COLOMBIA. Persecution against indigenous movements

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Source: / The Dawn / October 9, 2015

The Risaralda Teachers’ Union (Sindicato de Educadores de Risaralda) and the Indigenous Regional Council of Risaralda (Consejo Regional de Autoridades Indígenas de Risaralda, CRIR) reported that an arrest warrant has been issued against indigenous Professor Rubén Darío Guagarabe, who lives in Suratena, in the city of Marseille. The reason for this persecution was his participation in the massive indigenous demonstrations of 2013, known as the “Minga” which denounced the violence, murders and forced displacement of which the communities are subjected. During the Minga, the indigenous guard detained several members of the police who had infiltrated the protest and were armed. The indigenous community held them captive for two days and then handed them over to a commission of the Ombudsman, while denouncing this provocation and the criminalization of social protest.

The arrest warrant is a clear attack on the rights of indigenous peoples and a blow up to popular demonstrations, especially rural and indigenous, by the regime. The case of Feliciano Valencia (also captured a few days ago on the same charge) and hundreds of indigenous, Afro-descendants and peasant people across the country should be taken into account in the context of the counterinsurgency strategy that intensifies its repressive methods against the social movement.

In Risaralda the indigenous communities is in maximum state of alert because in recent weeks arrest warrants against several indigenous leaders have been issued. In some cases the government used the old trick of staging a confession of an alleged deserter that involves specific people in the crime of rebellion. In other cases, the  strategy has been to process them for kidnapping, based on their actions as a part of the indigenous guard and the legitimate exercise of their authority in their own reserves and protests, as mandated by the Political Constitution, which is to detain provocateurs and undercover agents who have tried to sabotage their legitimate right to protest.

It is necessary to require the prosecution and the judges to repeal this unjust arrest warrant against the indigenous teacher Rubén Darío Guabarabe. We also call for the intervention of control agencies and international organizations, in addition to the accompaniment of the national and international organizations defending human rights.


Social protest is not a crime … It is a step towards freedom!

No more false positives court!

In peacetime, prison is not the solution!

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