"Many people have felt compelled to flee ... but displacement is a huge threat to our survival. We fear the Wayúu will become completely extinct." - testimony of the Wayúu Indigenous Nation, Colombia, March 2012
At least one in three Indigenous nations in Colombia - distinct cultures and societies like the Wayúu people - face an urgent threat of total destruction. The causes: the impact of armed conflict, unrestrained resource development on their lands, and the failure of the Colombian government to uphold their rights.
The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia is urging the United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide to visit Colombia and expose what is happening.
In contrast, Canada has never publicly acknowledged the seriousness of the threats facing Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.
Canada, which has actively promoted trade and investment in Colombia, has a special obligation to speak out for the survival of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.
The Colombian Constitutional Court has ordered emergency measures to protect Indigenous Peoples in Colombia that are on the verge of physical and cultural extinction. The Colombian government says it is addressing the issue. But the lives of Indigenous peoples are still in danger.
The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples have called for the UN Special Representative on the Prevention of Genocide to visit Colombia to verify the situation.
I call on you to use Canada's special relationship with Colombia to press for full compliance with the protective measures ordered by the Colombia Constitutional Court so that Indigenous peoples can live safely on their own lands. Canada should also support calls for a visit to Colombia by the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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