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Colombia: Nasa Indians Resist Militarization in Cauca

This article is posted for news and discussion purposes. It adds to the already myriad accounts of the crimes committed against the Onkwehón:we of Colombia by both the neocolonial state HQed Bogata and the so-called “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia”, the largest “left-wing” armed actor in the country. Posting it does not imply complete endorsement though.

On July 11, the indigenous Nasa of Cauca, Colombia began confronting armed groups face-to-face while peacefully asking them to leave Nasa territories. They removed police trenches from the urban center and disassembled homemade FARC missiles found on their lands. Four hundred Nasa members occupied and observed army soldiers on the sacred indigenous site of El Berlin outside of Toribío, where the army is protecting private cell phone company towers.

On July 16, when the military had yet to retreat from indigenous lands by the proposed deadline of the previous day, the Nasa forcibly removed troops from El Berlin’s mountaintop base. Dramatic photos of the event splashed across national and international news, some featuring members of the Nasa indigenous community surrounding several soldiers, picking them up, and moving them away from their posts and others featuring crying Colombian officer Sergeant Garcia, retreating from the encampment.

The municipality of Toribío in the Colombian department of Cauca has become emblematic of complexities in the war that continues to plague the country. Toribío is one of 19 indigenous communities that make up the Pueblo Nasa, the very well organized and pacifist indigenous community located in the North of Cauca. Read the rest of this entry