Target: Colombian government
Goal: Eliminate paramilitary warfare, which is displacing and killing innocent indigenous peoples.
The Colombian government must halt the attacks of paramilitary groups involved in territorial conflicts over illegal smuggling routes. These violent altercations have displaced large groups of indigenous peoples, destroying the natural environment in which they live and leaving them homeless and starving. According to the president of Colombia’s National Indigenous Organization, the brutal fighting directly threatens the livelihood of more than sixty indigenous communities.
The United Nations’ most recent estimate puts Colombia’s number of internally displaced people at 3.67 million, the highest number for any country in the world. Not only are these tribes displaced from their natural homeland, they must face the chaotic reality of a homeless people in which the lack of food, shelter and societal structure can be fatal.
One of these indigenous communities, the Wayuu, have called upon the Colombian government to heed the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United Nations adopted the resolution in 2008 which states that, “States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources,” and “Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights”. Colombia is clearly in violation of these statutes. Forced displacement of these indigenous communities must end.