Ethnocide and structural racism in the Orinoquia denounce indigenous people to the JEP

The report denounces the conditions for the physical and cultural extermination of the inhabitants




Indigenous peoples of the Colombian Orinoquia region submitted to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) the report “Ethnocide and Structural Racism in the Orinoquia”, in which they denounce the conditions for the physical and cultural extermination of the original inhabitants of this area in the context of the armed conflict in Colombia. Some of these peoples are in danger of extinction, as recognized by the Constitutional Court.

This work was carried out by the indigenous peoples of the Amorúa, Maibén Masiware, Tshiripu, Sikuani and Cuiva ethnic groups, ancestral inhabitants of the eastern plains and forests of the Orinoquia region, who were accompanied and supported by the organizations that make up the Llano & Selva Network. According to this organization, the objective of the document is to contribute to the clarification of the violence against the indigenous peoples of the region.

The report consists of four chapters: The first one contextualizes the Orinoquia region in relation to the indigenous peoples who inhabit it, their geographical, economic, and social characteristics. The notions of structural racism, genocide, ethnocide and indigenous extermination are also brought closer together.

The second chapter presents four representative cases of violence against communities. At the same time, the profile of each of them is made, the victimizing facts, the procedural actions, the evidentiary material and the requests of each people for reparation.

The third chapter presents an analysis of the types of gender-based violence and sexual violence against them, with emphasis on women, girls, boys and adolescents, and analyzes the forms and strategies of resistance developed by indigenous peoples. And in the fourth and last, a proposal is presented for technical guidelines on works, works and activities with restorative and restorative content from an ethnic perspective.

The JEP magistrate, Marcela Giraldo, was in charge of receiving the report from the indigenous communities and stressed that, “I think this is a very big effort to recount what has happened to them. You are surviving voices of your ancestors and I am very proud of those roles you have assumed in your communities.”

According to the NGO Hacemos Memoria, one of the main problems faced by the indigenous peoples of the Eastern Plains is territorial dispossession, which is done violently and administratively by the State. In many areas, indigenous peoples have been threatened and have therefore had to leave their ancestral territories. The loss of territory is also due to the lack of collective qualification and recognition of ancestral peoples by State institutions.

This area of the country was one of the most affected in times of war. According to the Truth Commission, 35 per cent of this population fell victim to clashes between armed groups. For the peace entity, the dynamics of the armed conflict in the Orinoquia began in the 1950s and were subsequently aggravated by the planting of illicit crops, especially coca crops.

For the Inter-Church Commission on Justice and Peace, this report “takes on relevance because it is crucial to know the victimizing events that indigenous peoples suffered in the context of the armed conflict, their human and legal causes and consequences”. For the time being, the report will be the sole domain of the JEP, but it is hoped that the details of the violence suffered by indigenous peoples in the Orinoquia will soon be known.