U'wa Victory Over Oxy
Recently, the U.S multinational company Occidental of Colombia (OXY)
publicly recognized the negative results regarding the expected petroleum
bonanza of Gibraltar 1.
For the U'wa, after doing a meticulous study of our origin, our history
and of the flagrant violations of our great laws committed by the
Colombian state and OXY, we knew this news months before. For our
highest traditional authorities, Werjayas, defenders of the landmarks of the world,
it's a battle that has been won, but the war continues because the U'wa
territory is not only Gibraltar 1. Our territory is more extensive,
covering five Colombian states (Casanare, Arauca, Boyac, Santander and
North Santander) and part of the Venezuelan territory, today known as the state of Merida.
We say that it is only one battle and more await us, for today, the Sacred
U'wa territory remains threatened by the petroleum exploration project
Bloque Capachos I, in the jurisdiction of the Tame - Arauca municipality,
carried out by the Spanish Petroleum Multinational Reprol
Exploracion Columbia, S.A. The indigenous reserve of Angostura, which
is home to U'wa (with 3,200 hectares), Macarieros (40 hectares) and
Payeros (the last of the Sikuani ethnic group with 94 hectares) are all being
The National Government's administrative procedures for the Bloque Capachos I, headed by the Minister of the Environment and the Ministry of
the Interior (under the direction of the General of Indigenous Affairs),
secretly moved ahead ignoring the process of consultation and agreement
with the U'wa and Sikuani communities, as we are the ones that are
directly affected by the project. This is the same obscure and deceptive
process that moved ahead in Gibraltar I.
In the face of this event, the U'wa will inform our highest authorities to
make decisions in how to act materially and spiritually to resist this
The knowledge inherited from our ancestors and the spiritual communication
with the eternal father Sira, that we zealously preserve
and practice today, allows us to reaffirm our vision and cultural mission,
which we are obligated to defend with dignity. The respect for the life of mother earth and all that exists upon her.
It is also right to say that in this first defense we were accompanied
unrestrictedly by the social sectors from the state of Arauca, Cubar
(Boyac) and Toledo (North Santander), the indigenous brothers of Colombia
and all Colombians who felt and observed powerlessly the physical and
verbal aggressions we were subjected to in search for respect of our
The blood spilled of the North Americans indigenous women and activist who
were killed, the loss of our U'wa children in the violent evictions, the
humiliations of the armed forces, the cries of the U'wa children and
elders in the peaceful mobilizations, the challenge to resist the
aggressions by the Colombian State and OXY, will not go unpunished.
They will be a memory with a bittersweet taste that will remain in the
minds of those who participated directly and indirectly in the most
difficult moments of this process. The vigilant and zealous spirit of our
martyrs strengthens us to reaffirm the process of defense of our
Historical Patrimonial Millennial Rights. Moreover, we highlight the
support that we have counted on with their moral, ethical, spiritual and
economic solidarity to resist against the invasion of our sacred spaces.
We invite all our friends of Colombia and the World to continue their
solidarity with the U'wa people in our second phase of resistance against
petroleum companies and the Colombian State that continue to ignore our
territorial and cultural rights. The U'wa have always respected that
which belongs to others, but the government and multinational corporations
continue to violate our rights.
Finally, we insist that the Colombian Government comply with the
recuperation and legalization of the united U'wa Reserve.
Cultures with principles cannot be bought.
Roberto Prez Gutierrez
President of U'wa Traditional Authority
Office of Cabildo Mayor U'wa: Telefax 0978 892326
We are the children of the earth, help us defend it.
- 107 Energy