Already four decades ago, the Colombian indigenous peoples began sistematically to construct a political proposal to realize their rights and save their identity, autonomy and dignity. They began to strengthen their traditional authorities and to establish representative organizations, as response to a State that has discriminated them for centuries.
In spite of the constitutional and legal guarantees as results of the indigenous peoples' fights, the State politics do not clearly recognize them as people with their own cultures. Neither does the application of international protection mechanisms for indigenous people improve their situation. On the contrary, the conditions of the indigenous peoples' lives are liable to worsen every day as a consequence of the aggravated armed conflict, the strategies of deterritorialization, and the elaboration of neoliberal politics as the Free Trade Treaties.
At several occasions, the Colombian State has been object of international sanctions and reprimands because of its inhuman actions and violations of the indigenous peoples' rights. However, the State has not eradicated the practices that lead to the discrimination and extermination of the indigenous people so far. This statement was confirmed by the special rapporteur of the United Nations, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, in his 2004 report and recommendations, where he proposes the establishment of an independent international committee that supervises the observance of the indigenous peoples' rights.
To attract attention to the rapporteur's recommendations, various Colombian indigenous organizations (ONIC; OIA; CRIT; CRIC and Waya Wayuu) are now calling the democratic sectors of the country and the international community to establish the International Verification Mission to verify the humanitarian crisis and the violation of human rights that the indigenous people in Colombia are living.
94 indigenous peoples, with a total population of about 744.000 persons, live in Colombia - in the middle of territory conflicts and a war of others towards which they every day manifest their neutrality and their wish not to be involved.
Unfortunately, in our country the claims and affairs of the indigenous peoples, both social and institutional, are solved with murder, executions, brutal military operations, torture, disapperances, threats, confinements, arbitrary detentions, uncertainty for nourishment, movings under compulsion..., as the report of the ONIC states.
At the moment, eighteen indigenous peoples are in a state of emergency because of the violation of their human rights. In addition to general threats and provocations from the armed forces, they face the forced recruiting of the young people to the war, violence of the drug dealers and the implantation of megaprojects in their territories, among other things.
The gravity of the situation is reflected in the number of murders of indigenous leaders over the last three years: 309 indigenous leaders have been killed.
The indigenous organizations of Colombia claim the State's judicial inquiry of these 309 murders. Furthermore, they insist that only international intervention can guarantee the respect and the observance of the human rights concerning the indigenous people in Colombia.
...we inform the international community that 48 indigenous peoples have disappeared ... of the ethnic map of Colombia., as the report concludes.