Communique to Public Opinion Invasion and Eviction of the UWA People Violation of national interest and cultural identity

CABILDO MAYOR U´WA

For more information, contact:

Ada Recinos at +1.510.473.7542 or ada@amazonwatch.org


Today, the 25th of January, 2000, in a shameful action by the military and police forces, headed by Major Victor Hugo Rojas Aragón, we the Indigenous U’wa people were evicted from our land at Santa Rita and Bellavista, where the oil drilling site Gibraltar 1 is located. The army used helicopters to take us out from our land, and since this action three of our Indigenous brothers are missing.

Since the 22nd of January, 10 big trucks have arrived in the area of the Samoré Block, transporting machinery to start opening up a road through Cedeño , in order to reach our territory, which confirms the absolute determination of Occidental to start oil activity, disregarding men, women, children, elders, cultures and history, with the goal of extracting the oil which is found in our land.

These violations have been supported by the General Director of Indigenous Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior, the lawyer Nubia Morales, judge from the municipality of Toledo, and the governor of Northern Santander, Jorge
Garcia Herreros, who in a cynical tone said: "those animal Indians have to be evicted violently".

We hold the Colombian Government responsible for this action of eviction and what it could lead to, and in particular the President, Andres Pastrana Arango and the company Occidental of Colombia, OXY.

This eviction action disregards our rights of property and possession that we, the U’wa People and authorities, have acquired over these territories, through a contract of sale, carried out on the 18th of November, 1999, before the First Notary and duly registered in the Office of Register and Public and Private Instruments, Pamplona Section.

Communal Indigenous and ethnic territories are inalienable, cannot be seized and are unassailable, according to the constitutional and legal rights (articles 1, 2, 63, 70, 286 and 330 of the National Constitution, Agreement 179 of the ILO, law 21 of 1921).

We are calling the General Procurator of the Nation, The People’s Defenders office and Human Rights groups to come to our invaded territory immediately. We invite the national and international community to redouble their actions of support, denunciation and solidarity with the U’wa people.

We are appealing to the governments of the world to reject the calls to support the Plan Colombia, deny resources to the Colombian government, which seeks through this Plan to increase violations against the Colombian people and in particular, against Indigenous groups.

THE UWA TERRITORY IS SACRED
CULTURES WITH PRINCIPLES ARE NOT FOR SALE
WE THE UWAS DEFEND THE LIFE OF HUMANITY AND PLANET EARTH

WE WILL NOT RENOUNCE OUR RIGHTS.


Cubará, January 25, 2000

CABILDO MAYOR U´WA

Cubará, Boyacá, Colombia

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 011 571 2812071; 011 571 3376950; 011 571 2458906; 011 571 2456860

E-mail: cobacata@colnodo.apc.org; censat@colnodo.apc.org

Letters of concern should be sent to:

JUAN MAYR, Ministro del Medio Ambiente, Juan_Mayr_M@Hotmail.Com y
Jmayr@minamb.gov.co 3361166, 2886877, 2840363

Dr. ANDRÉS PASTRANA, Presidente de la República de Colombia, Palacio de
Nariño, Fax 2867434. Bogotá. pastrana@presidencia.gov.co

Dr. GUSTAVO BELL LEMUS, Consejero Presidencial para los Derechos Humanos,
Fax 571 3418364. Bogotá.

Dr. JAIME BERNAL CUÉLLAR, Procurador General de la Nación, Fax 571 2840472,
3429723. Bogotá.

Dr. ALFONSO GÓMEZ MÉNDEZ, Fiscal General de la Nación, Fax 571 5702000.
Bogotá.

Dr. FERNANDO CASTRO CAICEDO, Defensor del Pueblo, Fax 571 3461225. Bogotá.

Dr. NÉSTOR HUMBERTO MARTÍNEZ NEIRA, Ministro del Interior, Fax 571 251588

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