A large portion of the internal refugees caught up in Colombia’s 50-plus year civil conflict are indigenous people. This video, the fourth in our series that follows our grantee partners working to build peace in Colombia, highlights the indigenous effort to retain ancestral lands and build a common peace agenda.
The organization, Fundación para el Etnodesarrollo de los Llanos Orientales de Colombia (Etnollano), focuses on indigenous groups that live along the banks of the Meta River in eastern Colombia. They are one of 19 community organizations that we support to explore and to participate in building peace in their territories.
Etnollano works with members of indigenous communities located in the municipalities of Puerto Carreño, Paz de Ariporo and Hato Corozal in the departments of Vichada and Casanare. These nomadic peoples — the Sikuani, Amoruas, Piapocos, Wamones and Sailas — have been struggling to preserve their native lands and cope with systemic violence.
Now they will seize the opportunity in the post-conflict period to unite their struggles and make their voices heard. As Maira Parales, a Saila leader puts it: "We have been made victims from all groups. Now it is time for us to unite build a much better country, where we are all equal."
Our IAF grantee partners are constructing peace in their territories in Colombia. This is how we support their grassroots efforts as individual organizations and as a system — "un sistema de paz."