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  • Citizens join the Indigenous march, Cauca Valley, Colombia, Oct. 12, 2020.

    Citizens join the Indigenous march, Cauca Valley, Colombia, Oct. 12, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @AquinoTicias1

Published 13 October 2020
Opinion

President Ivan Duque refused to attend a dialogue process with indigenous leaders and farmers.

Colombia's Indigenous movement "Collective Action in Defense of Life, Territory, Democracy, Justice, and Peace" (Minga) Monday left the dialogue process with the government because President Ivan Duque was not present in the meeting.

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"We wanted to dialogue directly with Duque. Since he did not appear, we will keep our word. The Minga will begin its journey to Bogota on October 14," Indigenous leaders stated.

The Interior Minister Alicia Arango and Cali's Mayor Jorge Ospina, however, attended the meeting convened by the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC).

This event was expected to address issues such as the defense of life, respect for the territories, the growing violence, and the murder of Indigenous leaders and social activists.

After the failed meeting, Mayor Ospina met with the representatives of the Minga, which is formed by nearly 8,000 Indigenous people, to urge them to comply with health measures.

The social movement will be accompanied by a group of Cali's public health workers on its journey to Bogota, "to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak inside the march," Ospina said.

As part of a campaign to discredit social protest and justify repressive actions, local right-wing outlets say that militants and snipers of the National Liberation Army (ELN) will be allegedly present at the march to Bogota.

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