Discussion: The Commonalities of Struggle: A Discussion with Rafael Coicué

Sun, October 26, 2008 2:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts, El Movimiento por la Paz en Colombia, First Voices, Indigenous Radio and Deep Dish TV present:

Free and Open to the Public

The indigenous people of Colombia battle for their land and dignity.

A conversation with Rafael Coicué, Nasa leader, former mayor of the indigenous cabildo of Corinto in Cauca, and representative of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca, Colombia (ACIN).

Across the world, from Palestine to India to Latin America, indigenous people are struggling for their land, culture, and human rights against repressive and reactionary governments. Confronted with ongoing land seizures and policies that amount to ethnic cleansing, popular movements are waging intense, sometimes desperate struggles. Unfortunately, the commonalities of these struggles are often not seen and the similar strategies of dispossession and resistance are obscured. Rafael Coicué's report from the people of the indigenous regions of Northern Cauca, Colombia dramatically illustrates the similarity of these struggles. Their non-violent mass protests have been met with military force. In the latest demonstrations, 130 people have been wounded and at least two killed by army and police bullets. The government and the Colombian media are accusing them of being terrorists.

Rafael Coicué is one of the most respected leaders of the contemporary indigenous movement in northern Cauca. He was the indigenous governor of Corinto in Northern Cauca. A long time Nasa activist, his brother was killed in the 1991 Nilo massacre of 20 Nasa, and he was shot at and lost an eye in July 2008 in a direct attempt on his life because of the work he is involved in. He will be in Washington DC, testifying before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights about the consistent violations committed against Colombia's indigenous communities by the government of President Alvaro Uribe, including the backlash carried out by the army and police against indigenous protesters in Cauca over the past ten days. He will be speaking in New York City between October 25-27th

Last updated: 2008-10-26 01:02:26

Rafael Coicué
Rafael Coicué

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