Español     Français  

Meeting Colombia 2018

Regional Meeting of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America, October 21-27 2018

Agenda of the reunion in Spanish   |   Sunday 21   |   Monday 22   |   Tuesday 23   |   Wednesday 24   |   Thursday 25   |   Friday 26

List of participants in Spanish

This meeting was held in close collaboration with the ICCA Consortium in Latin America in the Casa de Encuentros de La Salle in Fusagasugá, Cundinamarca, Colombia. The inauguration of the event on October 21st coincided with the popular referendum on mining in Fusagasugá, which culminated with a strong “No” to the question the question “Do you approve of exploration activities being carried out in the municipality of Fusagasugá, such as drilling and production of hydrocarbons, as well as fracking and large scale mining?”




Sunday, October 21st

               Registration – Casa de Encuentros   Reception table

18:30 – Dinner

7:30 – Welcome   Restaurant
               Introduction of each participant
               Welcome speech – Colin Scott
               Welcome speech – Jorge Nahuel
               Welcome speech – Lorenzo Muelas

Top of the page


Monday, October 22nd

7:00-7:45 – Breakfast   Restaurant

7:55-9:10 – Introduction of CICADA and the ICCA Consortium   Auditorium
– (7:55)          Introduction of the ICCA Consortium

– (8:25)          Introduction of CICADA (Colin Scott)

– (8:55)          Explanation of the diagnostic tables and the general programme (Lorena Arce, Sophie Beier)

9:20-10:00 – Diagnostic tables 1

The purpose of the diagnostic tables was to provide a space to discuss the various issues, concerns, challenges and opportunities regarding a number of topics of interest. From this exercise, a new set of themes that would eventually be discussed in groups on Thursday were defined. The four themes that emerged are mentioned below.

  • Legal themes (International law as an engine for the defense of peoples, their territories and their defenders, indigenous law, inter-legalities, etc.)
  • Extractive industries (What are the resource extractive industries that affect the people present at this meeting? What are the strategies that are being sought or are already being used to oppose extractive industries? How can the exchange between different peoples and representatives as we are doing in this meeting contribute to a better defense of the territories?)
  • Life plans and alternatives to development; local economy projects (for example, strategies to manage decolonization – how can we apply life plans for the whole of society?)
  • Internal and external conflicts (How can internal conflicts arising from extractive industries or other activities that divide communities be managed? What are the strategies that are being used to face external conflicts with local and national governments, extractive industries, etc.?)

10:00-10:30 – Coffee and snacks   Restaurant

10:30-11:15 – Diagnostic tables 2  

11:15-12:00 – Diagnostic tables 3  

12:00-12:45 – Diagnostic tables 4  

13:00-14:30 – Lunch   Restaurant

14:30-17:00 – Parallel CICADA session

– (14:30) Welcome and introductions (Colin Scott)

– (14:50) Introduction to the program and today’s activities (Sophie Beier, Carmen Umaña)

– (15:10) Interactive activity: Co-creating knowledge

– (16:00) Short presentations of the working groups

17:00-19:00 – Indigenous Forum Auditorium  

Top of the page


Tuesday, October 23rd

7:00-8:00 – Breakfast   Restaurant

8:10-10:30 – Protecting lifeways; maintaining the commons   Chapel

– (8:10)          Javier Felix – Iniciativas de las Cuencas Sagradas de la Amazonia y Centro de SanaciĂłn de la Nacionalidad Sápara del Ecuador (NAKU)

The indigenous organizations of the Amazon CONFENIAE (Ecuador) and AIDESEP (Peru), together with the Pachamama Foundation, are promoting a new collaborative initiative aimed at permanently protecting 60 million hectares of tropical forests in the headwaters of the Amazon River: the Napo, Pastaza river basins, and Maranon of Ecuador and Peru, an area known as the Sacred Basins of the Amazon. The governments of Ecuador and Peru are relentlessly seeking to expand oil and mining activities in the heart of this area. The Amazon Basin Initiative calls on indigenous peoples, NGOs, the philanthropic community and governments to establish a binational protected region – beyond the limits of resource extraction on an industrial scale.

– (8:35)          Fany Kuiru Castro – La muerte lenta de los Uitoto por el mercurio en el rio Caquetá (RegiĂłn de la AmazonĂ­a)

Illegal mining and exposition to mercury has been putting the life of the Uitoto people at risk for 20 years. These industrial activities are at odds with the declaration of the Amazon as a subject of rights, in the face of the concern of the Uitoto people, as reported by the indigenous leader Gibuiña: “From the year 2000, children with deformities began to appear, with short tongue, intellectual disability, fragile bones, deformation of the feet and eyes, children born with hydrocephalus live a few days and die, each year 5 or 6 children come into this world with deformities and die at 2 or 3 years old. Adults suffer from thrombosis, insanity, exhaustion, fever, anemia… Women at any moment faint, feel tired, can not work, experience hair loss and leukemia, tumors and sores on the skin… I have a mercury ball in my elbow, it is because of the fish we eat; the Caquetá River is contaminated, and it is very worrying because we are barely 800 people and we are going to disappear”. The fear and threats experienced by indigenous leaders in Colombia for submitting formal complaints to the authorities is also an important obstacle.

– (9:00)          Maudilia LĂłpez Cardona – BĂşsqueda del bien comĂşn

“[This project is conducted] As a result of the consequences that the Canadian mining company (Gold Corp) has generated for our towns, further violating the rights of the communities by settling without the consent of the community. The mining activity has unleashed a large number of problems: conflicts, environmental pollution, alienating ideologies, criminalization, diseases, breaking the social fabric and attacks against our rights as Maya Mam people. […] As Pastoral Defenders of Mother Earth, we have our proposal and alternative to this megaproject: to return to the politics of the common good mentioned by our grandparents and grandmothers in our sacred book the Popol Wuj. To work for the defense of Mother Earth from the Mayan Cosmovision, from the identity of the peoples, from the ancestral way of life, in order to be able to watch over the common good of our communities. The first step taken into account is the healing of Mother Earth and the healing of the people who have been wounded by many years of colonization. “

– (9:25)          Javier Marihuen Huenupil – la defensa del borde costero por las comunidades Lavkenches y los pescadores artesanales

The Mapuche Lavkenche people of the BiobĂ­o region in Chile have accomplished throughout their history a number of achievements for their institutional recognition, initially with the Treaty of Tapihue in 1825, and then through the Indigenous Law 19253 of 1993, and more recently the Lavkenche Law 20249 of 2008. Despite these successes, the Lavkenche people have faced important legal challenges that place them in opposition to government strategies that threaten their livelihood, notably the fishing law, which affects the Lavkenche and fishermen of the region, who depend on the resources of the coastal edge.


– (9:50)          AndrĂ©s Ozuna y Hadasa Baez – Territorios Yshir: problemáticas actuales

The Yshir territory is partly located within a biosphere reserve declared by UNESCO called the Gran Chaco. Nowadays to the Paraguayan Pantanal, also part of the Yshir territory, is the center of talks to declare it a World Heritage Site. Mr. Ozuna comments that for over 10 years UCINY has been fighting for the Eshma territory of some 8,500 hectares that is inserted in the middle of their ancestral area, separating in two the territory and the six Yshir communities, which have a population of about 2,500 people.

10:30-11:00 – Coffee and snacks   Restaurant

11-11:25 – Presentation   Chapel

– (11:00)          Marilez Tello Imaina – Radio IndĂ­gena Ucamara, Peru

Radio Ucamara, active in the province of Loreto in Peru, tackles through different media outlets important issues affecting the indigenous communities of the region. Radio Ucamara follows the development and processes of these projects that threaten the livelihood, sovereignty and rights of the Cucama peoples of the area, who have been considered as “invisible natives” due to the disappearance of the traditional language. For that reason, for the cultural strengthening of the Kukama communities, Radio Ucamara supports the revitalization of the Kukama language through educational programs carried out by the last generation of Cucama speakers. More urgently, Radio Ucamara also accompanies and follows up on local projects that arise as reactions to state policies, such as the protection of watercourses threatened by mega-projects such as the HidrovĂ­a AmazĂłnica.

11:00-12:55 – The situation of indigenous peoples in Panama   Chapel

– (11:25)          Celestino Mariano Gallardo – El sistema tradicional sobre tenencia y nuestros derechos territoriales, áreas comunitarias protegidas como manejo y rĂ©gimen de conservaciĂłn, derechos indĂ­genas inter-legalidades

In the Ngöbe-BuglĂ© comarca (region), Celestino Mariano Gallardo works with A.A.MI-CRO, the Mirono-Cronomo Environmentalist Association, for the protection of the territory of the Comarca, which is threatened by state systems of territorial regulations that go against the traditional and cultural way of the peoples and their rights. Negotiations between government entities such as the environment ministry (Miambiente) and indigenous leaders are affected by the inaccessibility of the legislative system of territories and resources, such as the state’s rights over land, low land, forests and rivers, as well as protected community areas. These areas, which are called areas of “conservation systems” and “systems of protection of natural resources”, are used to justify the absolute right of the government to these lands, which are then attributed concessions for industrial projects under the pretext of the duty to develop the country through the exploitation of its resources, notably minerals.

– (11:50)          Rogelio Urriola – la situaciĂłn del pueblo Ngäbe BuglĂ© y campesinos del área norte de Santa FĂ©

The indigenous peoples of the district of Urracá in central Panama face particular challenges because of their exclusion from Law 10, which delimited the Ngöbe-BuglĂ© Comarca in 1997. In this way, the communities of Urracá are not protected by important rights provided by said law for indigenous communities. For example, indigenous consultation processes are not being carried out for mining projects, since the territory is outside the regional legislation. Thus, the government has attributed a large number of mining concessions to private companies and infrastructure projects such as the plan “La Conquista del Atlántico”, which focuses mainly on the creation of highways that pass through the district of Urracá to reach the Atlantic coast.


-(12:15)          Lázaro Mecha & Ceferino Zarco – Congreso General Maje Emberá Drua Panamá

Since the creation of the dam on the Chepo River, Panama, the Emberá and Drua communities have been displaced from their original territory to what is now the Majé Hydrological Reserve. However, since 1970 when the conflict began, these communities remain without any legal power over their lands, and even today the titling of collective lands has been paralyzed since April 2016 due to the overlap between the claimed territory by the Maje Enberá-Drua territory with the Majé Hydrological Reserve. Despite extensive dialogues with the Panamanian government, until today this problem has not been solved.


– (12:40)          Felipe PĂ©rez – Etnobotánica como una herramienta de conservaciĂłn biocultural

Session of questions, comments and suggestions for the researcher Felipe PĂ©rez Jvostov, who is preparing an investigation in Panama that will be concretized in the form of “biocultural diversity maps” which indicate the location of places with the highest probability to find a certain species of plants, supplemented with information on the traditional and medicinal use of these plants in different areas of the Panamanian territory.

13:00-13:45 – Lunch   Restaurant

13:45-14:10 – Presentation of the summaries of the diagnostic tables   Restaurant

14:30-16:00 – Round tables I   Chapel-Kiosk

1.          Audiovisual methodologies as tools of empowerment, decolonization, and territorial defence
            Miriam Bautista
            Rogelio Urriola
            Steven Schnoor
            Mikey Watts

2.          Protected areas: experiences, limitations and opportunities
            Jorge Nahuel
            Celestino Mariano Gallardo
            Javier Felix
            Aili Pyhälä
            AndrĂ©s Ozuna y Lilian Hadasa Baez

16:00-16:30 – Presentation of the results of round tables   Chapel

– (16:00) Presentation of the results of round table 1

– (16:15) Presentation of the results of round table 2

16:30-17:00 – Coffee and snack   Restaurant

17:00-19:00 – Indigenous Forum   Auditorium

Top of the page


Wednesday, October 24th

7:00-7:45 – Breakfast   Restaurant

8:00-9:25 – Strategies for food sovereignty and health   Chapel

– (8:00)          Carolina Amaya – presentaciĂłn del CEMI

The CEMI, or Center for Intercultural Medical Studies, is a non-profit organization created in 2006 and an institutional member of the [ICCA] Consortium since 2015, but it has a history of more than 30 years of meetings with indigenous communities for the development of a common mission: to strengthen traditional knowledge systems by bringing this traditional medicinal knowledge to mainstream scientific institutions. In this way, the CEMI introduces traditional indigenous health concepts to academia through publications and research articles in collaboration with traditional doctors. Since then, CEMI has also sought to define health in an indigenous context, which has been represented as the Good Life.


– (8:15)          Rosenda CortĂ©s Galindo, Evodia Silva Rivera – Los sistemas tradicionales de cultivos de vainilla (RegiĂłn del Totonacapan, Veracruz MĂ©xico)

This presentation approaches the traditional systems of vanilla cultivation, as a guiding system for the conservation of biocultural diversity and the manifestation of resistance of indigenous peoples in the Totonacapan region, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, as well as the current situation of the spaces and territories of the native peoples who cultivate the land, and the onslaught of extractive projects and the forms of socio-cultural displacement.


– (8:40)          Nazario Diego Tellez – La organizaciĂłn de la sociedad cooperativa agropecuaria regional Tosepan Titataniske de la Sierra Nororiental del Estado de Puebla de MĂ©xico

Community organization of the Maseual Nahuat and Totunaku people of the northeastern Sierra of the state of Puebla, Mexico. Organization of the regional agricultural cooperative society Tosepan Titataniske (united we will win) to share the experiences of the organization of small producers, their objectives and challenges on autonomy and food sovereignty. Experiences of the Maseual Altepetajpianij council (vigilantes de la Sierra). Topics on the defense of life and territory, with actions on the demand against mining, electrical substation, hydroelectric plants and hydraulic fracturing.


– (9:05)          Elmar Masay – AutonomĂ­a IndĂ­gena en base al territorio (Pueblo indĂ­gena Monkoxi, Bolivia)

“The indigenous Monkoxi people own the 260,000-hectare Lomerío indigenous territory, located in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The distribution and use of land and natural resources is done according to our customs. In terms of the natural resources that belong to the State (minerals, for example), we have serious problems in our right to consent. The internal conflicts are solved through our own justice system overarching each one of the 29 communities and of the CICOL (Central of Indigenous Communities of Lomerío).
Of the more than 6 thousand people that live in our indigenous territory, 99% are from the monkoxi nation and in communal and intercommunal assemblies we decide our life plans, based on which we demand from the municipal and national governments economic resources for programs and projects to support our cultural perspective. However, we have serious problems because public officials do not respect our vision of development. Now we are demanding that the State eliminate the municipal government and recognize territorially-based Indigenous Autonomy, whose authorities will administer State resources from our vision and will be chosen by our usages and customs without the presence of political parties. For us the indigenous territory is not only its natural resources, it is also the possibility to exercise our right to self-govern according to our habits and customs.”

9:25-9:45 – PresentaciĂłn de trabajo de doctorado   Capilla

– (9:25)          Camilo GĂłmez – El valor de lo sagrado en la AmazonĂ­a

In the Putumayo region of the Colombian Amazon, which is home to different indigenous peoples such as the Uitoto, the Bora, and the Miraña, the Casa del Pensamiento, an indigenous educational center where research has been combined with traditional narrative techniques and state school curricula to better fit Amazonian realities, was established. There, traditional knowledge and rituals of the area are documented, such as communication with sacred plants to counteract extractive projects that threaten traditional sustenance. Camilo GĂłmez’s doctoral research explores this interaction between the sacred and current issues, investigating the possibilities that free and informed prior consent provides, which enables diplomatic spaces where indigenous realities and the state can dialogue to reach appropriate agreements.

9:45-10:30 – Strategic litigation and other legal strategies   Capilla

– (9:45)          JosĂ© Aylwin – La aplicaciĂłn de la DeclaraciĂłn de Derechos de los Pueblos IndĂ­genas (DNUDPI) en las AmĂ©ricas: desafĂ­os pendientes

Notwithstanding the legal and political advances that have been made in Latin America and North America regarding the rights of indigenous peoples since the approval of the UNDRIP in 2007, serious challenges remain for the validity and full enjoyment of these rights. This applies in particular to the matter of political rights, such as self-determination, development priorities and autonomy, as well as mattes of the right to land, to the territory and to the management and conservation of the natural resources recognized within it. The greatest deficit for the effective enjoyment of these rights, however, lies in the effective protection of the territorial rights of those who are affected by the imposition, without their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and without the participation in the benefits, as the Declaration provides, of extractive investment projects. It is a common reality in North, Central and South America. The analysis will focus on both Latin America and Canada, the latter being studied given the implications of Canadian companies established in Latin America, and the extraterritorial responsibilities of the Canadian state to prevent their companies from violating human rights outside their borders.

– (10:10)          Viviane Weitzner y HĂ©ctor Jaime Vinasco – La defensa territorial colectiva del Resguardo IndĂ­gena Cañamomo Lomaprieta, Colombia: Estrategias propias, jurĂ­dicas, polĂ­ticas, entre pueblos y a nivel internacional

“In this presentation, we will cover the territorial pressures on the Cañamomo Lomaprieta Indigenous Reserve, located in the municipalities of Riosucio and SupĂ­a, Caldas (Colombia), and the strategies from the “Gobierno Propio”, and the inter-ethnic, national and international alliances, that led to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia T-530/16. This ruling recognizes, among other issues, the colonial origin of the Reservation, and orders its delimitation and suspension of mining titles granted without consultation or prior consent. We will explain why the strategies and the sentence are novel, and we will investigate the future challenges and the alliances that we want to continue weaving to promote legal security, and peace, in this territory. “

10:30-11:00 – Coffee and snacks   Restaurant

11:00-12:55 – Presentations   Chapel

– (11:00)          Miriam Bautista GutiĂ©rrez – estrategias audiovisuales para el fortalecimiento de la defensa territorial

This presentation explores the use of audiovisual information media to expand the defense to the outside but at the same time as a methodology to strengthen the organizational processes internally. The resistance during these years to extractive projects in this area of the continent has been as comprehensive as possible, encompassing the social movement, the attention to legal recourse, and the celebration of life and occupation of the territories and making use of the alliances created along the trajectory to develop audiovisual communication strategies. The strategies of audiovisual communication are a worthy way of making us listen with the hope of achieving a transformation of the perspective of those who allow themselves to visualize and listen to our work.


– (11:20)          Pierre Beaucage – “No hay indĂ­genas allí” – investigaciĂłn etnográfica de emergencia como herramienta para la lucha contra la minera canadiense Almaden Minerals

“Beginning in 1984, I began a long-term shared anthropology experience with a maseual organization (Nahua), the Totamachilis Oral Tradition Workshop, in the Northeast Sierra of Puebla. At the request of the workshop, we decided to subvert the classical relations between the anthropologist and his indigenous “informants”. Together we elaborate research projects on the historical tradition and the local archives, the toponymy, the maseual medicine and the knowledge about nature (fauna and flora). In co-authorship, we made bilingual publications aimed primarily at the maseual people. In 2014, our studies had a new function: to demonstrate before courts of justice the territorial occupation of indigenous people against the pretenses of a mining company. In the same perspective, in September 2018, an emergency ethnographic investigation was started in the nearby municipality of Ixtacamaxtitlán, to empower another indigenous organization in its fight against the Canadian mining company Almaden Minerals, which stated: “There are no indigenous people there.” This time, the research is done by 25 indigenous and mestizo youth from a local indigenous university, CESDER, under the direction of their teachers. They have already collected ethnographic data, and they are in the phase of analysis and writing of a report also aimed at the struggle carried out by a regional indigenous organization.”

– (11:40)          JosĂ© de los Santos Sauna Limaco, Aili Pyhälä – La situaciĂłn actual en la Sierra nevada de Santa Marta

In the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, four villages forming a population of around 100,000, including the Kogui, share an ancestral territory of 1,100,000 hectares. Recently, the Colombian government established within the legal framework of the constitution a decree redefining the ancestral territory, which ignited a conflict between the modern constitution that restricts indigenous rights to the territory and the Kogui law of spiritual origin. Today, in the Sierra, 132 co-licenses have been granted to extractive companies for mega-projects of resource extraction, and 330 license applications have been submitted. Faced with the government’s industrialization efforts in the Kogui Resguardo, the concept of the law of origin in the region for the defense of territorial rights has been consolidated.

12:00-13:00 – Interactive activity: co-creating knowledge (continued)   Chapel/Kiosk

13:00-14:30 – Lunch   Restaurant

14:30-16:00 – Round tables II   Kiosks

3.          Territorial defense in extractive contexts
            Pierre Beaucage
            Miriam Bautista Gutierrez
            Maudilia LĂłpez
            Fany Kuiru Castro
            Nazario Diego Tellez

4.          4- Legal dimensions in the territorial struggles of indigenous peoples
            Lázaro Mecha
            Viviane Weitzner
            HĂ©ctor Jaime Vinasco
            JosĂ© Aylwin
            Rogelio Urriola

16:00-16:30 – Presentation of the results of the round tables   Kiosk 7
– (16:00)          Presentation of results of round table 3

– (16:15)          Presentation of results of round table 4

16:30-17:00 – Coffee and snacks   Restaurant

17:00-19:00 – Indigenous Forum

19:00-19:45 – Dinner   Restaurant

19:45-20:45 – Reunion of representatives of the Indigenous Forum with the coordinating group   Kiosk 7

Top of the page


Thursday, October 25th

7:00-7:45 – Breakfast   Restaurant

7:55-10:30 – Presentation of the proposal by the Indigenous Forum   Auditorium

10:30-11:00 – Coffee and snacks   Restaurant

11:00-12:55 – Group work   Various spaces

13:00-14:30 – Lunch   Restaurant

14:30-16:30 – Group work   Various spaces

16:30-17:00 – Coffee and snacks   Restaurant

17:00-19:00 – Presentation of group work   Auditorium

19:00 – Dinner   Restaurant

Top of the page


Friday, October 26th

7:00-7:45 – Breakfast   Restaurant

7:45-8:30 – Empty the rooms and packs   Cabins

8:30-10:15 – Closing of the CICADA Conference   Chapel

– (8:30)          CICADA’s vision for the future: Where do we go from here? (Colin Scott, Sophie Beier)

– (9:15)          Financing for CICADA projects (Colin Scott, Sophie Beier)

10:15-11:45 – Closing session, feedback and farewell

11:45-15:00 – BBQ

14:00 – First bus leaving to the airport

17:30 – Second bus leaving to hotel Airport Travel

Top of the page

Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives