Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Trail of Indigenous Resistance

An indigenous minga, or traditional meeting.
The Claustro de San Agustin, which is the National University's museum in La Candelaria (located across the street from the Casa de Nariño), has this moving exhibit on right now about resistance by the indigenous people of the troubled Cauca region, where guerrillas, paramilitaries, government forces and drug cartels fight for control - and the civilians are trapped in between.

Colombian soldiers detained by indigenous people in 2009.
The Cauca region has dozens of indigenous groups, who speak five different native languages. They have a measure of autonomy and in the past even organized their own guerrilla group, which demobilized in 1991. Today, they organize indigenous guards, who enforce laws and try to keep out violent groups. Several times, the indigenous peoples have even detained soldiers and meted out their own punishments to captured guerrilla fighters.

The indigenous peoples' assertiveness prompts questions about the authority of the Colombian state in their regions. From their perspective, of course, the Colombian government may look like an interloper.

Indigenous resistance.
Indigenous boys leap into a river.
Cauca Department is located on the Pacific Coast.

Indigenous guardians in a warm up exercise.

Members of the Quintin Lame Armed Movement during their demobilization. They received representation in Congress.

Martyrs of the indigenous organization.

A minga, or indigenous meeting.

A funeral for a priest.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

1 comment:

mauricio forero l said...

Hey Mike, love this post, this is something that some how is very close to me, as a Colombian and, as an artist. The indigenous people is always the most vulnerable of all people and I feel their anger and despair.

Thank you for the post.

M. F.