Urgent Action needed in Northern Cauca
Colombian Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have expressed deep concern about Fundamental Rights violations of the Nasa indigenous peoples in Northern Cauca, following increased violent clashes between illegal armed groups on 8 and 9 December 2017.
Following the signing of the Peace Agreement between the FARC Guerrilla and Colombian State, CSOs raised serious concerns regarding the presence of more than ten illegal armed groups in the Northern Cauca region.
Despite the Indigenous Communities alerting the Colombian Government to the dangers, the State failed to provide any concrete actions to disarm and dismantle these illegal armed groups. As a result of the actions of these groups by December 2017, 253 families had been forced to displace within the Indigenous Reserve (Resguardo) in order to safeguard their lives.
The militarisation of this region of Colombia and the unhampered movement of armed groups within Northern Cauca means that further armed confrontations are likely to occur. The community is calling on the State to take immediate action for their protection.
The statement calls to the Colombian State to:
– Initiate, in coordination with indigenous authorities, the dismantling of illegal armed groups, whose actions violate the rights of the Nasa people
– Implement the agreements made during Talks, between the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca ( Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca – CRIC) and the national Government, following the Indigenous Minga (demonstration) of 2017
– Analyse the situation and implement measures (strategic and preventative) contained in the Ethnic Chapter of the Peace Accord
– Guarantee the implementation of an emergency care mechanism to be put in place during 2017 Christmas period
– Initiate investigations into human rights violations committed against the indigenous Nasa population, as well as infractions to International Humanitarian Law
The statement calls to the international community to:
– Support protection measures defined by indigenous authorities
– Guarantee the implementation of an emergency care mechanism is put in place over the 2017 Christmas period