Colombian President Álvaro Uribe announced he will travel to Cauca to
meet indigenous leaders. An attempt to meet last Sunday in Cali failed,
because the president arrived three hours late at the meeting and the
leaders already had left.
The indigenous, angry because of the tardiness of the President, left the location where talks would be held. Uribe was delayed, because he wanted to attend the recently escaped FARC hostage Oscar Tulio Lizcano first.
Uribe offered to hold talks in Popayán like he had proposed before agreeing to meet in Cali, but the natives refused. They would meet the President in Cauca where the approximately 40,000 indigenous were marching to after Cali. They threatened to massively march until Bogotá if the President didn’t give in.
The indigenous have demanded to talk to the president for weeks already. According to them, the government has not kept its promise about the return of stolen land. They also demand better health care and education and want the government to protect them from paramilitary forces that have increasingly pressured their communities.