The tribes also asked that both the army and FARC resepect international humanitarian law and rejected a proposal from the Colombian army to install a High Mountain battallion in their region.
A demonstration recently occurred in Toribio, a town in the Cauca department that was recently almost completely destroyed after FARC guerrillas attacked the town.
The indigenous groups explained in a statement that the march was meant to “reiterate the need for these actors to dismantle their military bases and camps in indigenous territory, and to stop using civilians for war.”
The statement also acknowledged that both groups will not willingly leave the area, and therefore “will require enormous pressure from Colombian civil society.”
According to the statement, the Indians, along “with the company of friendly organizations who fight for peace,” will soon begin to dismantle the trenches and foundations built on their territories by the national police, army and the FARC.
The UN declaration on Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that no military bases may be installed without “effective consultation” with the authorities and communities of indigenous peoples.
On these grounds, the Indians also rejected the installment of a High Mountain Battalion in Toribio, which was announced by President Juan Manuel Santos after the recent FARC attacks.
With the arrival of more than 600 troops in the area, “the government has violated the Constitution,” the indigenous say, stating that the additional troops are “useless to protect the civilian population.”
The indigenous population in Cauca has also called for “humanitarian dialogues” with the Colombian government and FARC.
“We will send formal invitations to the President of the Republic and the commander of the FARC to set a date for these meetings,” reads the document.
They also asked that the FARC immediately halt the recruitment of children as soldiers or informants, the use of landmines and indiscriminate weapons, as well as to have a “respect for autonomy.”
The document calls for the government to clarify the orders to destroy the homes of communities from where militants of the FARC have attacked the troops, as happened in several populations of Cauca.
The government should “rebuild Toribio, Corinth and Caldono quick and with dignity.” The indigenous groups asked that this be brought forward by the community and through civil proceedings, without military involvement.