18 Apr 2012

Angye Gaona under threat in Colombia for defending indigenous

The Colombian poet Angye Gaona is currently on trial in Cartagena de Indias, facing trumped-up charges of  ‘drug trafficking’ and ‘rebellion’. A letter by Laurens Vancrevel, circulated to draw attention to her case, explains:
“Angye is completely innocent of these charges. She has passionately defended in several press articles and interviews the case of Colombian Indians (many of whom are being killed by paramilitary gangs on order of land developers; Angye has called this ‘genocide’) and that of working class people and their unions (who are constantly being repressed by industrialists, supported by the government). Angye has also called the present Colombian government ‘a terrorist government’.  She is now being considered a nuisance by the ultra-conservative government, because Angye’s voice has a considerable influence on young Colombians. But ‘rebellion’ or ‘drug trafficking’, no.
Her trial may have a very dramatic outcome if nothing is done. Colombia is known for its political trials. At the moment some 7,000 political prisoners serve long sentences in terrible and overcrowded prisons. It is necessary therefore to try to make known to the judiciary officials, that Angye’s case is being followed closely worldwide.”

International pressure on the Colombian junta is of crucial importance. We urge you to join others in writing to the examining judge, demanding a fair trial for Angye. The address is as follows:
Al Sr. Juez de Conocimiento, Centro de Servicios Juzgado Único Penal del Circuito Especializado De Cartagena Adjunto, Centro Barrio San Diego, Calle De La Cruz No 9-42, Antiguo Colegio Panamericano 2º Piso, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, South America.
Please send copies of your letter (by snail-mail or email) to the Colombian embassy in your country.

We must let the Colombian authorities know that the world is watching.

Down The Pipe – by Angye Gaona
I follow the way of the sternum,
I search for the origin of thirst,
I go to the bottom of a pipe of silver walls,
solid due to time,
moving when the flood,
when childhood, was freezing.
I collect the rootlets of thought.
I carry them on my eroded back
next to the wild oblivion falling from me.
They look out
from small caves,
the signs of pain,
and fast elude the looks
and hide again in the skin of the pipe.
Inscribed on the walls
are the undecipherable coordinates
of the prehistoric ray
that formed my face.
It is a time of depths,
a time without syllable,
when I am only a sound
in transit to fatigue.
I search for a spring
to bathe the question affixed on my history.
I search for a new-born life
and I find thirst.
I follow the way of the sternum.

Translated by Nicolás Suescún

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