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PUBLIC STATEMENT 005: AFRODESCENDANT WOMEN’S MOVEMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF LIFE AND THE ANCESTRAL TERRITORIES

For our friends in solidarity;
For our friends in the media that are concerned with the truth of our journey;
For all women

Our love for life is greater than our fear of death. We are in the Ministry of Interior with the Vice Minister of Participation, the Director of the Elite Command for Combatting Illegal Mining, the Unit for Formalizing Mining Titles, the Ministry of Mining, and the Ministry of Environment among others.

Many of our friends had to hold in their cries of righteous indignation in order to talk about how we are tired of the fact that this is the only way to make people listen to us. We are tired of having to explain again and again the ways in which our bodies have been violated. We are not going to put up with being forced to escape our homes at midnight because of threats. We are not going to put up with the fact that after so much time, they don’t understand that we don’t want to leave our territories where we buried our navels. We are tired of hearing the rhetoric that was repeated 7 months ago after the San Antonio tragedy that killed 50 of us. We ask the institutions: How many more displaced people? How many more dead? How many more violations could have been avoided if Constitutional Court Order 005 and Sentence 1045ª had been implemented?

As good mothers, sisters, cousins, daughters, and women, we are full of love and patience. It is our love and patience that pushes us, as black women, to continue moving and planting the seeds of our ancestors. Therefore, we – 22 black women – declare that we are in permanent assembly in the offices of the Ministry of Interior of Giralda as of today, November 27, at 5 pm.

We will be here until illegal mining is stopped in Cauca; until the mining titles that were granted without prior consultation in Cauca are revoked; until Constitutional Court Order 005 and Sentence 1045ª are implemented. The prolonged absence of compliance with these established requirements and commitments are the reasons for which we will stay here.

We convene all of the solidarity of those opposed to illegal mining and opposed to the threats against the people that protect Life and the Ancestral Territories.

The following entities are responsible for the safety of those of us in Bogota and those of us in the territories, even though the Ministry of Interior is saying that we are not here: the Colombian State, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Mining, the National Mining Agency, the Public Forces, the National Environmental Agency, the Human Rights Ombudsman, and all of the institutions responsible for guaranteeing our rights. This generates doubt in a climate where the institutions want to build confidence.

From Bogota, La Giralda

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