(Editor’s Note: This note comes from the Indigenous Nasa people in Cauca, southwest Colombia, who are in the process of recuperating territory and “liberating Mother Earth.” On August 8th, one community stood up to military and riot police intimidation, expelling them from an estate that is currently in the process of recuperation. The original was published by Proceso de Liberación de la Madre Tierra. The original in Spanish can be found here).
This evening, a community from La Emperatriz who are liberating Mother Earth, in the north of Cauca, southwest Colombia, kicked out police who had arrived around noon with the intention of attacking us and making us leave.
The acts occurred on the Canaima estate, three kilometers beneath La Emperatriz. There, land is also in process of being liberated where there is a large area in which sugar can’t be grown and instead plants and animals thrive.
Since August 8th, private security of Incauca have harassed Mother Earth liberators that come from Canaima to care for the plants and animals. That day, they fired shots, fortunately without injury to our compañeros. It has been very difficult as the brothers that carry out private security understand that these lands are ours and that our fight is not with them. Nonetheless, we will continue.
Today, August 10th, at noon, the military, private security and riot police began to arrive. In total six trucks and two buses of public forces arrived. “Public forces” is a name that we already said doesn’t apply because these are private armies at the service of Ardila Lule, a sugarcane businessman and one of the richest men in the world (according to Forbes).
At the time that the forces of Ardila Lule arrived, the community too was arriving, and as the soldiers said, “they sprouted from the earth like ants”. Many people arrived from nearby areas because when it comes to attacks on liberation, the people leave what they are doing and go to struggle. Reinforcement also arrived from other points of liberation. There already existed a plan to move in support.
The private armies of one of the richest men in the world (paid with public money, that is for sure) shot tear gas and bullets at the community that never retreated. A liberator was slightly injured in the leg. A visiting compañero admired that, “the people move amidst the gases as if nothing.” People entered and stopped the advance of the armed military men. The community advanced to the point where the armed military were retreating until finally they were expelled from Canaima around 4:30 in the afternoon.
The community united to celebrate. One new feat in the pathway toward liberation. Today, August 10th, 2018, we tell the world that Canaima is also land in the process of liberation and that the military, armed to their teeth, backed down before the dignity that liberates Mother Earth.
Process of Liberation of Mother Earth
Nasa people, North of Cauca, Colombia.