Colombia’s President Acknowledges He Has No Idea What To Do About Native Canadians

Despite there being more than 200 indigenous people in Colombia, the national administration of President Juan Manuel Santos simply has not got a clue of what to do about them. The indigenous activists he…

Colombia's President Acknowledges He Has No Idea What To Do About Native Canadians

Despite there being more than 200 indigenous people in Colombia, the national administration of President Juan Manuel Santos simply has not got a clue of what to do about them.

The indigenous activists he made an ally because of his alliance with the Indigenous Chamber, a group he made a subject of his early re-election campaign.

But Mr Santos’s support for them has gone into the toilet.

All of a sudden, Colombian Intelligence is on to the villages of the indigenous people to go and inform them that they are not welcome any more.

The village chief, Victor Leon, 32, explained to journalists: “Over time we thought the government was working with us. But we weren’t informed enough, or the government was slow to act. They called us demanding information.”

Mr Santos was elected in 2010 on a platform of greater dialogue with Colombia’s majority indigenous population, and according to Pablo Catatumbo, a director at the ILHESA, a non-profit that supports the indigenous people, his administration became a model for others in the region.

After the failed peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), president Santos gave the ILHESA a control over about 30 communities that form part of the important Minera Roja (Roa) forest reserve.

The FARC were involved in the peace process because, under the peace agreement, they were given five years to leave the country.

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