Colombia: Consolidating liberation
from Part 5, Ch. 2 Outsiders and Insiders
The conflicts which have surfaced in the north of CAUCA where our organization has
seen itself confronted by some of the directors of the communist party, the
Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, (FARC) necessitates some
In the first place it is necessary to clear up our longstanding silence. Many people have
accused us of covering up the actions of the aforementioned organization, whose
participation in the massacres of Los Tigres, in February 1981 has been confirmed
for some time. Nevertheless, we did not want to denounce this organization publicly
without first having exhausted all the avenues of dialogue at a national and regional
level, with the intent to avoid conflict that would only give enemies of the lower
classes more ammunition.
It has not been with great satisfaction the CRIC now sees itself obliged to publish this
communique about the events which have been occurring in the north of the Cauca. It
is the first time in the I I years of its existence, that the CRIC publicly denounces
another organization of the Left. Only the demented offensive actions against our
brothers in the municipality of Toribio, with 3 assassination attempts in recent weeks
and death of our loved leader Ramon Julicue and one of his sons, make the
denunciation of this conflict inevitable.
Possibly the persecution unleased against the CRIC in the north of Cauca does not
correspond with a general policy of the Communist party, but that it might be rather
an exclusive decision of some of their local cadres. If so, it would be most convenient
if the authorized leadership of the Communist party would let us know this officially.
We are not interested in closing the doors of dialogue, nor do we want a confrontation
that would go on indefinitely.
But in any case, the situation which we have presented obliges us to reflect how to
achieve the unity of the popular movement. The CRIC has always maintained a
position of unity, clearly expressed in its political platform and which has always been
practiced throughout its existence. We have always confronted sectarianism, among
other things, because we have suffered it in our own flesh through the series of attacks
from people and groups who have wanted to take over the leadership of our
We are convinced, nevertheless, that for the unity of the popular movement there
must be more than just good wishes among its participants. There are certain
organizations who make alliances only when it is possible for them to impose their
own will over other groups and who relate to other popular sectors only to a degree
that they can utilize them.
We consider it indispensable to respect all the organizations coming out of the people
so that it will be possible to consolidate a process of liberation which we all can
support. The imposition of a line determined by manipulation or by force only harms
the unity process and the popular mobilizations.
Frankly, we must observe that practices of the Communist Party in the north of Cauca
are contrary to the objectives they claim to represent and that the people require.
Possibly the most negative is their authority line where the attempt is made to impose
superior orders on a community without giving the same community the opportunity
for discussion of local initiative. A recent example of this was during the past election
when, under threat, the Communist party obligated people to vote, a move which costs
a discernible amount of support for the party.
Another consequence of this behaviour is the lack of tolerance for the most minor
contradictions, internal to the regions that this party wants to control. Several of the
people recently assassinated or wounded have been ex-militants or critical militants of
the Communist party, but who at the same time collaborate with the CRIC; and from
whom there was no forgiveness for having deviated from the rigid official Communist
party discipline. Because of their actions, the Communist party has lost much support
among the indigenous peoples of the north of CAUCA and will continue to lose this
support if they do not change their style of work.
We prefer to avoid all conflict with this party or with other groups of the Left, but
obviously, as long as a policy of assassinating indigenous peoples
continues, we cannot simply cross our arms. We will try, certainly, to avoid all generalizations made under
pressure or to avoid McCarthyite attitudes which will harm the popular movements or
that might just be the result of an emotional reaction.
Before the process of unity of all the forces toward the great change that our country
requires, we consider it our duty to insist not only on unity but also on internal
democracy and authentic popular participation, so that the new society will not be
converted into a new tyranny where the native people continue to be considered as
Stone Age people with nothing to add nor anything to say.
Source: Moody, Roger ed. The Indigenous Voice: Visions and Realities. 2nd Edition. Utrecht: International Books, 1988.
p.567-569. Taken from
Unidad Indigena, 1983 quoted in Akwesasne Notes, Early Summer 1983, p. 12.