Statement of the Indigenous Coordination of Abya Yala

**DISCLAIMER: Though the Center did not participate in the Indigenous Coordination of Abya Yala Coalition, it is important to highlight the contributions this Coalition made during the 49th General Assembly of the Organization of American States. The Coalition was very supportive of our Coalition's position and statement at the General Assembly. 


June 26, 2019
Indigenous Coordination of Abya Yala
Medellín, Colombia


The coalition welcomes those present at 49th General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in Medellín, Colombia, with the purpose of advancing the main issues of the regional agenda, in which Indigenous Peoples claim as subjects of law in our vast territory of Abya Yala.

The current political model and the implementation of megaprojects in our territories permits the dispossession [of our lands], repeatedly violating our fundamental rights and criminalizing and politically persecuting indigenous leaders who defend our territories as well as undermining our right to self-determination which violates our intangible cultural heritage, the continuity of life and the cosmovision of our peoples.

In light of the above, to the heads of State and the OAS:

  1. We demand that they comply with the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in the Dominican Republic in 2016, and its plan of action regarding the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its immediate implementation.
  2. We reiterate our demand for the representation of Indigenous Peoples within the OAS through the creation of a permanent Inter-American Commission on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples composed exclusively of Indigenous brothers and sisters, on their own budget.
  3. We also demand that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Juridical Committee, the Justice Center of the Americas and other international organizations contribute to the protection of the lives of Indigenous Peoples, through their normative systems and governments.
  4. We demand that the member states of the OAS recognize and respect the special jurisdiction of the Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Abya Yala, within the framework of their own justice courts according to their worldviews.
  5. In particular, we highlight the situation of our Indigenous sisters and brothers in Colombia, who are experiencing an escalation of violence by different groups outside of the law, which, in view of the omission and complaisance of the Colombian government, have increased their harmful actions towards the Original Peoples. Within the current government, 15,911 affectations have been documented.

Finally, as Peoples of the Abya Yala we demand that the Heads of State fulfill their obligation to respect our right to self-determination, preserve and strengthen our own political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions.