Colombia’s Indigenous Peoples have suffered disproportionately during the conflict as much of the fighting has taken place in or around their territories. Many of these communities have been repeatedly forced off their lands after years of threats and killings carried out by the security forces, paramilitaries often acting in collusion with state forces and other armed actors. Displacement often takes place in areas with potential for economic exploitation, including mining.
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The rights of Indigenous communities and their ability to access and use Colombia’s resource-rich land is central to a lasting peace. Precisely because indigenous People’s make up a disproportionate number of the victims and displaced communities of the conflict, their voices are especially essential for ensuring a just and lasting peace in Colombia.
Luis Fernando Arias of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) will travel to Canada for an educational tour. He will meet with Labour representatives, civil society organizations, government officials, students and the general public. A central priority of the tour will be to meet with Indigenous groups in Canada. Luis will travel to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal between March 5 – 12 2017.