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Indigenous Colombians Reject Eviction from Bogota National Park

  • The Embera indigenous communities displaced in the National Park in Bogota have been threatened with eviction by the federal government of Ivan Duque.

    The Embera indigenous communities displaced in the National Park in Bogota have been threatened with eviction by the federal government of Ivan Duque. | Photo: Twitter/@FeliciandoValen

Published 22 October 2021
Opinion

The members of the Embera community assure that they will not leave the National Park, in Bogota, because there were no guarantees for a dialogue.

Members of the Embera indigenous community, who have been settled for 22 days in the Enrique Olaya Herrera National Park in Bogota, said Friday that they do not recognize the decision of eviction by the National Police of Colombia after three attempts of public hearing and maintain that they will not move.

The member of the Nasa community, María Violet Medina, stressed that it is not an invention that the communities remain at this point.

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She stressed that "here we are all victims of the conflict, there is evidence of physical and cultural extermination, exterminations and massacres, as well as forced disappearances," referring to the causes that forced them to leave their lands and be displaced.

He pointed out that the community refuses to march to Florida because "there is already overcrowding, there is no drinking water," he added.

He added that he does not recognize the decision of the police, because they were never offered guarantees for a dialogue table and they held the hearing outside the National Park, which violates the constitutional rights of his Embera brothers, he said. He said that the community would be on permanent minga and alert.

The National Victims Unit has 48 hours to characterize the community before the eviction. However, the community assures that they will not collaborate in this process.

The characterization consists of evaluating the needs of the campers and should take place between Friday and Saturday. In addition, the authorities must guarantee them temporary decent housing.

The Nasa indigenous leader and senator of the Republic, Feliciano Valencia, condemned the eviction of the indigenous people from the National Park. "I demand the district administration not to use force, there are women, children and elderly people, and I hold it responsible for any aggression," he said.

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