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  • The Minga Lives! ! !
    Huge Gathering of Indigenous Groups March from Cauco to Bogota Demanding Rights for Colombia's Ancestral Peoples and Land:

    What started out as a peaceful strike by cane-cutters in Colombia's northern sugar plantations has become a Minga of thousands of people bearing far reaching aspirations. The traditional word meaning a gathering or collective of Indigenous groups, the Minga has been summoned and has come into powerful force in recent months as swaths of indigenous peoples and supporters have joined a long march from the ancestral home of Cauco to the capitol city of Bogota.

    Resembling the coagulation of Indigenous groups that helped bring about the revolution in Bolivia, the Minga has traveled nearly a hundred miles in over a month of movement. It has weathered 3 deaths brought on by military bullets, and yet remains peaceful in its earnest demands for indigenous autonomy on indigenous lands. These demands, including the elimination of water privatization, taxation, and harassment only call for the honoring of past treaties with the government, which the current administration of President Uribe has disdained.

    The global justice movement resonates in each of the Minga's decisive declarations of human rights to self sustainability and peace. We wish to express solidarity with the Minga, knowing full well that an FTA would make their condition worse rather than better. The consolidation of corporate power over democratic rights would destroy the Indigenous autonomy and make it almost impossible for another Minga to summon the same expression of power as it does today. For sustainable life on this planet, factory farms cruel to animals must be abolished, mono-crop production must be halted, industrial exploitation of resources must cease, and the human rights of indigenous cultures must be protected!

    As we have seen in the case of Mexico and Peru, the FTA structure elicits the betrayal of indigenous peoples. President Uribe has already admitted that his soldiers fired upon the peaceful protesters, killing 3 innocent people - this is no surprise considering his connections to paramilitaries and his involvement in the assassination of union leaders. We hope that more people realize the guilt of Uribe and his presidency, form micro-governments to administrate their own daily lives, and overthrow the global regime of terror and shame --

    Read more about it at The Intercontinental City.

    Colombia: The Minga Has a Life of its Own

    Here’s a follow-up article in Spanish, with information on the strike:

    Minga National de Resistencia Indígena

    We call on Environmentalists, Animals Rights groups, and all people as well as Human Rights organizations to support the Minga and to resist the Colombia FTA!

    WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    - Urge your Senators and Representatives to support the Fair Trade for All Act of 2007, which would repeal the Peru Free Trade Agreement. Urge them to oppose free trade agreements with Panama and South Korea as well as Colombia to avoid further environmental harm. You can find their names and contact information here.

    - Urge the animal and enviro groups who failed to oppose the Peru FTA to not make the same mistake with Colombia and to fiercely oppose this free trade agreement

    Carl Pope, Executive Director, The Sierra Club, 85 Second Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

    Daniel B. Magraw, Jr., Center for International Environmental Law, 1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite #1100 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 785-8700

    Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife, 1130 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036

    Wayne Pacelle, CEO, Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 (202) 452-1100 wpacelle@hsus.org

    Global Justice for Animals and the Environment is a project of:
    Wetlands Activism Collective
    Phone: (718) 880-7979
    Fax: (501) 633-34761
    activism @ wetlands-preserve.org