Conflict Targets Indigenous

What is affected
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 01 April 2006
Region LAC [ Latin America/Caribbean ]
Country Colombia
Location Olave Community, Istimina del Medio San Juan

Affected persons

Total 704
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Details indigenous_struggle_cauca05.pdf
Forced eviction

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative

In 2006, there have been several reports of mass evictions of Colombia’s indigenous people from their homes and lands. The indigenous communities of Columbia have demanded that the Government

grant them cultivable land in compliance with accords signed by the administration of former President Andrés Pastrana. As the Government continues to neglect its promises, indigenous protesters have occupied several farms and estates.

• In September 2005, indigenous people occupied La Emperatriz farm in the reserve of Huellas in Caloto, in the State of Cauca. Only a few days later, an armed police force arrived and used tear gas, beat residents, and destroyed their food stocks. Thirty-five indigenous people were injured while resisting the eviction. Police allegedly impeded ambulances from leaving the farm. An unknown number of people were arrested and illtreated.

The people eventually left voluntarily in order to facilitate negotiations with the local government.[1.]

• In October 2005, indigenous people occupied land throughout the State of Cauca. In November 2005, one man was killed when a 500-strong police force attempted to evict approximately 400 members of the Páez (Nasa) indigenous communities from the El Japio farm, in the Municipality of Caloto, Cauca. The indigenous people had occupied the farm for about one month. Nearly 50 people were injured during the eviction, which lasted several days.[2.]

• Forced evictions and displacement still occur in the context of Colombia’s armed conflict. In April 2006, 704 indigenous people from the Olave community were forcibly removed from their homes in the Municipality of Istmina del Medio San Juan following threats against the community’s leaders. A support organisation provided the displaced with temporary shelter. However, many cases of disease, such as tuberculosis, were reported due to the unhygienic conditions, and the lack of water and basic sanitation facilities in the temporary shelter.

• In April 2006, antiriot police forcibly evicted 70 families from a settlement known as ‘la Tormenta.’ The families had occupied this land close to the ‘1 de Mayo’ and ‘7 de Agosto’ districts at the River El Salao in Barranquilla two months earlier. Authorities claimed the eviction was for the safety of the residents, as the settlement was built too close to a stream and could be dangerous during the winter season. There had been attempts to negotiate between settlers and authorities, but the two sides could not agree on a solution. Authorities wanted to register the squatters for the provision of alternative housing, but they refused. During the eviction, bulldozers destroyed the squatters’ dwellings, provoking protest by the settlers who reacted by throwing stones.[3.]

• The Municipality of Cali ordered the eviction of more than 1 200 families living in Brisas del Bosque in the District of Aguablanca in Cali. The families had lived in improvised shelters for a few months, but the Municipality planned to set up an ecological park in the area. Without prior warning, hundreds of police arrived in the middle.[4.]

Global Survey on Forced Evictions No. 10:

of the night in June 2006 and forcibly evicted the settlers. Police set fire to shelters and the evictees’ personal belongings. Several people were injured during the operation and had to be hospitalised. One six-month-old boy died from the effects of tear gas.

Further Information See the attached reports .

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