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Innumerable examples of action and international support for peoples in conflict encourage confidence in the vital force of solidarity, of the sisterhood and brotherhood between equals in a world governed by incompetence and greed. The defeat of the Nazi regime in 40s Europe came from solidarity between peoples of the world; the internationalist resistance was present in pro-Franco Spain, in Central America, and in the south Latin-American cone. Today thousands of internationalists make the libertarian struggles of Palestine theirs, in Chiapas, they make the popular uprising theirs against the wild globalisation of capital, in Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia... many more examples.

In Colombia the future of the poor, the rural and the marginalised is being played out. Here, transnational capital finances the war to impose the great project of annexation by the United States and the European empires. The forced displacement of populations, the extermination of indigenous peoples, the massacre of Afro Colombians, the privatisation of state companies, mass dismissals of the workers, these all pave the way for the imposition of multinational mega projects. The Colombian territories are the target of insatiable capital, along with the oil, gold, coal and biodiversity which they contain. The villages and their inhabitants are the principal obstacles in accomplishing of the aims of economic globalisation, and it is against these people that the war is waged.

Thousands of communities face situations of violent and permanent aggression without protection. For them, international solidarity is urgent and necessary. We believe firmly in the need to globalise the struggle against the model of economic imperialism which furthers exclusion, misery, death in all the corners of the world. International solidarity expresses diverse ways of resistance and its results, in many cases, are a victory by the people.


On the Atlantic Coast of Colombia, in the Bella Cruz Estate in 1996, ten communities were violently displaced by paramilitary groups under the order of the Colombian ambassador to the European Union. For fifteen months, these communities underwent a long and painful and pacifist resistance, occupying government buildings in Bogotá, during which, 40 peasants were murdered. Many European organisations decided to make this legitimate struggle their own: mobilisations took place in front of Colombian embassies, thousands of letters and postcards were sent to the national government, and pressure was put upon European governments for a resolution to the agrarian conflict. Humanitarian aid was also organised to support the struggle, and international monitors were dispatched to troubled areas. The force of this concrete solidarity provoked the expulsion of the Colombian ambassador from his work and the relocation of the communities in new lands in 1997. Since then up to the present day, these communities continue to be victims of death threats. However, the permanent and constant accompaniment of human rights organisations in France and Belgium, who send periodic delegations, realize projects of productive reconstruction, and send letters to their national governments, embassies and to the Colombian government has prevented any form of aggression taking place against Bella Cruz's displaced communities.

In recent years in South Bolivar, there has been a paramilitary offensive in an attempt to gain control the biggest gold mine in Latin America for the benefit of multi-national mining corporations. This strategy of terror has brought about the death of more than 500 people, displaced more than 10,000 local inhabitants and has created a blockade that prevents the supply of food, medicine and other things necessary for survival from reaching the communities. After four years of fleeing death in the jungle, and their struggle being largely unnoticed by the international community, the silence was broken by an international caravan of 80 delegates which visited the region in the Summer of 2001. The caravan made the struggle of these people their own, offering humanitarian help and giving a voice to the threatened communities to denounce to the world the reign of terror that had been imposed on them and documenting their struggle against expulsion from their territories. As the support continues and comes to fruition, the communities feel less alone, they know that their voices multiply and every act of terror is answered with thousands of voices of protest.

In the northeast of Colombia is the sacred territory of the indigenous U'wa people. An enormous petroleum deposit was discovered and attempts to appropriate it were made by the North American multinational OXY. With the support of the Colombian government, they initiated illegal exploratory missions. The mobilisation and resistance of the indigenous people and the peasants resulted in governmental repression that left 11 people dead. The U'wa people threw their shout to the compañer@s of the world: 'The oil is the blood of the motherland, the land is our mother and we will give our life for her.” The response from the international community was immediate. In the United States thousands of environmentalists and human rights activists mobilised, denouncing the actions of Occidental and demanding that they respect the ancient territory of the U'was; in Europe, many groups were mobilised, and reports of thousands of urgent actions flooded the governmental offices of Colombia. Meanwhile Occidental was lobbying the US Congress to approve Plan Colombia, the second phase of which has the control of this region as an objective, with the essence of the plan being to appropriate regional oil supplies by means of the 'War on Drugs'. The international pressure and tireless solidarity work and the dogged resistance of the U'wa, forced OXY to retreat from the U'wa territory. The U'wa have won the first battle against the multi-nationals, but war has been declared and dark manoeuvres are being weaved. The systematic advance of paramilitary forces to attempt to break the indigenous and rural resistance in Arauca seems to be the ongoing strategy of multinationals like REPSOL and OXY in order to enforce their genocidal and environmentally destructive projects. The U'wa people continue to weave links between the peoples of the world and their territory, connecting the global community with resistance to 'development' based on the annihilation of thousand-year-old peoples.

To answer an urgent call to action, to write a letter to the Colombian or other governmental authorities, to be a witness in the area to communities in risk, to be mobilized, to exercise pressure on European governments, is to weave the solidarity that gives force and hope for big and small victories.

The south of the planet continues to be the booty of the war of empires. It is necessary to weave all the possible nets to halt the social movements of the world from being exterminated while aspiring to a worthy and free world based on global solidarity. | alca | Plan Puebla-Panamá |