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Introduction In order to encourage political and social reflection on the situation which different Colombian ethnic communities are undergoing, such as indigenous peoples, the National Pastoral Social Secretariat – Caritas Colombiana, with the support of Dioceses and Pastoral Social Montelibano and the Grupo de Trabajo por Colombia – GTC (“Colombian Labor Group” – made up of various Caritas registered with the Cáritas Internationalis organization), presents the case of the indigenous population embera katio – members of the Reedbed Ravine Reservation from Alto San Jorge in Córdoba, in the Colombian Caribbean Region. We estimate its reality through dialogues with the community and listen to their different accounts in order to try and clarify their problems and some of their causes and effects, as well as their search for political and social recognition in their community, the reestablishment of their rights and guaranteeing the preservation of their culture, identity, wellbeing and quality of life. In the context of a persistent armed conflict and social and political problems in structural order, such as those still suffered by Colombia, this community’s continuous search to retain the essence of its people and territory, its families, values and traditions and to rebuild their social fabric through dialogue and mutual recognition is an example of reconciliation with life, with the future, and with the era in which we live. That this simple document represents a not only a work tool, but also a homage to the ethnic communities that in Colombia persist in the search for peace among its territories, as well as a fraternal message to local, regional and national governments in order to advance their structural conditions and those of armed groups and those in conflict to promote dialogue and reconciliation for the sake of the dignity of these people and an invitation to the international community to continue with their usual solidarity in one of the most crucial and sensitive moments in the search for peace and reconciliation in Colombia.

National Pastoral Social Secretariat – Cáritas Colombiana

1. The information presented in this document is based on dialogues with the aforementioned community and from the Safeguarding plan for the embera katio from Alto San Jorge Reedbed Ravine Reservation, carried out by indigenous leaders with the assistance of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) in December 2012. It also collects information supplied by some leaders on the board of the High Indigenous Chapter of the Alto San Jorge Reedbed Ravine Reservation.


Contents I. Characteristics of the Territory: Colombia – A Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural Country!…5 II. Problematics: Armed Conflict, Exclusion and Humanitarian Crises persisting in the territory!...7 III. A Few Causes of the Problem…12 IV. Effects on Dignified Life and Other Indigenous Rights...14 4

V. Experience of Political Incidents by the Indigenous High Chapter regarding their Problems...16 VI. Role of the Church...19

Photography and National Pastoral Social Secretariat /Cáritas Colombiana.

I. Characteristics of the Territory: Colombia – A Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural Country! ““We are Embera and we come from nature. We are the children of the water, of the Okendo, our motherland, for this reason we defend her. We are indigenous people with our own history and culture. We are from the land, from nature. We have our own governments, language and ancestral traditions. We live off the jungle, off the mountain and from what we grow. We are real and authentic Embera.” I National Embera People’s Conference -2006 In the midst of its problems and conflicts, Colombia is still a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country which is third in the continent for the number of indigenous communities (approximately 90 communities) and ninth in indigenous population. However, due to the gradual process of cultural extinction, today the indigenous peoples represent only 3.43% of the national population, with approximately 1,392,623 inhabitants in around 71 organizations, a similar proportion of women (49,5%) and men (50.5%) and are demographically very young (40% are younger than 15) with an important presence in regions such as the Colombian Caribbean. In the Caribbean Region lies the department of Córdoba, which is made up of 76% of mixed-race and whites, 13% Afro-Caribbean (approx. 192,051) and 10% Indigenous people (approx. 141,064), with it also being a territory with a strong livestock vocation and agricultural background; also with industries such as fishing, hydroelectric, wood, manufacturing and growing industries such as mining, from exploitation of ferronickel and carbon. The indigenous Zenues that lived in the pre-Colombian era, blacks brought from Africa during colonial times, immigrants – especially from Lebanon and Syria – and Spanish colonizers brought genetic, historic and folkloric elements to the department. The mixed race people have a higher proportion in the middle and low Sinú region, mixed with Syrian-Lebanese immigrants, the Afro-Caribbeans in the coastal zone and the indi-

genous people in the High Simú and San Jorge Zone, where there are also mulatos (a mix of black and white) and zambos (a mix of black and Indian), as well as Embera Katio and Senú. Cordoba still has three (3) towns with an equal number of indigenous reservations, although there is no register of collective Afro-Caribbean territories. 5

The Indigenous Embera People: Wisdom, Tradition and Ancestral Wealth The Embera or ẽpẽrá people, also known as Chocó, are an Amerindian people that live in some areas of the pacific coast and adjacent zones in Colombia, eastern Panama and north-east Ecuador. They are known as the Emberá Katío to those who live in the high Sinú and the high San Jorge river in Córdoba and Urabá; in Colombia – Emberá chamí by those who live on the eastern and central Colombian Andean mountains, the Departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and Valle; Chocoes, or simply Embera, by those who live in the basins of the Baudó river and lower San Juan, the towns of Istmina, Alto Baudó and Pizarro; the river Curiche, the town of Juradó in the Chocó (Colombia); and in the Comarca Emberá-Wounaan in the Darian (Panamá); and as Eperara Siapidara or Epená in the Pacific Coast of the Departments of Valle, Cauca and Nariño in Colombia.

In Panama they are often called Emberá, which means “people of the corn”, and in Ecuador they are called Épera and live in the Esmeraldas province, specifically in the Eloy Alfaro canton, Borbón parish and the basins of the Cayapas and Santiago rivers.


The Alto San Jorge region is located in the Valleys of the south of the department of Córdoba, made up of the valley of the Sinú and San Jorge rivers, where the majority of the indigenous and colonial settlements are located. The indigenous territory is 2815 hectares in size and characterized by a system of mountains and mountains through stretches and was built in the indigenous reserve on February 19 1985. It is not only a collective territory - it also keeps land belonging to individual proprietors and holder with a permanent presence of colonial people since the 1970s. There are 15 settlements spread across the area, with an estimated population of 684 indigenous people belonging to 164 families, made up of 49% women and 51% men, mostly infants and children, and many of them with the problem of being excluded from the health system (approximately 394 indigenous people) and lack of legal documents (approximately 13%), distributed as follows:

a) Ibudó Sector: includes the communities settled in the Tres Playitas or Ibudó path: Barranco, Origuiadó and Egorobadó, Soledad or Biduadó, San Felipe and Rogero. The latter is a countryside property to be recognized. These communities are the closest inhabited areas by family group on the borders of the Reserve. b) Dochama Sector: includes the Dochama, Batatado and El Bosque communities. c) Narindó Sector – Mongaradó: Includes the Mongaradó, Narindó, Candelaria, Nueva Estación and Santa Elena Communities. These communities are made up of a small number of families. d) Nejondó Sector – Dopawara: Includes the communities of Nejondó and Dopawará. e) Village and surrounding sectors: Here are included the families that inhabit the villages around the towns of Puerto Libertador, Montelíbano and San José de Uré, and in Departments like Antioquia, reference is made to those which are not included in the previous sectors and whose families have been recently displaced to these places, located in Taraza, Río Sucio and Puerto López en Antioquia; and Río verde and Tierra Alta in Córdoba.

II. Problematics: Armed conflict, exclusion and humanitarian crisis persisting in the territory! When an indigenous population disappears, a whole world becomes extinct, along with its culture, worldview, language, ancestral knowledge and traditional practices that contribute to sustainable and fair development, and suitable environmental planning. The survival of the indigenous populations of Colombia is in all our hands. We have to act! National Indigenous Organization of Colombia –ONIC

According to the TECHO COMUN 2013 human rights report (one of the national platforms for civil society which includes some indigenous organizations), the indigenous populations continue to be victims of attacks from different armed groups. At least 34 indigenous groups are in danger of extinction, and the number of murders of indigenous people increased by 9% between 2010 and 2011, and between January and July 2012, with 54 indigenous murders..

“Six years ago my eldest son was killed. He was accused of being a guerrilla and that he died in combat, but this isn’t true. I am afraid to report it because my wife and children could be harmed.” * “Displacement continues to affect the indigenous populations disproportionately due to factors such as exclusion, pressures generated by mining projects and insufficient legal protection of the collective territories. The ONIC reports that between January and June 2012 24 mass displacements occurred, resulting in 8,845 indigenous people being displaced “as a consequence of combat between public forces and armed insurgent groups, violent actions by paramilitary groups, the presence and accidents of MAP/ MUSE, restrictions on free movement, stigmatization and armed raids.”

tural resources, affecting food safety and poverty, as a result of which 70% of indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition and between January and July 2012, the ONIC reported the deaths of 15 of them due to infant malnutrition and lack of medical attention. Regarding education, the rate of illiteracy has risen to 14.4% for the indigenous population, above the national average (6.3%).”

““Here we cannot grow anything. We are very hungry. We cannot go out to hunt because we might step on a mine, we cannot drink the water, nor fish, nor cook with this water because it is so dirty due to mining.” * Regarding the problems, the faults, concepts and recommendations from the Colombian Constitutional Court are reiterated, as well as those from bodies from the Inter-American and Universal Human Rights Systems and civil society bodies such as the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and Indigenous Authorities of Colombia (AICO). (See Map 1, next page)

“Likewise, mining activity has affected access to farmable land along with practices such as fumigation and contamination generated by exploitation of na* The identities of the persons giving the statements quoted in this document have been withheld for security reasons.


Map 1. Freehand Map of the Current Location of Communities



Rio San Pedro Rio San Jorge


Villa Nueva





Mongaradó Candelaria

La Rica

San Juan Versalles

Santa Elena Nueva Estación Egorobadó

El Bosque

Juan José Soledad -Biduadó

Negondó Dochama



Tres Playitas -Ibudó

San Felipe


Main Town Township Community Reserve Road Border River Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3 Sector 4

Resguardo Quebrada Cañaveral


Map 2. Details of Expansion Territory of the Embera Katío Reserve in Alto San Jorge, Still being agreed upon by the High Council, The Communities and PNN Paramillo, since 2007. Taken from IMAC and PNN Paramillo.



Puerto Libertador Reedbed Reserve Expansion


Alto San Jorge Reedbed Reserve Proposal for Extension of Reserve


Reserve Expansion Zone Colombian Town PNN Paramillo PNN Paramillo Border

There are several dynamics which affect life in the territory for the embera katio community of Alto San Jorge:

a. The armed conflict, the breaching of international human rights and the crisis due to forced displacement continue The armed conflict in the zone does not allow the population to have access to their territorial rights. The armed clashes between the FARC and the AUC for territorial control and drug trafficking since the end of the 1990s have left the Alto San Jorge embera katio displaced to areas around the San Jorge and Uré rivers and close to the towns. When the Population decided to retake its reserve in 2002, they found that around 60% of their territories had been covered with anti-personnel mines and had lost their traditional seeds. Many families were then displaced to areas such as Antioquia, Chocó and Risaralda and others were received in properties or individual lots where they live in overcrowded conditions. For this reason a socio-economic study was carried out with the government to extend the territory, a request which is currently being processed in the Ministry of the Interior.

b. The involvement of the population in the armed conflict and the absence of protection, prevention and integral repair methods for the community continue This involvement occurs through marking and persecution of members of the community, the selective killing of indigenous leaders, threats, confinement of families and communities by guerillas, paramilitaries and the presence of antipersonnel mines, as well as controlling movement and circulation of people, property and food, occupation of schools and homes, individual and collective hu-

man rights violations of the Embera people which have been systematic and recurring.

c. The economic interests of the community are agreed upon without dialogues with the community Fumigations in the territory of illegal cultivations persist without meeting the requisites of prior consultation, occupation by illegal armed groups dedicated to cocaine cultivation, as well as the illegal and selective extraction of fine woods and fauna. There also exists the illegal extraction of gold by illegal armed groups in areas such as Rio Sucio, Las Claritas, the San Antonio creek in Dochama and San Juan Nejondó, limiting the community’s access to hunting, fishing, water and wood, among other things, and generating social, economic and armed conflict among the groups that fight for control of the territory, as well as abrupt imposed re-colonization processes since 1976.

“The armed groups exercise authority over our territory, as if they were legal authorities, and have forced us to leave and change our customs and culture living outside Embera territory.” * Close to the territory there are companies that generate contamination (Cerro Matoso, Carbon Caribe, GECEL-CA) and trap them in terms of mobility and access, affecting their children, water and cultivations without prior consulting in spite of their activity in the area..


Chronology of the Community “Embera Katio del Alto San Jorge”, historical life, liberty and integrity violations against the reserve Date/Year

Full Name

Jaibana killed. He has in total four daughters. We lost an important leader in medicine for the community.

April 1999

July 2/ 2000


July 2/ 2000/ 1999

German Bailarín Domicó Community and Families



April 2001/2002

Luís Sapia Domicó

January 19th 2002

Wiliam Domicó

February 5th 2002

Cirilo Enrique Domicó

February 5th 2002

Armando Domicó Domicó

February 5th 2002


Location/ Community Ibudó (Tres Playitas)

Senior Governor of the Reedbed Reserve and Teacher, killed

Indigenous house, Juan José Township

Healthcare Manager, killed

Indigenous house, Juan José Township

Mass displacement of Reedben Creek Reserve to Egorobadó and Biduadó


Cañaveral reserve

Senior Governor of the Reedbed Reserve, killed Member of Tierra Alta, killed

Juan José Township

Attorney for the Reedbed Reserve Council, killed

Juan José Township

Healthcare promoter, killed

Juan José Township

Mass Embera Displacement of the last families that had stayed in the Reedbed reserve. Holdup with threats by paramilitaries two hours from the Tierradentro Township. In 2001, He was held in Juan José by paramilitaries. For this reason, he was displaced from the town.

September 8th 2003/2001/2002


February 16th 2004

José Yomar Jumi Jumi

February 16th 2004


Firearm injuries to child

February 16th 2004


Injured in clashes

February 16th 2004


Injured in clashes

June 11th 2004


Child injured by antipersonnel mines in Chimuarro, in Tamana an hour from Tres Playitas on the opposite side of the river

May 2005

All families

Fumigation of illegal crops, crop residues and mountains in Alto Uré

El Bosque, Dochama and Batadó

Anti-Narcotic Police

August 28th – September 1st 2006

All families

Fumigation of crops in recuperation from communities in Alto Uré. Cemetary, crop residues, pastures, mountain

Dopawara, Nejondó and the Dochama sector

Anti-Narcotic Police

All families

Threats and displacement orders to the Embera peasant communities. Rule over territory by paramilitaries – Agulias Negras and Paisas, between Antioquia and Córdoba

September 11th – 15th 2006

Boy of 12 years killed. This event is one of the results of the four holdups the leader Feliciano has had in his community

FARC / Paramilitaries


Full Name


Location/ Community


September 11th – 15th 2006

The edge of Dochama and Nejondó

May 7th 2007


Fumigations of areas which affected various crops in Pancoger

Anti-Narcotics Police

March 29th 2007

The community

Clashes, firing of mortars in schools and other properties


Shrapnel from a mortar which hit the community injured the child’s leg, grazing it upon impact


March 29th 2007


April 15th – 18th

Dochama, Batatado and El Bosque

April 18th 2007


December 24th 2007 Guillermo Jarupia Domicó

Planting of Anti-Personnel mines

Fumigations of areas which affected various crops in Pancoger Bombardment

Dochama and Nejondó

El Bosque, Dochama and Batadó

Anti-Narcotics Police Air Force

Died after stepping on an anti-personnel mine Died after stepping on an anti-personnel mine

October 12th 2009

José Sapia

April 14th 2008

Luis Angel Majoré Domicó

April 14th 2008

José Ramiro Sapia Majoré

July 28th 2009


July 1st 2011

Elias Domicó

July 2nd 2011


Injuries from firearms

July 2011


Injuries from firearms

National Police

July 2011


Injuries to child from firearms

National Police

November 25th 1999 Manuel Guasaruca Chiniwa

Wilson Manuel Majore Jumi February 15th 2011

The community Dopawara

September 27th 2009


Child of the community

False-positive killing


Child killed


Firearm injuries. 3375571, February 20th 1979



La guerrilla asesina un lider Embera, en Bosque Alto Uré. Muerto por desconocidos (fecha por confirmar)


Fumigación de una hectárea de plátano y una de ají Afectaciones a las familias. 15 year old child disappeared when travelling from Taraza Antioquia to the town of Puerto Liberador in the community of Soledad. Born in 1993, there is a report of the disappearance in the legal office.

TBC Unknown


III. A Few Causes of the Problem: The indigenous reserve is located in a strategic interest zone for colonials and illegal armed groups (passage for narcotics, renewable and nonrenewable natural resources). Historic absence of social offer from the State in indigenous territories, proving a lack of prevention and attention programs for health, nutrition, support for organizational strengthening and protection of the indigenous and cultural traditions. Absence of articulated public policy (national, departmental and local) and budget prioritization to offer the community a protective environment and access to rights.


The compliance with and institutional observance of faults, concepts and recommendations from the Constitutional Court of Colombia and bodies of the Inter-American and universal human rights regarding prevention, protection and repair of the rights of the indigenous communities are not clear. Nor is the attention to requests which have been made by civil society organizations such as the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and Indigenous Authorities of Colombia regarding these kinds of problems. There is no evidence of articulation between the public institutions for local, departmental or national order to attend the problems of this community. The integral, concrete and ethnic-based policies for preventing violence against the community, avoiding victimization, abandonment, increasing punishments and creating protective environments to reduce family, cultural and social vulnerability are not clear. The community does not have proof of an integral plan for recognition and repair of individual and collective damages against it. The existence of dialogue inter-institutional dialogue channels to promote participation of the community in formation of local departmental or national public policy is not clear.

“When we became sick, we were able to heal ourselves with the plants in the mountain, but they are no longer found here. We have no money to buy medicine when our children are sick, nor to travel to a healthcare centers in Montería* 13

“My children do not study. There are no more teachers in the community. What I earn in a day is for food and I cannot afford to give them an education.”*

IV. Effects on Dignified Life and other Indigenous Rights The Embera Katio people have been systematically and violently expelled from their lands and live displaced, permanently abandoned and excluded socially and politically, unaware of their identity and rights.


The governability and community cohesion have been lost. Families leave due to the impossibility of going back with the guarantee of protection and non-retention of their territories, generating dispersion of the population, weakening of their organizational process and cultural extinction.

Life before and after displacement has changed dramatically. People live in fear and doubt. Leadership and community life dynamic have been weakened and the capacity for resilience has been lost.

There is a lack of permanent spaces for participation, dialogue or consulting with local, departmental and national institutions.

The current overcrowding situation, with no space for recreation, community integration, ancestral practice or the possibility to visit sacred areas.

Stigmatization and permanent discrimination for those accused of belonging to armed groups or being informants.

There is a failure to include the right to ethno-education, school and teachers which has not been completely resolved, and for this reason children and young people are not being educated permanently about their own ancestral knowledge and ethnic-cultural focus.

There is no evidence of punishment for the killings carried out during the displacement, giving a permanent sense of impunity.

There is still no clear plan from the government for the restitution of their lands, or for the expansion of the area where it is located.

In their territories there are now people and cattle, as well as illegal crops controlled by the FARC.

The FARC only let people return to the stolen reserve under their movement conditions..

The armed groups seduce the women in order to use them in various ways. Due to the lack of policies, programs and an environment which protects women there is a risk of losing the family dynamic, the protection of new generations and the cultural values which they protect.

In the occupied territories, there are still four families living totally exposed to the conflict and the Public Advocacy has shown us that in this zone they are carrying out explorations and concessions.

There is a risk of legal and cultural extinction as with the numbers of indigenous people in the zone being lower due to their disintegration and forced displacement, and they fear they will lose their recognition as a native indigenous community.

There is evidence of widows and orphans in vulnerable physical and socio-economic situations as well as abandoned elders. There is a risk of losing the wisdom of the elders and their vocal traditions due to a lack of policies, programs and a protective environment for them and their families.

“Peace will be possible in our community when there is no forced displacement or killing, when the indigenous rights and territory are respected. Peace will be possible when mining does not affect fishing.�*


V. Experience of the Political High Council Regarding their Problems Despite there not having been any articulated, integral permanent state attention, the embera katio community is beginning to gain support and backing, especially from non-state organizations. In this sense the Indigenous High Council has been a supporter of dialogues and influence on diverse institutions to carry on in the search for solutions to their problems.


1.Dialogues with the Ministry of the Interior in order to make progress in the collective restitution or extended ceding of territory have not yet led to concrete promises of support.

2. The dialogue with the Presidential Action Program against


anti-personnel mines (PAIMA) to try and advance in an integral training and sensitization processes and the orientation and attention to the victims of anti-personnel mines, still needs to clarify the follow-up and integral attention for this problem regarding the community needs.

3. The approach to the Colombian Judicial system has been

able to advance with legal proceedings for four (4) murdered indigenous families but not the rest of the victimized families.

4. Despite the insistence of the High Council, the National High Court has not been able to advance clearly with the new cases filed and investigations of murdered indigenous people as a result of the victims’ missing documentation due to their forced displacement.

5. The search for dialogues with companies such as CarbĂłn

Caribe to analyze the matter of respect for the environment has not been met with an answer from them.

6.With the regional office of the Lands Department, there has

been some progress, but commitments have not been reached regarding the problem of integral restitution and reparation as well as orientation and backing.

7. With the town council from Puerto Libertador and

departmental council from CĂłrdoba there have been some discussions which have not yet generated commitments to solve the problems at the root.

“I dream of a wider territory, an Indigenous teacher, and a child that I watch grow up becoming a traditional doctor – and I believe it is possible if there is help and unity.”*

OPPORTUNITIES ARISING: 1. With the help of the Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) the safeguarding plan for people at risk of cultural extinction has been formed in accordance with the orders of the Constitutional Court and it is expected that this support will continue. 2. Some solidarity has been established with external actions from countries like Holland regarding food safety. OXFAN Germany has donated foods and markets, 17 CICR with some health brigades, the organization Development and Peace from Canada has assisted with governability and support with some of the community’s movement expenses as well as with national non-government organizations such as CINEP and participation in the “Land and Territory” meeting to document their case, and the organization Pensamiento y Accion Social and the Catholic Church through Cáritas Colombiana. 3. The interaction from the Regional Córdoba Public Attorney has allowed for the participation in some training and orientation processes regarding mining and energy concessions and explorations in the Caribbean as well as some orientations towards social problems. 4. The right to ethnic education has been achieved. Now the total implementation of the proceeding by the government is expected in terms of budgetary, physical, educational, logistical, infrastructural and human resources support.


URGENT PENDING MATTERS: 1. The abidance with and concrete observance, where appropriate,

of the legal rulings and national regulations such as repeated rulings, concepts and recommendations from bodies of the InterAmerican and universal human rights systems to guarantee the collective and integrated ethnic recuperation and finally advance towards:

a. The integrated demining of the territory, with effective measures for avoiding the planting of anti-personnel mines. b. Restitution of occupied territory under secure and dignified conditions, or the handing over and extension of territory currently occupied. c. Guarantees of political and cultural protection and recognition in order to promote leadership, social cohesion and organizational processes. d. Inclusion in public policy building meetings (national, departmental and local) with an ethnic focus in order to avoid new violence and exclusions, and to create protective environments in socio-economic and cultural terms


e. Elimination of impunity with effective punishment of those involved in violations of rights, and recovery of memory and truth, including cultural memory. f. Guarantee of the right to prior consulting as a form of avoiding repetition of damage and to protect indigenous territory from external economic interests. g. Better articulation from local, departmental and national governments to provide coherent social offer and an effective prioritization of social investment through permanent prevention programs and medical attention, food, water and environmental safety as well as supporting organizational processes and protection of indigenous culture. 2. The realization of a media management plan to provide impartial

and integral cover throu gh communication media regarding the problems as part of its social contribution to truth, recuperation of memory and recognition as a community.

3. Monitoring of problems by the international community and

bodies from the Inter-American and universal human rights systems to advance towards better solidarity regarding the problem.

4. The strengthening of networks with other indigenous communi-

ties, people and social sectors as well as local, regional and national human rights platforms

(See Mapa 2 page 8)

VI. Role of the Church With the support of the Cáritas organizations which make up the Colombian Labor Group (GTC) Dioceses and Pastoral Social Montelibano and the National Pastoral Social Secretariat – Cáritas Colombia have been supporting the community with contributions from other organizations, but focusing primarily on:

In this way, the objective is that of the common good, the promotion and defense of human dignity, the integral provision of human rights, care for the good of creation and solid human development through permanent dialogues with communities and institutions that can support and transform these realities.

Training for better understanding of legislation regarding restitution of lands, and ethnic recuperation measures. Legal orientation for community action regarding legal standards. Improving networks for designing a plan for collective repair of these indigenous communities. Orientation and support for the preparation of political actions and public opinion regarding the problems faced. Community participation in national dialogues such as the National Reconciliation Congress and with international platforms such as the Colombian Labor Group (GTC).

“Making national and international institutions aware of the situation of the Embera people is a gateway to having our territory recognized, making it possible for indigenous communities to recover their customs and live with dignity”*


The National Secretariat for Pastoral Social / Caritas Colombiana is an ecclesial non-profit organization and part of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia that seeks truth, reconciliation, justice and charity in relationships and basic structures of our society.


We are part of the “Caritas Internationalis” worldwide confederation, working since 1950 in the fight against the structures that cause situations of poverty and oppression, to promote a society based on solidarity and social justice. The Working Group for Colombia accompanies the process of peace building, strengthening of democracy and reconciliation in Colombia, through the definition of objectives and strategies and practices of sensitization, political impact, education and mobilization to contribute to the social transformation of the Colombian reality. For more information and to keep up-to-date with new publications and news please register at Cr. 58 N° 80-87. Barrio Entre Ríos. Bogotá, C.P. 111211 - Colombia Tel: +571 4377150 412 Fax: +571 4377171 Email: *Caritas Working Group for Colombia

Embera Katío Indigenous people from Alto San Jorge  
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