Colombia, Cauca: Sowing Minga to restore balance to Mother Earth

Colombia, Cauca: Sowing Minga to restore balance to Mother Earth

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More than three months have passed since the Liberation of Mother Earth began and the Corinto community continues to peacefully concentrate on the farms that are now owned by Ingenio. Incauca.

Delegations have arrived from other councils such as Jambaló, Toribío, Tacueyó, from the ORIVAC councils, among others that continue to join their fight. They continue, despite the difficulties inherent in these situations such as lack of food, hunger, uncertainty when being watched by the armed actors of the state and the guerrillas. Despite the cruel onslaught of ESMAD more than a month ago (between February 25 and 28), they remain strong and spirited, ready to stay there indefinitely and have decided the conditions under which they will enter into dialogue with the government.

After several meeting spaces, the communities defined and made it clear that Liberation is a long-term process and to enter into dialogue with the government, it must first hand over the four farms where they remain peacefully concentrated: Quebrada Seca, Miraflores, Cultivos and Caucana.

These territories, which were expropriated with violence and death, belong to the indigenous Nasa communities ancestrally.

"This is an immovable and non-negotiable right" the communities declared. That the government returns these territories to their rightful owners is the condition for then to open spaces for dialogue on the unfulfilled agreements, by the government, and that correspond to the estates La Emperatriz, El Japio, García Arriba, La Margarita, among others that the community has been claiming for years (approximately 15,000 hectares of land).

Regarding the ancestral right over the territories, which the communities declared, a guard from the Corinto council commented that "The sense of liberation has two objectives".

The first is the ancestral mandate to free her from the yoke of the multinationals, from that poison to which they are subjected.

The second is to claim these territories “Because ancestrally they belonged to our grandparents. Of that there is no doubt, that is known to us, there are the guacas where our grandparents buried themselves with their treasures ". All the community members are clear about these objectives because they are ancient principles. That is why there is no hunger, sun, repression or any adversity that forces them to abandon their fight.

They continue with the conviction of continuing to comply with the ancestral mandate to liberate Mother Earth, which is why they summoned all the people of northern Cauca to participate in the sowing minga that took place on March 24 and 25, 2015.

The communities got up early on Monday the 24th and the work of brushing cane and sowing seeds was distributed in groups of approximately 100 people.

The sun burned in the extensive fields and the cane was tall and leafy, but in the strong arms of the Nasa community members, the Ardila Lulle cane fields fell sheets of paper.

The communities have been advancing the rubbing of the cane and for this minga they already had lots planted and others ready to receive the seeds. “People knew that they came here to sow and they have been bringing many hills of plantain, yucca seed, corn seed. We have already planted 10 arrobas of corn, you can see the banana and beans growing ... People are very excited and here they will stay " commented a community member.

The sowing minga is one of the most important moments of the liberation process because it is here that the objective of restoring balance to mother earth becomes practical through cleaning and cultivating organic and varied seeds. “People are clear that sooner or later we have to turn it into a food pantry, because people already understand that if we allow the sugarcane monopoly to continue, we will suffer from a great famine.

To live with dignity as true children of the earth, the sun and the water and continue the legacy that our ancestors left us ”commented an indigenous guard from Corinth.

On the second day of the minga, Tuesday, March 25, the army entered the Miraflorez ranch in the morning and destroyed the site where the "Tulpa de los Mayor" was located, apparently taking advantage of the changing of the guard, they set it on fire.

The tulpa is a place of respect where the community and the elderly meet to plan collective work and where they perform harmonization rituals. The soldiers also destroyed much of the crops that people had planted. Once again, the security forces act cowardly, secretly and without showing their faces or acknowledging the damage they cause.

While some members of the community verified the damage caused, the army settled at the foot of the guadual on the Miraflores farm, right in front of where a group of the community cut the cane. A group of community members approached the soldiers to demand that they leave the hacienda, arguing, once again, that the presence of armed actors put the community at risk. The commander went out to argue with the community members and after almost an hour of arguing, no agreement was reached. The community members returned to their work in the minga and the soldiers reiterated that they would not withdraw because they were obeying orders.

When the community members continued cutting the sugarcane, approximately 50 soldiers settled with huts and bonfires at the foot of the guadual, while several of them took photographs and recorded videos of the community members who worked in the minga. It should be remembered that this procedure is the one used by ESMAD, the army and the police, in previous mobilizations to open judicial processes against the community members who participate in these actions.

This type of video recordings and photographs taken by the security forces are illegal and violate the right to protest.

The community was not intimidated and continued to cut cane despite the vigilance of the soldiers.

By noon a large batch was already grazed. “People are living cornered high up in the mountains, they practically live hanging from the ravines, in the open, with the earth cracked; with all the necessities. But apart from that it is crowded in places that are reserve like the moors. We want to go back to the flat part because these territories belonged to our ancestors. We want to do the liberation not only by detoxifying the land of monocultures but also by conserving the wetlands and the springs that are in the moors. The rescue of the balance of Mother Earth also depends on our returning to the flat ” An indigenous guard from Corinth explained.

Finally, a community member reminds us of the importance of the Liberation of Mother Earth for the survival of the Nasa people: “We want to liberate the territory in order to get to the ground. We do not think that here we are going to fill ourselves with money. What we want is to leave a path for our future generations so that they can continue with this work of liberation. "

Nasa People's Communication Fabric

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