Because the government authorities have failed to fulfill their responsibilities in the case of the invaders in the lands of Curvaradó, the community has decided to recover its territory by eradicating the plantain monocrops that were illegally planted by the bad-faith occupiers, which affects the community’s food sovereignty.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Lower Community Council of Camelias – Curvaradó River Basin, Municipality of Carmen del Darién, Chocó. October 12, 2011.
Communication to the Public
Invasion of territories belonging to the Camelias Community Council
Since December 13, 2010, the invasion in the territory of the Camelias Lower Community Council has increased. On December 15, the Council went to the place of the invasion, met with the invaders, and gave them a document, telling them about the principles of Law 70 of 1993. They refused to accept it and verbally abused us.
On December 17, we went to the municipal seat of Carmen del Darién to file a denunciation with the police inspector, but at the time, that office was not functioning. We gave the denunciation to the National Police so that it would reach the inspector in Quibdó. The community has been awaiting a response, which has not come.
We filed a complaint with the mayor and the municipal clerk of Carmen del Darién and at the same time informed the ministries. In response to this complaint, the police inspector in Carmen del Darién came to our community and carried out a visual inspection, confirming that there were invaders in our territory.
On January 15, the police inspector attempted to evict those invaders, but the police did not show up and the invasion continued to grow. They continue damaging the forests, gravely attacking the environment, and they threaten us, impeding the community from exercising traditional production practices.
Seeing this situation and the threats, we communicated through a public denunciation and made denunciations to the competent authorities. INCODER [[Translators’ note: Colombian Institute for Rural Development, (Instituto Colombiano de Desarrollo Rural) the institute in charge of land restitution for Colombia’s displaced. It is part of the Agriculture Ministry.]] declared that the territory was collective, ruled according to Law 70 of 1993 to belong to the Afro-descendant communities, taking into account their ancestral presence.
In February, a functionary of CODECHOCÓ [[Translators’ note: Autonomous Regional Corporation for the Sustainable Development of Chocó (Corporación Autónoma Regional para el Desarrollo Sostenible de Chocó)]] also came to our community and verified all the environmental damage caused by the invaders. He promised to make a report and pronouncement. But he never made the pronouncement.
Because of pressure from our denunciation and from the other communities of the Curvaradó River Basin, an eviction order was given for the month of June, but it was not effective.
Until today, the invasion continues expanding and occupying more territory, planting in the fields of the community and threatening the children of the community who are working with their parents.
Seeing the competent authorities’ failure to follow through, the complicity with the invaders, the hidden hand that is behind the invasion, and the presence of paramilitaries in our territories, seeing the failure to comply with the ruling of the Constitutional Court that prohibits the furthering of agribusiness in the territory, seeing the invasion of the places in which we and our ancestors have grown our crops, and in fulfillment of Law 70 of 1993, which says that we should preserve these areas, we members of the Camelias Lower Community Council have made the decision to recover our territory, eliminating the plantain monocrops that have been illegally planted in our territory, affecting our crops and threatening our food sovereignty.
We hold the Colombian state responsible, given the threats that we have received, and we demand a definitive solution to the problem we have described.
Camelias Lower Community Council