archivos de los protestos globales

The war in Columbia,
killing and displacement of the black population
Declaration by PCN - "Process of Black Communities", Prague, S26 2000

Village of Black Community

Columbia is a country of 37 million inhabitants, of which 30% (that is to say 9 210 000 ) are black people descended from slaves. Through a process of struggle and resistance lasting more than 3 centuries we have achieved our liberty, fleeing towards mountains, valleys and coasts which the European conquerors had not yet reached. During the process of adaptation and survival in an unknown world, which has lasted hundreds of years, the free blacks were able to create their own world and culture.

After this period of liberation, exclusion and racism are what have marked the relation of Colombians towards the black population. The draining of resources from our territories by large multinationals, the alienation of our culture, the oppressing conditions of absolute poverty and the denial of all social, economic, political and cultural rights are just some of the ways that this exclusion expresses itself.

Today, in the internal war which Columbia has been going through for several decades, black people have been condemned to a silent extermination. This has been imposed by the state and economic groups, at the same time as the population are denied of their individual and collective rights. This situation has evolved from the uprooting, enchaining, exporting and selling of black people like animals in America, so as to consolidate the conquests which made the northern countries powerful. At the beginning of this new millennium the black people of Colombia are facing ETHNOCIDE; this is being perpetuated by the different actors in the war.

The areas where violent expulsion of the population is occurring correspond to the strategic zones of the war. A million black people have been displaced from their lands ( up till 1st October 2000), which are being occupied by outsiders who accept the authority of the armed groups and the state and are apostles of an economic and political model based in exclusion and which generates destruction and death for the bearers of cultures which are thousands of years old.

The historic project of the black people has its cultural, territorial, environmental and social basis. Its struggle consists in the defense of these areas in which we have lived since ancestral times; created and recreated our culture throughout our history in Colombia and America. We, Black people are demanding the government gives collective community titles; we are struggling for the strengthening of our identity and autonomy which demands the ability to freely decide our own ways of life in accordance with our aspirations and our identity as a people. The capitalist State of Colombia has turned the organised black communities - who are struggling for the defense of territory as a way of life and their cultural principles such as identity - into victims of racism, poverty, marginalisation and military targets of armed groups who defend the interest of politicians, large land owners, drug traffickers and businessmen. These look for the irrational exploitation of mineral resources, the destruction of biodiversity, the implementation of tourist projects, ports, canals, agroindustrial projects, industrial logging, energy infrastructure....

After slavery, displacement is the most criminal aggression against the black population of Columbia and America. Displacement is a result of intimidation and massacres; it results in invisibility; the loss of territories, the loss of access to natural resources, the tearing apart of families, solidarity, self esteem, and the right to live in peace in accordance with our traditions, customs and cultural aspirations.

We demand the different actors in the war in Columbia to stop the armed conflict, respect their autonomy, their fundamental rights and not to fight in their territories. We call on the international community to accompany us, to show solidarity and to struggle with us to consolidate, in this capitalist world; the territories of the black population in accordance with the teaching of their ancestors: the territory is the space where you can be and remain; where your ideals and your own history remains, where life, happiness hope and freedom will reign.

Process of Black Communities
Prague, September 26th 2000

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