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  • Colombia's Indigenous people call off dialogue with the government.

    Colombia's Indigenous people call off dialogue with the government. | Photo: EFE

Published 1 April 2019

The Indigenous community of Minga suspended talks with the Colombian government until their causes are not criminalized.

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) announced Sunday that it has suspended dialogue with the government of President Ivan Duque until it receives a guarantee that it not be stigmatized and that its causes not be criminalized.

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"The #MingaNacionalPorLaVida suspends dialogue with the National Government in La Delfina," ONIC said on Twitter adding,  "if there are no guarantees of NO stigmatization, accusations or judicialization of the Minga people, we will not be able to advance in the discussion of the national list."

The People's Communication Agency of Colombia said in another Tweet, that "in the face of the latest statements by Ivan Duque and the defense minister, who refuse to recognize social protest as an inalienable right of peoples, the minga remain in resistance for a dignified life, peace, and territory."

The Indigenous and Campesino community of Cauca, in southwestern Colombia, began demonstrations last February. They want the Duque government to comply with a series of agreements signed with previous administrations.

Former President Juan Manuel Santos promised 40,000 hectares of lands to the Minga people but only 1,400 have been provided.

The social movement considers the funds that the Duque government allocated to the Indigenous communities within the National Development Plan (PND) to be insufficient.

“We demand from the guarantor organizations such as United Nations, MAPP OAS, Ombudsman's Office, Attorney General's Office, Public Prosecutor's Office, Governors and City Halls, human rights organizations at national and international level and the community in general to ensure the right to protest, which develops throughout the country in a peaceful manner,” the Minga community said in a statement.

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