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Alwan for the Arts, El Movimiento por la Paz en Colombia with First Voices Indigenous Radio and Deep Dish TV present: The Indigenous People of Colombia Battle For Their Land and Dignity: An Emergency Report Back from the Popular and Indigenous Mobilization/Minga in Colombia
Featuring Special Invited Guest: Rafael Coicué, Nasa leader, former mayor of the Indigenous cabildo of Corinto in Cauca, and representative of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca, ACIN. Sunday, October 26th, 2:00 p.m. At the Alwan for the Arts 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor, in Lower Manhattan (TRAINS: 4/5 to Bowling Green; J/M/Z to Broad St.; R/W to Whitehall; 2/3 to Wall Street; 1/9 to Rector St. or South Ferry BUSES: M1, M6, M9, M16, M20)
Across the world, from Palestine to India to Latin America, Indigenous people are struggling for their land, culture and human rights against repressive and reactionary governments. Confronted with ongoing land seizures, and policies that amount to ethnic cleansing, popular movements are waging intense, sometimes desperate struggles. Unfortunately the essential commonality of these struggles is often not seen.Introduced by Tiokasin Ghosthorse, host of First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI Radio and Indigenous Voices, plus other speakers. There will also be a video presentation produced by the ACIN's Communication Tejido. Rafael Coicué's report from the Indigenous regions of Northern Cauca, Colombia dramatically illustrates the similarity of the struggles. Their non-violent mass protests have been met with military force. In the latest demonstrations, 130 people have been wounded and at least one person was killed by army and police bullets. The government and the Colombian media are accusing them of being terrorists.
Rafael Coicué is one of the most respected leaders of the contemporary Indigenous movement in northern Cauca. He was the Indigenous governor of Corinto in Northern Cauca. A long time Nasa activist, his brother was killed in the 1991 Nilo massacre of 20 Nasa, and he was shot at and lost an eye in July 2008, a direct attempt on his life because of the work he's involved in. He will be in Washington, testifying before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights about the consistent violations committed against Colombia's indigenous communities by the government of Alvaro Uribe, including the backlash carried out by the Army and Police against indigenous protesters in Cauca over the past ten days. He will be speaking in New York City October 25-27th.
More on United States and Colombian Free Trade Agreement (by Mallory Knodel)
Already signed by presidents Uribe and Bush, the US government may soon ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia despite the objections made by human rights activists, environmentalists, labor unions, AIDS activists, and others. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, is an opponent to the agreement and has stalled a vote on the agreement until after the November election in hopes that more Democrats will be elected and lessen the likelihood of the agreement's ratification. However, President Bush is garnering support from the Democrats, too, launching a powerful all-out campaign, together with Uribe. Official US Congressional delegations expose the closeness of the Uribe-Bush administrations, but have been disclosed as highlighting the improvements against systematic labor leader assassinations in Colombia. Six of these staged tours have passed and five more are scheduled. It's a wonder if McCain took part in these delegations or if Obama will get his chance for a future tour in the country that ranked at the top of all human rights violations due to the presence of paramilitaries in Colombia. The routine assassination of labor leaders is only one outstanding issue that leftists, radicals and community organizers resist daily. The routine assassinations of indigenous leaders, speakers, and other leftists occur multiple times per day all over the country and are carried out by paramilitary soldiers that even if convicted are often offered protection and asylum by the US government. For more information on the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, including supporting facts and campaign materials, visit Trade Justice NY Metro.