Indigenous organizations are planning a march from Cauca, where the
past week thousands of native protesters clashed with police, to
Colombia’s third largest city Cali.The native Colombians will also
start an international campaign “so that people understand the dimension
of our problems.”
The national organization of indigenous Colombians (ONIC) announced the march and the campaign after failed talks with the ministers of Interior, Social Welfare and Agriculture and despite the promise of President Uribe to buy land to compensate the land that was stolen from the natives by paramilitaries.
The march, starting Monday is to force Colombian politics to listen to the demands and griefs of the natives. “We will defend our dignity and we will march to show we are not terrorists. We will start national and international campaigns so people understand the dimension of our problems,” ONIC president Luis Evelio Andrade told press agency AP.
The march will begin Monday in La Maria, Cauca, where thousands of indigenous have stayed overt he past week demanding better health care and education and protection from paramilitary attacks.
According to indigenous organizations, their people are increasingly threatened by paramilitary forces that already killed a number of their leaders. they also accuse the government of not keeping their word on promises made about increasing their quality of life.