Saturday, September 25, 2010

For the Tule People of NW Colombia, WHM Supremacist Imperialism and Colonialism, along with Militarism and Drug Wars, Ecocide through Pesticide Poisoning and Forced Relocation = Genocide

the Tule are a displaced group of Indigenous Peoples forced out of ancestral land in NW Colombia into Panama

The problem is genocidal violence against the Tule people, their land, their culture, and genocidal violence against many other Indigenous peoples from Northwestern Colombia, who have been engaged in resistance by European colonists and their descendants who are forcing them out of their homeland in Colombia. The murderous policies are entirely a product of Western white male supremacist civilisation and are completely bound to the past and present policies and practices of the U.S. government and covert operations overseen by it.

Indigenous people the world over are militantly well-organised and organising against the many assaults against them from many sources: the Western Civilisation, the Global North, militarism, white het male supremacy, capitalism, drug wars, pesticide pollution, and other ecocidal practices. Indigenous people are being actively murdered. Extinction = Genocide.

Below are two articles describing some of the conditions the Tule refugees are facing. The Tule comprise many Indigenous ethnic groups working to survive the practices of the dominator nation of Colombia which has many ties to the unfathomably terroristic and genocidal dominator nation called the U.S.A.

We may note that the first article gives historical context and identifies many conditions that have been long-standing genocidal practices since the 1600s; this links the current atrocities to a rapist, pillaging lineage of white male supremacist invasion and terrorism. The NYT piece the ignores the history of imperialist, rapist colonisation and genocide that directly implicates the U.S. government as a key ruling body of a well-functioning terrorist nation which practices genocide against Indigenous people globally, through corporate control, military force, and white het male supremacist worldviews and values. The video which is part of the first article explains more of what is going on. The NYT simply shows one photograph, noting that men and women are separated, which isn't relevant here, although Western WHM terrorism functions especially brutally when Western male invaders gain access to the women and girls of a colonised population.

The first article is from Intercontinental Cry, an Indigenist activist website. You can link back by clicking on the title.

Colombia: Indigenous Peoples Under Threat

August 7, 2010
In Colombia, over two decades of conflict between the government and paramilitary groups has uprooted more than 3 million people. Today the conflict poses an even greater threat of extinction to 34 distinct Indigenous Peoples in Colombia. Among them, in the Uraba region of northwest Colombia, the Tule.

Living close to the border with Panama, the Tule have long considered abandoning their ancestral lands and heading into Panama to escape the constant threats and intimidation by Colombia's paramilitary groups.

There are about 70,000 other Tule, who are also known as Kuna, living in northern Panama--and nearly half of them are living under their own constitution in the Comarca de Kuna Yala or district of the Kuna.

But how do you walk away from the land of your ancestors, the land you know and love, the land that you believe you are here to protect? Beliefs and obligations can run deeper than any real or perceived danger, no matter how great it is.

Then there's the Tule's long history. It runs contrary to some popular academic beliefs, but the Tule say they were born in the jungles of Colombia. And a series of devastating wars in the 1600s forced the vast majority to seek refuge in Panama.

Less than 600 Tule remain in the land of their ancestors.

Context, courtesy of UNCHR:

* Colombia’s internal armed conflict that started in 1964 has pitted Colombia’s armed forces against two main guerrilla groups – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Clashes also routinely involve organized crime gangs and narcotics traffickers that have links to guerrilla and paramilitary groups.

* Colombia has one of the highest numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the world. There are about three million registered IDPs in Colombia, of which an estimated 41,000 are indigenous. However, indigenous displacement often goes unregistered – due to the remoteness of indigenous territory, lack of access to state services and cultural barriers.

* Out of Colombia’s total national population of 43 million there are an estimated one million indigenous people comprising about 90 indigenous groups.

* At least 27 indigenous groups are at risk of disappearing as a result of armed conflict, according to Colombia’s Constitutional Court. The National Indigenous Association, ONIC, says 18 groups are at acute risk of extinction.

* Indigenous people have suffered an increase in violence linked to armed conflict during the past 10 years. ONIC has reported the murders of about 1,980 indigenous people during the period 1998-2008.

* Colombia in April 2009 signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a landmark declaration that outlines the rights of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlaws discrimination against them. The declaration upholds the rights of indigenous people to stay on their lands and duties of the State to protect them.

* Under Colombian and international law, members of indigenous groups are entitled to special protections from forced displacement.

Also see:
Documents (in Spanish and English) on Indigenous Peoples in Colombia (pdf) courtesy of Rights & Democracy

Video: An important 60-minute discussion on the situation of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia by Federico Guzman, a Specialist in Colombian constitutional law and legal advisor to Indigenous organizations: (more videos available here)

Websites: Information site on Colombia’s ethnic groups (in Spanish); The National Indigenous Association of Colombia, (in Spanish)

*          *          *
What follows next is cross-posted from *here* at The New York Times.

When a Drug Battle Spells Extinction

A gathering of the Tule people. Men and women sit on different 
B. Heger/United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. A traditional gathering of the Tule people of Colombia. Men and women sit on different sides.

The drug trade and other domestic strife are wreaking havoc on Colombia’s dwindling population of indigenous peoples while also threatening the integrity of the country’s biologically diverse forests, the United Nations High Council on Refugees reported this week.

More than 40 percent of the country’s 84 distinct indigenous groups are now at risk of extinction, the United Nations said, because of the pressures of the country’s long-running internal armed conflict, which is fueled partly by the cocaine trade.

With only 1,200 remaining members, the Tule tribe of northwestern Colombia is considered uniquely threatened. In recent months, armed groups have overrun traditional Tule lands, killing and terrorizing villagers and forcibly recruiting young people into their ranks.

Tule leaders fear that if they are driven off their lands, the forest that they have inhabited for generations will be ruined by development. “The Tule are an ancient people and their value is that they protect the environment,” one community’s chief and spiritual leader told United Nations representatives during a recent visit.

Meanwhile, the Colombian government’s coca eradication measures continue to draw criticism from some quarters for collateral damage to the environment and indigenous and rural people.

In August, the Guardian newspaper in London published an open letter by nearly 50 academics, many of them from Colombian universities, to the newly elected president, Juan Manuel Santos, protesting the fumigation of coca crops. In the letter, the professors claim “confirmed knowledge” that Colombia’s antinarcotics police established a base earlier this year in the Cauca region along the Pacific coastline that they are using to lead fumigation operations.

“The impact of the widespread spraying on the local communities has been devastating,” the letter states. “The planes have targeted not just illegal coca plants, but all vegetation, including staple crops that local populations depend upon.”

The Cuaca region is one of several areas identified as a hot spot of biological diversity by a World Bank-financed study in the 1990s, the Proyecto Biopacifico.

“It is in utter disregard of the recommendations drawn up by this acclaimed study that the Colombian government has undertaken a massive, indiscriminate fumigation campaign in the region, hoping to eradicate illegal coca cultivation,” the professors wrote.

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