CUAUHYOTL ABYA YALA
La Maria Piendamó, Cauca, Colombia 2010
To the indigenous brothers and sisters of Abya Yala,
To the governments of nation states and international organizations,
To all Human Society:
Sheltered in this Region of Coexistence, Dialogue and Negotiation, under the guidance of the spirits of Mother Earth, Fire, Water and Wind, the communicators from the distinct Indigenous Pueblos and Nations of the continent Abya Yala, gathered pursuant to the Mandate established among us in Puno, Peru on the banks of the sacred lake Titicaca during the Fourth Continental Summit of Indigenous Nations (2008) and after much enriching discussions, analysis and experiences here in the Cauca from November 8-12, 2010:
The concept of Indigenous Communication only achieves coherence when it is practiced in resonance with our overall worldview, integrated by our languages and culture, in order to make known to all peoples and nations of the Abya Yala and the world, the struggle of our Pueblos and Nations for our lands, for our rights, our dignity and integrity, and for life itself;
The practice of Indigenous Media is a right, one that we are committed to exercise with autonomy and with deep respect for our spiritual world and as part of the cultural and linguistic diversity of our peoples and nationalities;
That communication is a power that we must appropriate and practice to influence society and the formulation of public policies which must guarantee to our Indigenous Peoples the right of access to the media;
To establish as a permanent, ongoing, and legitimate space of thought and speech the Continental Summit of Indigenous Communication Abya Yala, as a Minga of collective media works and indigenous cognition, in order to:
Share our experiences, problems and aspirations in the field of communication towards the development of strategies in the service of our peoples and indigenous nations in our struggle for territory and the full recognition and enforcement of our Rights of Life and Dignity.
Construct a continental platform in order to give direction and articulate our efforts at the level of Abya Yala, so that indigenous communication is always at the service of our Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities in reflection of our legitimate aspirations. As a first step we have decided to establish a continental indigenous communications network Abya Yala that articulates the diverse networks, processes and experiences of our Indigenous Peoples and Nations.
Articulate this continental initiative of indigenous communication to the national states, which will require respect for the right to communication and information, including necessary regulatory legal frameworks to promote our own communication systems and permanent learning at all levels, in accord to our respective worldviews.
Advance our self determination in the processes and consultation with international agencies on order to develop norms to ensure full exercise of indigenous media, taking into account the Universal Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Declaration and Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society, the ILO Convention 169 and the all relevant laws which countries of the continent that have instituted.
Require of the Organization of the United Nations and its agencies inclusion as essential in their official agendas the Right to Communication and Information of Indigenous Peoples and Nations, to the goal that this right be respected and fulfilled in agreement with the appropriate affirmations of International Law.
We demand that national states:
Respect the indigenous sacred sites of communication with nature, addressing the violations of these by practices of appropriation and desecration by multinational corporations and government institutions.
Respect for the lives of indigenous communicators in exercise of the right of free and independent indigenous communication.
Implement legislation to ensure that as Indigenous Peoples and nationalities, we have sufficient media spectrum to meet the demands of communication in all our territories.
Provide free access to the legitimate and recognized budgetary resources necessary for the exercise of Indigenous Media and to eliminate the taxation of nonprofit Indigenous media.
Stop the aggression against and dismantling of Indigenous Media, which is presently a daily practice that damages and limits the exercise of our right of communication.
Create within their respective jurisdictions, a Commission or Committee for the Protection and Prevention of the Threatening of indigenous communicators.
Promote legislation to protect indigenous intellectual property rights and ownership, in production in the indigenous media so that traditional indigenous knowledge is not lost, nor stolen by violations committed by those who have the economic power to purchase information.
We call for a Meeting of Ministers to be held soon in Peru in order to define public policies in support of Indigenous Communication, including as points of agenda the specifics of line items of national budgets, and the training and equipping of indigenous media.
We call for governments and international agencies worldwide, and as this Summit now declares: the year 2012 as International Year of Indigenous Communication.
We demand of both public and private media:
Respect for indigenous peoples and nations in their editorial presentations and programming, correcting the practice of discriminatory reproductions in distortion of the image and the reality of Indigenous Peoples and Nations of the continent, violations perpetrated by media institutional systems that devalue the identity of our peoples.
Provide programming space to broadcast the cultural, linguistic, socio-cultural and political realities of Indigenous Peoples and nationalities of the continent Abya Yala, in order to enhance the promotion of interculturality, especially through content developed by indigenous communicators themselves.
· The grave violence we are experiencing as Indigenous Peoples across the vastness of our continent and especially the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia who continue to be tortured and violated by state policies of genocide, by the paramilitaries, by police and guerrillas. It is not by chance only that this first Continental Summit of Indigenous Communication Abya Yala was hosted in these lands. One of the most serious cases of violence is now among the Awa indigenous people in Colombia, who suffer open murder by armed groups that generate killings, disappearances, displacement and depopulation. Additionally, the industrial fumigation with glyphosate of coca brings diseases, allergies and impaired health. To date, the Awa have suffered 25 assassinations of our relatives. In some cases these murders have been perpetrated by the guerrillas, but also the connection of the Army has been corroborated in these events and their connection with paramilitary groups, which call themselves Black Eagles and the Stubble, being that they always operate in the same territories. The consequences of these violent actions on the Awa People are catastrophic, bringing them to the threat of extinction as a Pueblo of the Indigenous Peoples.
· The ongoing persecution, harassment and violence that we suffer as Indigenous communicators and community members by powerful economic groups and governments. When we exercise our right to work in communications and the right to information, the doors of state institutions are closed without any explanation making us victims once again of discrimination and racism.
· The impunity for the murders of indigenous journalists. To mention some relevant cases: Maya Rudolph, a member of the School of Communication (ACIN) of Cauca (Colombia), Mauricio Medina, of Colombia's indigenous Pijao, Teresa Bautista Merino and Felicitas Martínez Sánchez, Beatriz Trujillo Alberta Darling (Mexico). We now proclaim once again that these our sisters and brothers, our murdered journalists will not be forgotten because they remain in our memory and we shall continue to fight for justice to be realized regarding these crimes.
· The seizure of materials and other violations the rights of journalists and non-indigenous filmmakers committed to the supporting the life of our peoples, as happened recently in Chile, when the government deported and barred from entering the country media specialists and foreign journalists who wanted to meet and report on the difficult situation of our peoples.
· The violation of human rights of Indigenous Peoples generated by multinational mining, oil, gas and forestry industries that destroy our territories, simultaneously generating high levels of environmental pollution and a cruel impact overall on our cultures.
· The so-called "Bicentennial" celebrations of the States of the Americas, being that we Indigenous Peoples have nothing to celebrate. The past 200 years represent the looting, acts of outrage, discrimination, state sponsored racism and open genocide instituted continentally by the States upon our Indigenous Peoples.
COMMITMENTS AND TASKS:
1. We shall convene the next Continental Communication Abya Yala Summit in 2013 in Mexico. We assume the collective duty as groups, networks and indigenous media organizations attending in this summit to work together towards the realization of this event. To achieve organizational and operational objectives, and to serve as Working Group we identify the National Congress of Indigenous Communications (CNCI) in Mexico; the Andean Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations (CAOI); the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, Colombia (CRIC); the Association of Indigenous Media and Communication of Colombia (AMCIC); the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN); the Coordinator of Latin American Cinema and Communication of Indigenous Peoples (CLACPI); the Coordination and Convergence Maya); and with international support of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC); the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE); the National Confederation of Communities Affected by Mining Peru (CONACAMI); the National Council of Qollasuyu Ayllus and Markas (CONAMAQ); the Plurinational Indigenous Council of Argentina (CPIA ); the Trade Union Confederation of Workers and Peasants of Bolivia (CSUTCB); the Indigenous Confederation of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB); the National Federation of Peasant and Indigenous Women Organized in Bolivia "Bartolina Sisa" (FNMCIOB "BS"); the National Indigenous Confederation Venezuela (CONIVE); and the program of formation of bilingual teachers in the Peruvian Amazon (FORMABIAP); and TONATIERRA of Arizona. We propose a preparatory meeting in Mexico in 2011 and in Colombia, in 2012, during the XI Festival of Indigenous Film and Video.
2. Establish a virtual platform on indigenous media in the form of a training module to be produced by a task group that will be composed of the following organizations: CLACPI, ALER, Broadcasters of the Plurinational Indigenous Communication Agency (APCI), and TONATIERRA.
3. Establish a mobile school of integral indigenous communications, developed with internships, exchanges and other resources. The initial group of promotion for this task is delegated to the following organizations: CRIC-School of Communication; ECUARUNARI; Mixe People's Services; CEFREC, Bolivia; CLACPI and AICO.
4. Create a continental archive of films, videos, radio programs, digital newspapers and other media, so that all indigenous communicators have the resources to conduct information campaigns to increase the visibility of our image of us as peoples and nations, via media productions created by ourselves, which will identify our common issues and specific realities, relevant to our values, worldviews, cultural practices and other themes of conjuncture, which can be disseminated in different languages of the Indigenous Peoples and nationalities of the Abya Yala with input from all networks, groups and indigenous organizations dedicated to the development of Indigenous Media of Abya Yala.
5. To sustain the life of Indigenous communication, in support of the worldview, values and our cultures in general in terms of languages, effectively addressing the problems and aspirations of indigenous peoples and nationalities.
6. To strengthen Indigenous Communication opportunities for the participation of women, youth, children and adults, given their significant contribution to the processes and struggles of Indigenous Peoples and nationalities.
7. To combat exclusion in communication with respect to women, children, indigenous youth and older adults in order to achieve the development of our people in harmony with nature.
8. To promote education and training processes for participation and development of the expertise of indigenous women in communication.
9. To communicate the integral wisdom of Abya Yala in all contexts of the life of Indigenous Peoples and nations, via our continental alliance of autonomous communication networks.
10. To appoint a commission to monitor the agreements and resolutions of this Summit. The Summit agreed that this Committee will be composed of the following organizations of indigenous communities: CRIC, CONAIE, COMMUNICATION INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS OF MEXICO CITY COUNCIL OF Guambía-Silvia, Cauca, COLOMBIA; CONACAMI, IOTC, ECUARUNARI CONFENAIE, CONAICE.
11. To demand of the National governments for clarification of the murders of indigenous communicators, so that these crimes do not go unpunished as was the case of Triqui sisters Teresa Bautista Merino and Felicitas Martínez Sánchez, of the radio program "Voice of Silence" in Copala, Mexico.
12. To give greater articulation of the indigenous media into broader social movements and processes.
13. To collect the historical memory of our Indigenous Peoples and Nations and to promote intergenerational dialogue through communication.
14. Share the experience of this Summit to organizations, groups, Pueblos and Nations of the Indigenous Peoples of the continent Abya Yala.
15. To develop our human resources moving towards self-sustainability of the communications processes.
16. To build mobile and permanent training processes on indigenous media.
17. To make alliances with public and private universities, and indigenous intercultural institutions wishing to participate across the countries of the continent to establish master's and doctoral programs in indigenous communication from the perspective of our needs and worldviews, among other actions.
18. To establish guidelines for indigenous radio stations and indigenous media in general, based on the core principles of each distinct indigenous Pueblo and Nation.
19. To disseminate via the media the information regarding the rights of indigenous peoples which have been adopted internationally, along with national legislation and specific laws.
20. To prioritize the discussion of Indigenous Communication as essential, on the agenda of the indigenous organizations of Abya Yala.
21. To generate proposals to advance sustainability of projects from a perspective of autonomy.
22. To recognize that the search for sustainability should not compromise or limit the exercise of Indigenous Communication, and should not be reduced to the solely the financial aspect as consideration must be given to a comprehensive sustainability that takes into account all aspects of the communication processes, including such as issues as cultural context and quality of content.
23. Regarding external financing, special care should be taken to ensure that the foundations and supporting organizations do not interfere with the autonomy of Indigenous Communication projects.
24. To not allow the practice any discrimination in the field of indigenous media.
25. The content of the indigenous media should pay special attention to the information necessary to achieve food sovereignty, promote consumption of healthy foods and evaluate the importance of traditional foods and diets typical of our peoples, promoting the achievement of the practice of Living with Wellness, in its various forms depending on the culture of each Indigenous Pueblo and Nation.
26. To systematize our own methodologies for the appropriate design and production of content for Indigenous Media.
27. The Indigenous Communication should emphasize the present crisis of Western civilization in order to properly reassess the lifestyle of our own peoples.
28. To engage the agenda of the United Nations on environmental issues with the purpose to introduce content on the issues that reflects our views moving towards greater understanding among the majority societies of the countries of the continent.
29. Indigenous Communication must work constantly to decolonize the conceptions imposed upon Abya Yala, bringing forward our own notions and concepts in order to strengthen our relationship with the cosmos, with life, and to clarify our relationship with all other human beings, including our neighbors and enemies.
30. We propose as indigenous media, to promote the articulation and structuring of a continental organizational structure with foundation of the existing organizations.
31. In terms of the use of Information and Communication Technologies, which are used by the great powers that prevail in society to do away with our identity as peoples and suppress our historical resistance, the projects of Indigenous Communication must be implemented to enhance our indigenous memory, our ancestral heritage, our organizational processes and our will to fight and be free.
32. To strengthen opportunities for audiovisual and multimedia production to advance the accumulation of community knowledge in the use of these technologies.
33. To give priority to the use of free software and seek to develop our own systems accessible to our communities, considering in the messaging battle regarding Indigenous Communication, we have yet to be validated and broadcast via our own alphabets, ideographs and characters.
34. To integrate a directory of media specialists who wish to collaborate with indigenous communication Abya Yala and as such serve as a permanent technical team for advice on the proper use of information and communication technologies.
35. To prepare a climate crisis campaign. Initial responsible organizations are CLACPI in coordination with CAOI and ALER.
36. To create a DECLARATION for the year 2012, to be proclaimed as International Year of Indigenous Communication. This commission will work in coordination with CLACPI, ALER and CAOI.
37. To promote a preparatory meeting to share and coordinate with other regional organizations such as COICA. Commission responsible for coordination: CAOI with CLACPI, and ALER.
38. To sponsor an incentive to give recognition individually and collectively, outstanding indigenous communication initiatives.
39. To work on strengthening our ancestral knowledge and cognition through research to provide material for the content of the indigenous communication of Abya Yala.
40. To promote the creation of a communication unit to produce audiovisual products derived from our own conceptions. The initial set of responsibilities lies with the community of Tawa Intin Suyu, Bolivia, in alliance with other organizations and groups.
41. To strengthen all artistic practices of communication such as photography, drawing, painting, dance and other authentic expressions of Indigenous Pueblos and Nations.
The Summit resolved that this Declaration will be published in all indigenous languages of the Pueblos and Nations of the continent of Abya Yala.
La Maria Piendamó, Cauca, Colombia
November 12, 2010
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples