Colombian indigenous groups have said that their rights are being ignored by the government, which has granted the Davila Abondano family permission to construct a mega hotel project on their ancestral land.
The spiritual leaders or “mamos” of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta said that they felt betrayed by the Colombian government after a letter was issued saying that there were no indigenous communities living in that region.
The mamos said that the letter ignores their existence in order to benefit a company that has done much damage to their ancestral land for the purpose of building a resort there, independent network Noticias Uno reports.
Demanding respect from the government to preserve their sacred sites, the spiritual leaders insisted, “…In these sites one must take care not to touch the mother of earth, water, and sun called Taiyuna.”
President Juan Manuel Santos took part in an indigenous ceremony during his inauguration and was presented with a cane as a symbol of universal balance by the mamos.
In the eyes of the spiritual leaders that balance has shifted, and although Santos said that the hotel project would be environmentally friendly, the indigenous people still feel betrayed, ignored, and abandoned.