Indigenous protesters in Colombia under siege
By In Defence of Marxism
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
We have received news of a stand-off between the Colombian police and a 9,000 strong assembly of workers and peasants in Colombia in the region of Cauca. The workers and peasants are in grave danger as the state is moving in to dislodge them from the Pan-American highway that they have blockaded in the South-West of the country.
There has been a wave of mobilisations of the indigenous peasants in Colombia in the last week to coincide with the 512 anniversary of the arrival of the Spanish colonisers. It also coincides with a strike wave, including some 18,000 sugar cane workers, who have declared their solidarity with the indigenous communities. The striking workers of the juridical system, however, seem to have reached an agreement with the government in the last few days.
Uribe, the president of Colombia has declared a state of emergency and sent in the para-militarises and the police. Already 35 indigenous activists have been injured in the area, of whom two seriously. Security forces have attacked the unarmed indigenous protesters with everything from machetes to long-range rifles.
The indigenous groups are calling for international solidarity. Send protest letters to your local Colombian embassy. See a list here.
See also http://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/ for more information.