Friday, 30 October 2020

Colombian Indigenous Groups Denounce Exclusion from Final Peace Agreement

Several Colombian Indigenous groups have condemned their exclusion from the implementation of the final peace agreement between the government and the FARC, as a violation of their rights.

The Commission for Follow-up, Impulse and Verification on the Implementation of the Final Agreement, or CSIVI, is due to approve a framework plan for the peace process implementation without specific ethnic indicators, that are designed to account for the structural injustices suffered by the ethnic peoples as a result of “disproportionate impacts of the conflict.”

The Indigenous communities said that despite the agreement, their territories are being used as battlefields by guerrillas and paramilitaries as well as army and police forces. They maintain it is severely impacting their day to day operations lives. The clashes between the National Liberation Army, ELN, and paramilitaries have forced many to leave their homes.

“The Ethnic Commission for Peace and the Defense of Territorial Rights warn … about the exclusion of ethnic peoples from the process of implementing the Final Peace Agreement with serious consequences for the rights conquered, in particular, territorial rights,” the Indigenous people said in a statement.

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The ethnic groups said that by neglecting the programs and resources which should be helping the victims of the conflict, there could be a “significant regression” of their rights.

“This position of the government expresses the political will to exclude ethnic minorities from the minimum guarantees that the implementation plan should leave established in terms of resources, policies, and programs that are later reflected in the National Development Plan,” they stressed in the statement.

The organizations who signed the communiqué include the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, the Traditional Indigenous Authorities of Colombia, the Afro-Colombian National Peace Council and the Afro-Colombian National Authority.

They believe their rights and autonomy are being violated as “the so-called post-embargo period increases the unequal and discriminatory treatment suffered” by the Indigenous communities in the region.


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