Indigenous from Cauca, a department in the southwest of Colombia, on Sunday urged FARC leader “Timochenko” to arrange a personal meeting with their leaders over guerrilla aggression towards native peoples.
In an open letter to Timochenko, the indigenous respond to the FARC leader’s assertion that the indigenous and his rebel group “reach understandings that will allow us satisfactorily to advance towards our mutual goals of peace and social justice.”
According to the indigenous right organizations, the FARC’s leader’s words did not result in any action and are contradicted by regional commanders.
“We have read your letter of May 13, 2013 in which you politely accept to talk in order to overcome the conflict between indigenous communities in Cause because of the presence of the FARC on our territory. We have also read the letter from May 12, 2013, in which the Eastern Bloc of your organization accuses us again — we believe this is the 90th time — of being an counterinsurgency force,” the indigenous leaders wrote.
The indigenous demand the FARC leader to talk to personally to assure that the FARC respects indigenous autonomy and that FARC attacks that target Colombia’s armed forces are carried out “without putting the civilian population at risk.”
Additionally, the indigenous organizations call for direct talks between the FARC leadership and leaders of indigenous organizations and peoples.
“Let’s sit down to talk directly. Urgently. However, our communities want to see the dialogue does represent changes to our conditions; that you stop killing, accusing and dividing us.”
To make safe talks possible, the indigenous representatives of the ONIC, CRIC and ACINpropose “this dialogue is had with international facilitators and national guarantors so promises of peace have witnesses. The presence of social organizations from other countries would be very important for the progress of this dialogue,” said the indigenous.
According to the letter, 70 indigenous have been killed since 2002. Their judicial authorities have established that 30 of these homicides were carried out by the FARC.
Indigenous territories in Cauca
- Open letter ONIC, CRIC, Cxhab Wala Kiwe, ACIN