Mister president of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez,

My name is %first_name% %last_name% and I am writing to you to manifest my indignation in front of the humanitarian crisis that the Yukpa indigenous people of the Serranía del Perijá are living. They are being impacted by enormous open-pit coal mine who are operating in their ancestral territory in violation of the right to prior and informed consent, which has led them to be in imminent risk of extinction due to the destruction of their land.

The Colombian State has the duty to protect the ethnic and cultural diversity of its country, and defend Indigenous Peoples as subjects of Special Constitutional Protection as it is stipulated in the Article 7 of the Carta Magna. Furthermore, the mineral exploitation license that was granted to the USA coal multinational Drummond for the mine of “El Descanso,” in violation of the collective rights of the Yukpa Indigenous people and of their right to prior and informed consent, is contrary to the Article 7 of the constitution, to the law 21 of 1991, and to the Convention 169 of the I.L.O that Colombia has ratified.

I am also writing to you, Mr. President of Colombia, to remind you that the Indigenous Yukpa people are in imminent risk of extinction, as it was declared by the Constitutional Court through the Auto 004 of 2009, by which the Colombian government was ordered to implement Special Protection Strategies and that by a lack of goodwill, this has still not been done.

Hence, I demand that you implement the sentence T-713 of 2017 that protects the fundamental rights of the Indigenous Yukpa people, and that orders the delimitation of their ancestral territory. This sentence has not yet been implemented and the failure to do so by the Agencia Nacional de Tierras (ANT) is accelerating the extinction process of the Yukpa Indigenous people.

More than ever in this time of crisis and global warming we need to protect Indigenous peoples in order to protect our world. Do not forget, Mr. President, that in order to comply with the agreements that you have ratified during the COP26, with the different States that will financially support your country in its fight against climate change, it is vital that you start protecting Indigenous peoples of Colombia. From where we live, we will be observing attentively the decisions you take and the responses you give to our demands regarding the Yukpa indigenous people, and we will stand ready to reach out to our governments to demand that they withdraw their fundings to Colombia if you fail to respect the rights of ethnic communities of this beautiful country you are governing.

Finally, I want to remind you that Indigenous peoples of Colombia are not alone, and that they have our unconditional support in their just fight for the protection of their fundamental rights.

Kind Regards %first_name% %last_name%

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