Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó community letter about concerns regarding the Constitutional Court Order

A letter from the community council members, that make up the Humanitarian Zones and the Biodiversity Zones of Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó, in which they state their concerns regarding the May 18, 2010 [Constitutional Court] Order. The letter comes right before the start of the census ordered by the Constitutional Court.

Pueblo Nuevo Humanitarian Zone
May 22, 2011

We, the members of the community councils that are part of the Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó Humanitarian Zones and Biodiversity Zones, met in the Pueblo Nuevo community of Jiguamiandó, Chocó, on May 21, 2011. In this letter, we appeal to public opinion to express our concerns regarding the fulfillment of the May 18, 2010 [Constitutional Court] Order. This letter comes right before the start of the census in our territories, ordered by the Constitutional Court.

1- The presence of paramilitary operations since April 9, 2011, have been seen in the villages of Quebrada Montería, Despensa Baja, El Guamo, El Tesoro, Gengadó, Brisas, Andalucía, Camelias, No hay como Dios and Villa Luz. From the latter of these communities eleven families were displaced.
These operations have taken place around the El Tesoro, El Tesoro Camelias, Caño Claro Andalucía and Nueva Esperanza Humanitarian Zones.

2- In the pre-identification they said that there are 360 families in the town of Carmen del Darién to be counted in the census in the first ring and 400 that are outside of the municipality to be counted in the second ring, as it has been called. According to the rules of the community councils and the maps that we have made, we consider that only the families that have land within the territory are able to vote. The State has not clearly defined who has the right to decide what happens to the collective territory.

3- Another concern is the disregard of the eviction order of the invaders that are destroying the last forest reserves that were left by the companies, and they are planting large areas of plantain crops with support from the Banacol company in the “Isaac Tuberquia” Biodiversity Zone. Besides that, they have threatened the food security of the communities by preventing the planting of subsistence crops. It is important to note that these invaders were employees of the palm companies and that this strategy of invasions continues in Caracolí on the farm of Mr. Ausberto Tobar. They also continue old invasions that began three years ago in Andalucía.

4- The Public Security Forces have not always respected the [communities’] boundaries when organizing security operations for government officials, thus hindering the distinction of us as a civilian population living in the midst of armed conflict.

5- In the meeting on May 12 in Apartadó, focusing on the security for the fulfillment of the Constitutional Court Order, a 17th Brigade Major made a statement that demobilized Karina and Carmenza were working with them and that there would be judicial prosecutions. This statement makes us think and fear that there will be judicial frame-ups of our leaders that have stood out most in the struggle for land restitution.

6- We express our concern about the recognition of Germán Marmolejo made by the Director of Affairs for Afro-Colombian Communities of the Interior and Justice Minister, ignoring the May 18, 2010 [Constitutional Court] Order which says that there is no legal representative in the Curvaradó river basin.

7- The contempt of the tutela that orders the clearing of the Jiguamiandó River back to its natural channel; the contempt of the Constitutional Court Order that orders the government to suspend all business activity, whether it is plantains, palm, large-scale cattle ranching, etc.

We insist on receiving the material measures that we requested in the meeting on May 21, 2011 in Apartadó, such as cellular and satellite phones and means of transportation like motors, boats, and motorcycles.

We request from our national and international friends that they support us, demanding that the government solve these worrisome situations, which if left unresolved, will eliminate the possibility of a real census, an election of the Upper Council of Curvaradó river basin, and effective land restitution, as ordered by the Constitutional Court. We also reiterate that the government has not responded to our requests for preventative protection materials.

We all continue strong in the affirmation of our rights, and our journeys to dignity and peace with justice.

Legal action for the protection of constitutional rights