The Colombian government and the indigenous communities of Cauca have installed commissions to look for an end to the conflict in the troubled area.
Local media reported Wednesday that a table of dialogue “Land and Territory” will be launched between the government and indigenous leaders Thursday in Popayan, the capital of the southwest Cauca department, to advance an end to fighting in the region.
As of now, there have been five meetings between the indigenous leaders and officials, including one with President Juan Manuel Santos in the indigenous reserve of “La Maria” on August 15.
The “Land and Territory” table is meant to “give continuity to the agreement between President Santos and the indigenous leaders in La Maria,” said Interior Minister Federico Renjifo.
“We hope that the process moves forward for the good and the prosperity of the communities of the department of Cauca,” said Renjifo.
Cauca has experienced an increased amount of violence in recent months between military forces and FARC guerrillas, which has left various victims dead or hurt. The situation has become especially grave since the beginning of July when rebels increased their attacks and harassment at bases and military or police stations.
The indigenous Nasa tribe of the region has demanded that all “armed actors” leave their ancestral lands, military and guerrillas alike.
These dialogues will take place every week during a two month period and representatives of each of the nine subregions in the north of Cauca will participate with the Vice Ministers of Agriculture, Environment, Mines, Interior, Justice, Defense, Education, Health, as well as the National Planning Department.
Two of the commissions will address issues of human rights, armed conflict and peace, which will be led by the Vice Minister of Defense, Jorge Enrique Bedoya. The Ministry of Education will lead a commission of health, education and communications.
The indigenous community looks to reclaim their autonomous territory and have all armed forces removed from their land.