The National Government, through the Ministry of the Interior, has led actions aimed at promoting respect for Indigenous Peoples, their uses and customs, the strengthening of their organizational and educational processes, as well as their social welfare, survival and governance.
The Minister of the Interior, Alicia Arango Olmos, reiterated the commitment of the government of President Iván Duque Márquez with the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia, with whom they have been working together in favor of important initiatives, programs and projects that positively impact their communities.
Additionally, the Interior Minister stated “we highlight the resilience and work of the communities for their territories. For this reason, the National Government has a permanent interest in promoting actions that benefit them, always respecting their differential approach, ethnic, cultural and territorial preservation, seeking the realization of the effective enjoyment of their rights and recognition of their ancestral practices and government”.
Minister Arango Olmos stressed that "teamwork and agreement with indigenous communities has been fundamental in many of the agreements that have been reached," for this reason, she insisted on the importance of continuing to build based on social dialogue.
Among the recent agreements that the Ministry of the Interior has been fulfilling with these communities, is the agreement with the National Institute of Roads, INVIAS, for the execution of a project of plate tracks and maintenance of tertiary roads for 25 billion pesos, which will be executed in the territory of the Pastos and Quillacingas Indigenous Peoples of Nariño, to strengthen their mobility and allow the reactivation of their economy, through the design and construction of footprints in 25 kilometers selected by these communities,
Other actions that stand out:
● Ethnic Chapter in the National Development Plan 2018-2022. The National Development Plan ‘Pact for Colombia Pact for Equity’ was concluded with the Indigenous Peoples (216 agreements), the Rom or Gypsy People (78 agreements) and the Black, Afro-Colombian, Raizales and Palenqueras Communities (239 agreements).
● #LíderEsColombia, in prevention and protection we add lives. National impact strategy for the recognition, dignity and destigmatization of the work of leaders, social leaders and defenders of human rights. The campaign also seeks to encourage reporting in the event of being victims of threats.
● School of Social Leaders. For the first time in Colombia, leaders and social leaders will receive academic training in different areas that will strengthen their work, through an agreement with the Open and Distance University (UNAD). In total there will be 24,687 places for 159 graduates and 442 courses, with an initial investment of $ 7,521,000,000.
● National Commission of Indigenous Women. Decree 1158 of August 21, 2020 was issued, which defines the measures, members and functions of this commission, through the monitoring, inclusion and evaluation of public policies and projects that develop constitutional and legal rights for the empowerment of women, families and indigenous generations.
● Direct contracting for Indigenous Organizations. For the first time, these communities will be able to contract directly with the State after the issuance of Decree 252 of February 21, 2020.
● Fund for Good Living. 20 billion pesos will be allocated for entrepreneurial projects in Indigenous Peoples and Communities at the national level, promoting community integration with an ethnic, life cycle and gender approach, through a coordinated and participatory process.
● Strengthening the economy of Indigenous Peoples. Through a technical cooperation agreement between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca (CRIC) and the Ministry of the Interior, the economy of indigenous peoples will be strengthened. For this year there are one billion pesos of a non-repayable loan.
● Colombia is with you, a million families. In times of pandemic, 1,390,000 Emergency Humanitarian Aids have been delivered in 32 departments of the country, benefiting about 4 million people. This program was designed to benefit vulnerable families from indigenous communities, Rom, black, Afro-Colombian, Raizales, Palenqueras, social and community leaders, human rights defenders, LGBTI and vulnerable people referred by religious entities.
● Joint Commission and meetings with the CRIC. The Ministry of the Interior has held several meetings to address issues such as the pandemic generated by Covid-19, and the follow-up to the action plan to seek solutions to the needs of indigenous communities.
● Regulation of the operation and organization of the General System of Royalties. In record time and through permanent roundtables, the Ministry of the Interior was able to establish agreements to carry out prior consultation of the reform project to the General System of Royalties with Indigenous Peoples and Organizations and the Rom People.
● Organizational Strengthening of the Permanent Table for Concertation with Indigenous Peoples and Organizations. An agreement for 6,200 million pesos was signed to strengthen the competencies of the Permanent Table for Concertation with Indigenous Peoples and Organizations.
● Educational benefits for the Indigenous population. Two thousand forgivable higher education credits were managed through the Indigenous Communities Fund - Álvaro Ulcué Chocué, which were granted to members of these communities.
● Security guarantees in social investment in Cauca. Within the framework of the Timely Action Plan (PAO), the National Government announced the reinforcement of actions to guarantee security and investment in the region. In addition, the PAO has been implemented in different departments of the country.
● Safeguard Plans. In compliance with Judgment T-025 of 2004 and its follow-up orders, progress is being made in the signing of 21 agreements with indigenous peoples to continue with the construction of safeguards plans, for a value of $ 7,141,000,000. Through the safeguard plans, the protection of the ethnic, cultural and organizational diversity of the indigenous communities is achieved, and the integral survival of their peoples is guaranteed.
● Follow-up to Mingas, Strikes and Concertation Spaces commitments. In 2020, work has been done to consolidate the follow-up to more than 1,541 commitments acquired by the National Government within the framework of 15 mingas, 3 spaces for consultation and more than 3 strikes at the national level, managing to articulate the work of the National Government and improving the effectiveness in reporting and compliance.
● Disclosure of Judgment T-302 of 2017. The dissemination and communication of Judgment T-302 of 2017 with the Wayuú indigenous people in 2,663 indigenous communities, in 4 municipalities of La Guajira, was advanced.
In this way, the Ministry of the Interior reiterates its work and commitment to protect and guarantee the rights and survival of the country's indigenous communities.