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Colombia: Take action for the survival of Indigenous peoples

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 00:00

    Yukpa girl

     

    Take action

    “Many people have felt compelled to flee … but displacement is a huge threat to our survival. We fear the Wayúu will become completely extinct.” - testimony of the Wayúu Indigenous Nation, Colombia, March 2012

    At least one in three Indigenous nations in Colombia - distinct cultures and societies like the Wayúu people - face an urgent threat of total destruction. The causes: the impact of armed conflict, unrestrained resource development on their lands, and the failure of the Colombian government to uphold their rights.

    The Colombian Constitutional Court has found that at least 34 of 102 distinct Indigenous nations in Colombia are in danger of physical and cultural destruction. The Court called the situation “an emergency which is as serious as it is invisible.”

    The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia is urging the United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide to visit Colombia and expose what is happening. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is supporting this call for action.

    In contrast, Canada has never publicly acknowledged the seriousness of the threats facing Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.

    Photo: Yukpa girl by Juan Pablo Gutierrez 

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