WiB:Colombia:solidarity with indigenous peoples in Cauca Print E-mail
The indigenous peoples of Toribio and Jambalo, Cauca, resist the armed intervention of legal and illegal armed actors.

The women of Ruta Pacifica send a message and an embrace of solidarity to the indigenous people of Cauca and grieve over the new victims of this irrational war. We repudiate the acts of aggression by the FARC against the community of Toribio this past Thursday, 14 April.

We do not comprehend, nor do we want to understand, the logic of these men of war, but we do want to denounce that the degradation of the conflict in Colombia encompasses a multiplicity of scenarios all around our country, with no respect for the basic principle of making a distinction between the warring factions and the civilian population, as set forth and agreed to in international humanitarian law. Here one kills a child in the same way he might attack an armed actor.

The people of Toribio have been the victims of aggression twice in less than three years and in the last week, the town has been attacked three times. These acts show the extreme cruelty of the FARC towards a community that is known nationally and internationally for its civil resistance against war.

The women of the 350 organizations that are part of Ruta Pacifica say to the FARC and all the armed actors, legal and illegal, that we do not believe in war. We demand respect for peace initiatives, as we have the right to a non-militarized daily life. We recognize a pacifist political posture in the indigenous communities of our country, which we both join and support.

Likewise, we demand that the government of Colombia cease the confrontations in the urban center of Toribio. The response to the degradation of the armed conflict cannot put the security of its inhabitants at risk.  We also call on the government to heed these early alerts and preclude situations which, like this one, endanger the civilian population.

Once again, we call on the international community to be in solidarity with these communities, that they accompany and give their backing to the political negotiation in the Colombian armed conflict and that they continue their presence in the communities affected by the irrationality of the combatants.

“We women do not bear or bring up sons and daughters for war”

20 April 2005

Translated by Trisha Novak