20 Oct 2008

Colombia: armed police kill two and wound twenty - stand-off continues

A stream of reports in the last 24 hours of a tense stand-off and impending confrontation between a 'Minga', a gathering of social movements, and the Colombian state. The conflict point is the occupation by 9,000 people of the Pan American highway in the south west. The police have attacked and in the last 24 hours killed 2 and injured over 20 protestors, but at time of writing this force have been unable to dislodge the blockade.

ONIC, the nacional indigenous movement reports that 18 indigenous peoples are at the point of extinction: "The systematic and repeated violations of indigenous peoples rights are evidenced in the assassination of 1,253 indigenous persons and the displacement of at least 53,885 indigenous persons in the last 6 years, the period of Álvaro Uribe's presidency". ONIC has called a National Mobilisation of Indigenous and Popular Resistance with protests all over the country.

The special characteristic of the mobilisation in the south west departments of Valle and Cauca is the coming together in direct action of the mostly African descendant cane cutters, who have been on strike since 15 September (see previous Urgent Action), and the militant indigenous groups who have been occupying land to reclaim it as Madre Tierra, Mother Earth.

Supportes should send emails urging that there be a mediated solution to the stand off, to the Colombian Embassy in your country UK Email: mail@colombianembassy.co.uk

For more information visit Colombia Solidarity Campaign

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