Peace-building is one of the items on the agenda of social movements and organizations in Colombia. After the indigenous uprisings in the north of Cauca department that indigenous representatives called “territorial control actions”, a “Political Seminar for the Construction of a Social Solution and Peace Conference” was organized in the area on August 3 and 4.

“There is a humanitarian crisis as a result of the armed conflict in Colombia and this seminar tries to come up with ways to reach peace”, Feliciano Valencia of the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca (CRIC) told Real World Radio.

A few minutes after being interviewed by Real World Radio’s correspondent Danilo Urrea in Colombia, Valencia received a death threat by Colombian paramilitary group ’Black Eagles’, so he had to leave the seminar to protect his life.

“The indigenous peoples will continue to strengthen the actions of territorial control to demand an end to the war”, he said.

The Colombian government did not attend the meeting planned with the indigenous on July 27, where they would discuss the problems put forward by the native representatives. Since then, the indigenous declared a permanent assembly. They said they will try to set up a new meeting with top government authorities.

The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, has expressed several
times that he has the key to peace, which according to Valencia means that he has the “monopoly of the right to peace”. The leader also said that “the conditions are bad, but we have to take action. So we have decided to organize this seminar and to prepare a peace conference to tell the country about the responsibility to enforce the right and duty of peace”.

Different sectors of the Colombian society participated in the seminar organized in Caloto. They expressed their support to the actions taken by the native peoples. They also recalled once more the need to find a political solution to the social and armed conflict with the whole society, and not just with the armed sectors.