (Silvia Cauca) y Cabildo Indígena de Jambaló

Foto Bajo el principio de la autonomía territorial los pueblos indígenas seguimos resistiendo ante los actores armados que nos agreden: o falsos positivos o secuestros, vengan de donde vengan son enemigos de nuestro plan de vida.

Comunicado a la opinión pública

El Cabildo Indígena de Pioyá comunica a la opinión pública nacional e internacional, que anoche la comunidad Nasa junto con la guardia indígena rescataron a 6 funcionarios públicos de la Alcaldía Municipal de Jambaló y una delegada del Ministerio de Educación, quienes fueron secuestrados por un grupo al margen de la Ley en el trayecto de la vía que comunica a Jambaló, Silvia y Popayán.

Luz Marina Quiguanás Tesorera, Emilse Muñoz Collo Asesora Financiera, Eumenia Orozco Rodríguez Contadora, Dora Jenny Bolaños Jefe de Presupuesto, Edwin Armando Embùs Asistente Jurídico, Hamwer Enrique Cuellar Profesional de Apoyo y Luisa Fernanda Fraile Tallerista de Corpoeducación, se movilizaban alrededor de las 6:00 pm en una camioneta Nissan doble cabina de placas CBX722 de Cali, de propiedad del señor Embús, cuando fueron interceptados a la altura de la vereda Ovejera, por 4 hombres encapuchados que portaban armas de largo y corto alcance, quienes se identificaron como miembros del Sexto Frente y de la Jacobo Arena de las Farc.

Luego de intimidarlos fueron conducidos hacia el Resguardo Indígena de Pioyá con el propósito de internarlos en la montaña. Una hora después, la comunidad jambalueña se percató de los hechos e inmediatamente se comunicó con las autoridades de los resguardos de Pitayó y Pioyá, que de manera ágil y oportuna iniciaron los operativos correspondientes en la zona para rescatar a los secuestrados.

Cuando los secuestradores se enteraron de la persecución por parte de la comunidad se vieron obligados a separarlos en dos grupos; tres subversivos se llevaron a la pareja Embús Muñoz y otro se llevó en el carro a los demás, esto sucedió cerca de la 9:00 pm. La comunidad continuó la persecución hasta acorralarlos, fue así como se vieron obligados a abandonados. “Llegaron los indios, llegó el Cabildo, mejor dejémoslos” dijeron los guerrilleros cuando sintieron a la comunidad cerca, aseguró Emilce Muñoz.

Mientras esto sucedía otro grupo de hombres, mujeres, jóvenes y niños orientados desde la emisora Pell Sxam “Pueblo de los Carrizales, ahora Resguardo Indígena de Pioyá, siguieron tras la pista de la pareja, hasta que a la media noche los interceptaron. Los guerrilleros intentaron intimidar a la comunidad haciendo tiros al aire, pero la resistencia de una comunidad civil con su palabra y su pensamiento fue más fuerte y por eso lograron rescatar a los dos últimos secuestrados. Tras la persecución, los subversivos dejaron abandonado un revólver, el cual está en poder de las autoridades indígenas de Pioyá.

Ante estos hechos reiterativos que se vienen presentando en los territorios indígenas, específicamente en Pioyá, donde la comunidad Nasa ha realizado acciones de resistencia (rescate a un ciudadano suizo en el 2003, rescate del helicóptero que iba con dineros del Estado en el 2006, la desactivación de minas antipersona en la vereda El Carmen, erradicación de la marihuana este año y últimamente el rescate de las 7 personas secuestradas), las autoridades en asamblea extraordinaria deliberada entre las 2:00 y 4:00 de la mañana decidieron convocar a una Audiencia Pública con las autoridades indígenas, autoridades gubernamentales, organismos de Derechos Humanos y medios de comunicación para hacer entrega oficial de los 7 rescatados por la comunidad.

Así se desarrolló la Audiencia Pública donde se hizo la denuncia de los hechos ocurridos y fue destruida el arma incautada como rechazo a todos los actores armados en conflicto que provocan desequilibrio en nuestras comunidades. Porque no estamos de acuerdo con un ejército que victimiza a la población civil con falsos positivos ni con una guerrilla que se dice ser del pueblo mientras atenta contra los derechos del pueblo.

Las autoridades indígenas ratifican su posición política de autonomía y de lucha por la defensa de la vida y del territorio, y en el marco de la Minga de los Pueblos, hacen un llamado a la unidad popular y a seguir fortaleciendo las organizaciones sociales y populares para la resistencia pacífica en todo el territorio colombiano, frente al proyecto de muerte que atenta contra los planes de vida de los pueblos indígenas, campesinos, afrocolombianos y urbanos.

Caldono 27 de noviembre del año 2008

Cabildo Indígena de Pioyá, Cabildo Indígena de Pitayó (Silvia Cauca) y Cabildo Indígena de Jambaló

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