The (127) Traditional Authorities of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca-CRIC) denounce that today at 7:30 pm, during the peaceful demonstrations at the «La Luna» point in the city of Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, there was an intentional attack with an explosive device from the Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron or Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (aka ESMAD) against the social and popular sectors that were demonstrating that time. A community member from the Sath Tama Kiwe Ancestral Territory was seriously injured. In the middle of the confrontation, the arbitrary detention of a member of the Indigenous Guard was reported, who hours later was released.
These acts constitute a serious attack on freedom of expression and are only intended to silence us. We know that the attack is part of the repression strategy devised as a
large-scale plan by the Head of State, Head of Government and Highest Authority of the Military Forces, who ordered the Army Commander, General Eduardo Enrique Zapateiro Altamiranda, to deploy a military action against citizens. That is why we want to alert the national and international community: an incalculable number of murders, injuries, harassment and acts of criminalization of those who walk with the strength of dignity and “good living” are looming. We want to formally record that the National Government and its Minister of Defense are responsible for the effects on life, for the infiltrations of social mobilization and for what may happen from now on.
Since April 28 of the current year, Indigenous organizations, Afrodescendants,
peasants, students, youth, social, popular and union sectors have mobilized from our territories, walking the word through forceful actions that involve political, social and political expression. culture against tax reform, health reform, the regulation of «prior consultation» and the humanitarian crisis that the country is going through, among other points. President Ivan Duque Márquez and his cabinet, with his words and actions, have confirmed their interest in favoring sugar mills, private and multinational companies. It is evident that the balance is tilting towards this sector and for them the benches of the current government’s political party are legislating.
We call on the International Community, in its capacity as guarantor and defender of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and National Organizations such as the Ombudsman’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office of the Nation to immediately activate alerts and move forward in the follow-up and monitoring of the safe expression of the “Outward Minga” [“Minga Hacia Afuera,” a peaceful, collective action directed outward, beyond the territories] that strengthens the National Strike today in different points of the Colombian Southwest.
We continue to demand that the Colombian State comply in a comprehensive, complete and satisfactory manner with the commitments and agreements reached with the National Minga. We demand that the Government of Ivan Duque not insist on its legislative agenda, which we have called «The Death Project» and «The Paquetazo de Duque»; since it not only involves economic interests, but also violates the principles, values and fundamental rights of the most vulnerable Colombians in the country and their families.
Cali, May 3, 2021