After 8 months, 2,000 indigenous people who camped in Bogotá reach an agreement with the Government to return to their territories

Last week, the almost 2,000 indigenous people who have been camped in the Bogotá National Park for nearly eight months have reached an agreement with the Colombian government to return to their territories in safety. Some of them, however, have chosen to be relocated to the capital.

In this way, a situation in which the indigenous have been denouncing the situation of violence and threats that they have experienced in their territories by armed groups is beginning to be resolved.

The taking of Bogotá has meant for the almost 2,000 people to endure these months in a situation of absolute precariousness, living in makeshift tents set up in this park in the capital.

The transfer will take place in buses, which have been parked in front of the park since Saturday, ready to transport the 15 indigenous peoples back to their homes.

As part of the agreement, the participation of indigenous people in the Public politics, which will begin shortly in the district and which aims to support the undertakings of these communities. Likewise, the Ministry of the Interior and the Unit for the Comprehensive Care and Reparation of Victims will have the mission of guaranteeing the return to the original territories in security conditions.

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The agreed package also considers financial support for the financing of productive projectsas well as housing alternatives according to their culture.

eight hard months

During the eight months that the indigenous claim has lasted, the participants in this act of protest have suffered extreme conditions. Entire families were located in tents without electricity or basic services. The water, used for drinking, cooking or hygiene and cleaning tasks, was obtained from a single tap that supplied non-potable water. In these conditions they have also had to endure the heavy rains that have been lashing the Colombian capital.

Among the members of the makeshift camp are almost 600 children, who during all this time has received no education. In addition, two little ones died, while three were born in those conditions. Both minors and adults suffer from problems of malnutrition: Food has been in short supply, relying solely on donations and acts of solidarity.

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Now, the dialogue opened with the authorities on September 29, 2021, the first day that the indigenous people camped in the Bogotá National Park, and which seemed to show no signs of progress, seems to have finally borne fruit.

The first indigenous have boarded the buses this weekend, while those who have chosen to remain in Bogotá will be able to go to the Comprehensive Protection Unit of Engativá, where they have been assured that they will be provided with food, health services , education and attention to early childhood and that they will have spaces for the commercialization of their products.

Representatives of the district government, the Ministry of the Interior and the Unit for Victims have taken part in the negotiations, and have had the mediation of the Truth Commission and the accompaniment of the Ombudsman’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office Nation and the Personería of Bogotá.