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
Peace is more than the silencing of guns, and that the peace accord will not address all sources of violence in the conflict. To that end, we share with you this guest blog from Bogota-based activists working with our partners of the U'wa Nation in Colombia, recounting the U'wa's recent struggle to recover their ancestral territory from oil drilling.
The Sioux fight is representative of other fights around the globe. If Standing Rock wins this, we will win other fights for social and environmental justice. We all need to work together to build this global justice movement around the globe.
"Whatever fine print comes out of the World Conservation Congress, Amazonian indigenous women will continue to protect our Living Forest." Paty Gualinga, the powerful spokeswoman from Ecuador's Kichwa indigenous community of Sarayaku, inspired the attendees at one of the world's largest gatherings of environmental organizations and governments.
With the recent centennial of the National Park Service, we've seen much publicity in favor of national parks within the United States. The idea of natural protected areas is viewed as a general good among popular opinion. Who could be opposed to the conservation of nature?
Historic Gathering of Indigenous Leaders Champion "No Go" Areas for Sacred Sites at IUCN World Conservation CongressAugust 24, 2016
A delegation of 25 powerful indigenous leaders from around the world will attend the quadrennial IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Honolulu, Hawai'i, from September 1 to 10. The WCC is the world's largest recurring conservation event attended by government, corporate, nonprofit and academic leaders, among its many influencers.
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."