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22 de septiembre de 2015 | Testimonios
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On Monday, approximately 200 indigenous people, among them authorities and members of CRIC and the Indigenous Guard peacefully marched from the Intercultural Autonomous University to the San Isidro Prison in Popayan, where indigenous leader Feliciano Valencia was taken into custody, reported Contagio Radio.
The immediate goal of the social demonstration was to formally establish a permanent assembly of the Indigenous Guard outside the prison, where it will hold its sessions for the next three days. They also aim at exposing the attacks suffered by Feliciano, which according to José Hildo Peque, CRIC´s High Adviser is “an event that involves the entire indigenous movement”.
Despite the indigenous authorities have agreed that the mobilization will not clash with the members of the police force, the concentration points of the mobilization were militarized with traffic and anti-riot police officers.
The protest takes place in the framework of the guidelines agreed by the Extraordinary Directive Board of Indigenous Authorities on September 17, where it was also decided to reactivate the Social, Indigenous and Popular Minga of 2008.
According to José Hildo “Feliciano is motivated, he is calm, waiting the resolutions of the traditional authorities” while Cauca communities continue holding their assembly. (By Contagio Radio, Colombia).
Also, the Continental Alliance for Food Sovereignty issued a statement demanding the release of the indigenous leader, who participated in 2012 in their foundational assembly. There follows the statement:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF FELICIANO VALENCIA
Panama, Buenos Aires, Managua, Montevideo, September 17 — The Alliance for the Food Sovereignty of Latin American and Caribbean peoples (Alliance) demands the immediate release of Feliciano Valencia by the Colombian government.
The arbitrary arrest of our brother Feliciano Valencia by the Colombian government, through its Courts of Justice, implies a lack of respect for Colombian Indigenous Peoples and is part of the constant attacks against autonomous and recognized legal institutions of the Indigenous Peoples.
It is a clear sign of the “modus operandi” of the Colombian government against the human and collective rights of the Peoples, especially Indigenous Peoples and their Indigenous Authorities.
The Colombian government continues adding to the list of governments and states that criminalize the social protest, incarcerating or murdering leaders or those who defend their rights: A similar situation is experienced, among others, by the Mapuche people in Chile, or our brother Leonard Peltier, in prison for almost forty years in the US.
The Alliance strongly rejects this action by the Colombian government and expresses their solidarity to Feliciano Valencia, the Indigenous People and their social movements and organizations, recognizing their value, wisdom and persistence in the struggle for Life, Autonomy and the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.
We demand the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Rights to speak up against Feliciano Valencia´s detention and to demand the release of the political detainees.
We make an international call to the organizations member of the International Committee for Food Sovereignty and its allies to make a statement in favor of Feliciano´s release.
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