Sep 19, 2023 | News

San Juan Corridor –Calima Basin, Buenaventura
September 19, 2023

From September 9th to the 18th numerous organizations gathered in assembly in the ethnic territory of the San Juan Corridor – Calima Basin, which include both rural and urban communities surrounding Buenaventura. The meeting was held to address current concerns regarding cases of communities in confinement, of forced displacement and of the ongoing humanitarian crisis that has been affecting the entire Pacific region due to the ongoing armed conflict.

Included in the assembly were representatives from the national, departmental and district governing bodies, members from the dialogue table between the Colombian government and the ELN, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace OACP, the Vice Presidency, the Interior Ministry, the Department of National Planning, the Unit for Victims, Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, Territory Restitution Unit, National Protection Unit, the Peace Fund, and representatives from the Health, Education, and Equality Ministries.

During the assembly, local authority figures and leaders presented written proposals to government institutions that outlined appropriate course of action to take in cases of emergency, including displacement and confinement, and proposals for how to return to occupied lands or, in cases of relocation, best practices for systems of protection and self-protection. They outlined the importance of the Juntanza Interétnica which was created in November of 2021 as a response to the paramilitary group, the Clan del Golfo that raided their territory at the time.

Numerous humanitarian initiatives have been created throughout the region to address issues of displacement and confinement, including: the Aldea Matia Mulumba Home, where the Cabildo community from the Wounaan Nonam village in Valledupar live, the Cabildo Wounaan Phobor Humanitarian Home, the Humanitarian and Biodiverse Territory for peace from the La Esperanza Community Council, and the Santa Rosa de Guayacán Humanitarian and Biodiverse Reservation. The humanitarian initiatives of the Calima Community Council and the Acadesan Community Council in the San Juan River provide an additional example of protection and self-protection mechanisms in the region.

FORPP and Conpazcol provided joint accompaniment for these dialogues and assemblies.