The Ancestral land of ALIWA CUPEPE is not for sale!

The ancestral land of Aliwa Cupepe is located in the municipality of Cumaribo, Vichada. The territory connects the savannahs of Orinoquia and the Amazon forest, and in its middle is found a forest of grand importance for the cosmovision of the Sikuani people, Aliwa. The forest is born in a crater that was provoked by the impact of a meteorite millions of years ago. According to the Humboldt institute, the forest of Aliwa is an ecosystem with unique biological characteristics, home to 1’500 animal species and 1’100 plant species.

In 1968, big landowners who had important economic interests in the region, started a violent repression in the region and with the help of the Colombian army, with the objective of displacing the indigenous peoples out of the Orinoquia. At this time, a judge of Villaviciencio stated in a judicial report on the killing of 16 indigenous peoples, that the “indians” could not be considered humans because they were just animals. The first displacement of the communities of Aliwa Cupepe took place in 1975 when Ricardo Bayona, a landowner, with the help of the police of Santa Rita and the armed group “Flavio Barney,” kidnapped and tortured leaders of the community. As a result, the communities were displaced, crossing the Vichada River into the tropical forest or moving to Venezuela.

In 1998, the leaders of the communities of Aliwa Cupepe demanded to create a resguardo – collective title to ancestral lands that guarantee social, political and cultural autonomy to indigenous peoples. Facing a lack of response from the institutions, the communities presented a recurso de tutela to the government in 2012. In 2013, Colombia’s constitutional court, through the sentence T-009, ordered the constitution of the resguardo of Aliwa Cupepe in the next six months. Despite this order of Colombia’s supreme court, the resguardo has yet to be legally created.

In 1998, the leaders of the communities of Aliwa Cupepe demanded to create a resguardo – collective title to ancestral lands that guarantee social, political and cultural autonomy to indigenous peoples. Facing a lack of response from the institutions, the communities presented a recurso de tutela to the government in 2012. In 2013, Colombia’s constitutional court, through the sentence T-009, ordered the constitution of the resguardo of Aliwa Cupepe in the next six months. Despite this order of Colombia’s supreme court, the resguardo has yet to be legally created.

It is in this context that in 2018, OWAYA (before known as Human Conet) built an alliance between the communities of Aliwa Cupepe, represented by the Gobierno Mayor – indigenous traditional authorities of Colombia, and the Legal Clinic of Aix-Marseille (France), with the objective of filing a complaint to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. More than three years have passed and we still haven’t received an answer.

We will not stay with our arms crossed!