Take Action: Stop the Displacement of the Afro-Colombian Community La Toma!
Posted on: Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This action comes via our friends at Latin American Working Group.
Afro-Colombians to be Displaced Tomorrow: Take Action Now
If the Colombian government does not change its mind, tomorrow the 1052 families that make up the Afro-Colombian community La Toma will be evicted from the land that they have lived on for almost 400 years. We cannot let this happen.
Click here to support the community and stop the eviction!
Members of the Afro-Colombian Community of La Toma have been living on the resource rich, mountainous lands of northern Cauca, Colombia since they escaped the enslavement that brought them to Colombia in 1636. Over the centuries, they have developed a culture and history that is tied to this land, carving out an environmentally sustainable living through artisanal gold mining and basic agricultural projects, and grounding their traditions in this ancestral place.
In recent years, the Colombian government gave these lands away to some big corporations in the form of thirty-five mining permits without consulting the community, so they could gut out this beautiful place, simultaneously destroying its precious ecosystem and the lives of thousands of people. To do this without consulting the community was completely against the law, so the community said, "No." No, they would not move.
And as a result of this brave, non-violent commitment to stay in their homeland, the community has now suffered a rising number of death threats and assassinations by paramilitary groups that favor the displacement of local residents from the areas where there are gold mines. After a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in December 2009, the Colombian government made an agreement with Afro-Colombian leaders promising to protect communities from this targeted violence and review the illegally granted permits.
But they haven't made good on these promises, with killings of miners on the rise in the past couple months, and now the government's decision to evict the community tomorrow.
Will you take one minute to ask the U.S. State Department to urge the Colombian government to halt the eviction? Just click here to send a message!
If the U.S. government speaks out strongly enough against this eviction, we can stop it from happening. Our partners the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the U.S. Network in Solidarity with Afro-Colombian Grassroots Communities (NASGACC) have been working for months to make sure our government puts on the pressure. But with one day left, they need a cacophony of voices to make them take that final step.
So please click here now to add your voice to the call for respect for the people of La Toma.
In January, I visited La Toma and I can tell you first hand that its community members are some of the most amazing people I have ever met and their culture is truly one of a kind. Displacing them from their lands is not only a violation of their territorial and human rights, but also an act that would lead to their impoverishment and devastation of their traditional culture. Thank you for joining me in standing with this brave community today.
Vanessa, LAWG Colombia Team
Archives"Press Room" Home December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001
Kaitlyn Soligan, Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
MADRE Makes News
Los derechos de las mujeres empiezan en nuestra union (El Diario, July 30, 2013)
Women Organising To Survive: Syria's Civil War And Beyond (AWID Friday File, July 5, 2013)
Des sages-femmes israéliennes et palestiniennes unies pour sauver des vies (Opinion Internationale, June 28, 2013)
Preparándonos para otro huracán (El Diario, June 24, 2013)
Change, and I mean it (Huffington Post, June 24, 2013)