More About U'wa
The U'wa are a peaceful culture of more than 6,200 people who live in the remote Andes of northeastern Colombia, along the border with Venezuela. Both the U'wa and the cloud forest they inhabit are among the last of their kind in the world. However, the U'wa way of life is now jeopardized by oil, gas, and mining concessions. More
For decades, the U'wa indigenous people of Colombia have been an inspiration to others around the world, including everyone at Amazon Watch. With vision, persistence and courage, they have repeatedly demanded their rights and overcome the daunting forces arrayed against them.
By entering and occupying the actual Gibraltar gas extraction site, the U'wa are taking their nonviolent direct action to a new level, even given the risks they run.
Colombia's U'wa Before the United NationsMay 19, 2016
"Today, I’m here sharing this with you but my people are once again mobilized. We are on Zizuma, the sacred mountain where many sources of water originate – lakes and rivers which bathe our territory and serve as an important source of water for Colombia."
On Cultural Genocide, Language Revitalization and the International Campaign Against Occidental PetroleumMay 10, 2016Intercontinental Cry
"Berito taught Colombia's indigenous people and the world the importance of the globalization of resistance, how to defend the beloved Earth and how to fight against climate change."
The U'wa Struggle Against Tuberculosis, Parasitic Worms, Climate Change and Threats of Violent Paramilitary RepressionMay 5, 2016Intercontinental Cry
"These are very serious accusations providing a political rationale for a violent paramilitary repression against the U'wa," said Andrew Miller, Advocacy Director at Amazon Watch. "The notion that the U'wa are associated with an armed group is absurd. They are actually radical pacifists by culture."
The Indigenous U'wa Struggle for Peace in ColombiaMay 2, 2016Intercontinental Cry
The U’wa, who call themselves the people who know how to think and speak, consider themselves the Guardians of Mother Nature, and large tracts of land inside their territory have become biological reserves for jaguars, spectacled bears, as well as a kaleidoscopic array of endemic plant and bird life that do not appear anywhere else on the planet.
There is no legitimate rationale for using violence against the U'wa. They are extreme pacifists by culture (considering the mere presence of weapons in their territory as violence) and have always been transparent about their actions. In this case, they are protecting an ecologically fragile and spiritually significant part of their own territory from damage.
Colombia’s U’wa Indigenous Guard MobilizesMarch 23, 2016
Taking direct action to defend their territory is a deadly serious proposition for Colombia's indigenous peoples. As such, the current mobilization of the U'wa Indigenous Guard to stop tourists from entering the sacred snow-capped mountain peak of El Cocuy has grabbed national and international attention.
What we can learn from the U'wa and Achuar Victories in 2015October 15, 2015
In 2015, several indigenous peoples announced important advances in their decades-long struggles to defend their sacred homelands. The Achuar people of the Northern Peruvian Amazon and the U'wa people of the Colombian cloud forest both embody the power of grassroots resistance in the face of multi-billion dollar corporations.
What becomes of places like the Amazon Basin that don't have major oil reserves, but are vital for the regulation of the earth's climate, house 20% of the planet's fresh water, and one in ten of the world's known species?