Jump on the Chiva!
Over the past several years, the US and its multinationals and Uribe's government have sunk Colombia further into a hell of displacement, murder, paramilitarism, and economic violence. Colombia's peoples have resisted with courage and imagination, no one more than the Nasa indigenous of Northern Cauca. All along they have been building their own autonomous project while calling the country to mobilize for change. Their mobilizations have called attention to specific problems, like paramilitarism and free trade, but they have also raised a challenge to the whole model of exclusion and violence on behalf of wealth and power. Next week, July 22-28, they will do so again.
The mobilization will use a very Colombian method of transport, the "Chiva", a very colorful pickup truck that can hold about 50 people. These "Chivas" will depart from Cauca's indigenous territories to visit four cities: Cali, Armenia, Ibague, and Bogota. In the cities, they will get off the Chivas and march with people from the city to an assembly to discuss their proposals for a new country. The proposals are clear: No to war, military raids, "free trade", economic restructuring, privatization, "democratic security", media monopoly, and paramilitary impunity. Yes to a negotiated solution, a humanitarian agreement, national economic development, guaranteed economic and social rights, human rights guarantees, freedom of expression, and an inclusive peace. They seek nothing less, and to win, they will need not only Colombians to move, but also people outside the country.
In the broadest sense, what they need from us is that we jump on the Chiva, understand the common aggression, and join them in their proposals where we are. Specifically for this mobilization though, they need us to spread the word about the mobilization, and they need money to pay for the Chivas - each Chiva, with 50 people for a week, will cost about $7000 US. They have committed resources and have local supporters. But we all understand that the best way to get resources for mobilizations like these is from supporters who see themselves as part of the political project. So get on a chiva and support the mobilization for dignity and life. In the words of a recent Nasa communique, we ask that you help break the 515 years of solitude imposed on the peoples of the Americas by joining in this struggle.
Banking information on how to sponsor a chiva is here:
Pueblos en Camino