Not Everything is OK: Colombia’s Indigenous Suspend Peace Process Talks
Indigenous groups in Colombia this week suspended the process of prior consultation related to the implementation of the peace deal with the FARC, saying that the government has not shown a genuine desire to include them in matters related to ethnic development.
“Following the systematic weakening of the fundamental right to previous consultation, as well as our full commitment to contribute to peace in Colombia, we decided to suspend the process of previous consultation about the laws currently negotiated (with the government) until we are guaranteed a space for direct dialogue,” a national indigenous organization (Spanish abbreviation MPC) said in a statement.
The group specifically accused the government of avoiding presenting certain laws at the negotiating table, and of not including proposals meant to preserve and develop the rights of the country’s Indigenous community.
They also demanded direct access to the Monitoring Commission of the implementation of the final peace deal so they can help oversee rural reform.
The Colombian government has also come under fire from indigenous groups for breaching the peace deal to benefit large landowners instead of small farmers and ethnic minorities, many of whom have been displaced.
The peace accord ended a 52-year war that killed 200,000 people and displaced millions of others, particularly poor and indigenous populations living in rural communities. Colombia has the world’s highest proportion of its citizens living as internally displaced persons – more than 6 million individuals, or 13 percent of the national population as of the most recent estimates made last year. Humanosphere