On 10-11 February 2023, the Antioquia Social Process of Guarantees held an experience exchange meeting with indigenous and peasant organizations of Bajo Cauca, Colombia. The meeting served to share organizational experiences and balances related to self-protection and protection in contexts of violence which have been escalating in the Bajo Cauca region for several years.
The meeting was attended by indigenous guards and ethnic authorities from the Embera and Senú ethnic groups of Cáceres and El Bagre, as well as peasant leaders from three peasant organizations – Peasant Association of Bajo Cauca (ASOCBAC), Association of Agroecological Brotherhoods of Guamocó (AHEREMIGUA), and Association of Environmental Victims of Puerto Clavel (ASOVIAMCLA) – and delegates from the Social Process of Guarantees.
A total of 20 people attended the two-day meeting and shared the self-protection strategies that they have been building for years to face the context of violence as well as the legal and illegal armed groups that are present in the territories where they live.
The attendants embarked on a reflection of lessons learnt in years of struggle for peace and defence of human and territorial rights, highlighting the efficiency and risks which have arisen from the implementation of different self-protection strategies.
The event closed with an evaluation of the implementation of the self-protection protocols of ethnic organizations and peasant communities, in order to establish the degree to which the strategies had been applied within the processes.
The project’s activities will continue in March with the “Circles of the Word”, traditional spaces for dialogue that will seek to build on the progress made at the meeting held on 10-11 February.
The project “The Social Process of Guarantees of Antioquia, Colombia: An experience of unarmed civil protection with indigenous and peasant communities of Bajo Cauca” is led by researchers Astrid Torres, Eberhar Cano y Winston Gallego. For more information, see: https://creating-safer-space.com/the-social-process-of-guarantees-of-antioquia-colombia-an-experience-of-unarmed-civil-protection-with-indigenous-and-peasant-communities-of-bajo-cauca/.