CSN Urgent Action List

Help to save the last true ecological nomadic indigenous in theHemisphere : the Nukak Maku


S.O.S.On behalf of the Indigenous Peoples: Nukak Mak�, Guayabero, Sikuani, and Tucano ( Translated by Nolen Johnson a CSN translator)

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, ONIC, is sending an S.O.S. because of the grave and repeated human rights violations against the Nukak Mak�, Guayabero, Sikuani, and Tucano indigenous peoples. In a visit made to the state of Guaviare we witnessed first hand the critical human rights situation in which these indigenous people are living.

  1. The problems faced by the Nukak and the majority of the Colombian indigenous peoples are not new, they have been denounced for years by the ONIC - the murder of members of indigenous communities. In December 2005, the Nukak had already been forced to abandon their territories, due to the war and drugs, the coca farmers, the guerillas, the right wing paramilitaries, and the Colombian army that have occupied their lands, as well as the development and execution of military operations as part of the Plan Colombia framework and Plan Patriota. With this war as a backdrop, there is a proven continuous violation of human rights, resembling a permanent genocide against the Guayabero, Sikuani, and Tucano peoples that have been pressured to leave their homelands, small farms and settlements.
  2. The Nukak- Maku indigenous people located in the Colombian Amazon are found between the Guaviare and Inirida rivers, and from the Sabanas de la Fuga to the western border of the state of Guaviare, with an approximate land area of one million hectares that allow them to hunt, fish and gather wild plants.
  3. The last true ecological nomads are constantly falling in number. In 1985 there were approximately 1200 people, in less than 20 years their numbers have been reduced to less than 500. The Nukak Mak� today are 255 indigenous people found displaced in four areas near to the town of Guaviare. This condition puts them in risk of disappearance.
  4. The fundamental characteristic of the Nukak is its organization into small nomadic groups, which vary between 6 and 30 people united by bloodlines, affinity or alliance. These indigenous people move around taking advantage of places where there are water, and concentrations of vegetables for gathering, fishing and hunting areas, and places for seasonal habitation, as well as for meeting and commercial exchange. The Nukak maintain the authenticity of their language since they do not speak Spanish. They migrate from place to place with only the minimum amount of things to go to another place. Their only riches are their territory and the natural bounty of the jungle.
  5. In addition there is the dramatic situation of children living orphaned and abandoned, and their lack of food security. There is also the change in eating habits that is caused by changes in their lives and the health of their gene pool.
  6. The ONIC asks itself: What are the reasons behind the policies to displace these people? The indigenous people assume that the policies are due to the huge transformations that are taking place in the world and have to do with international politics and economic and political pacts like the FTAA, the Free Trade Agreement, and its components regarding our country, like Plan Puebla Panama, Plan Colombia and the Americas Initiative, as well as topics that are so crucial for our peoples such as intellectual property, biodiversity, natural resources, the war on terror, and drug trafficking which affect our security and autonomy, and their desire to take us from our lands by force, and give them over to the huge multinationals and their mega projects.
  7. The government policies regarding indigenous people are in violation of treaties signed with the international community, they do not follow international directives when rights are curtailed, at a time in which the government is committed to the weakening of culture, the deterioration of the environment, given the fumigation policies that damage the ecosystem, and the life of people of the Amazon and the Orinoco basin.
  8. In the face of this emergency today, we make an SOS, in the belief that the rights of indigenous peoples are human rights as a collective group. The right for a people to exist is the same for indigenous people as the right to life for women and men considered on an individual level. So defined, the concept of Human Rights in regards to ethnic minorities is complete and essentially collective, and as such the violations of the human rights of these communities that suffer kidnappings, displacement, torture, murders of their members, actions which include all types of activities that endanger the existence of indigenous peoples, their chances to maintain their spiritual, political, economic, cultural and social integrity, that these indigenous peoples, the Nukak Maku, Guayabero, Sikuani, and Tucano are condemned to death, disappearance and extermination, if urgent measures are not taken for their protection and for their right to return to their territories.


  • We call on National and International Human Rights Organizations to carry out activities to protect, promote, publicize and defend the cause of the rights of the indigenous peoples located in the Amazon and the Orinoco basin, especially the Nukak Maku, Guayabero, Sikuani, and Tucano peoples.
  • To send letters to the office of the President of the Republic, calling for peace and action to slow the armed confrontation in the Nukak Maku territories.
  • That a commission be named and made up of the UN High commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, a representative of the Inter-American Court for Human Rights, a representative of the ILO, the Attorney General for Ethnic Minorities from the Colombian human Rights office, the presidents of the Colombian Amazon Indigenous Peoples Organization (OPIAC) and from the Indigenous Leaders of Colombia (AICO), a representative from the Human Rights program of the Vice President of the Republic, a representative of the Colombian Church, a representative from the UNHCR, and representatives from national and international human rights NGOs, and that this commission head to the Amazon.
  • To the Colombian government to follow the international recommendations to protect the rights indigenous people, as well as legal and constitutional principals, since these cannot continue to exist as a type of legal fiction.
  • Facilitate the immediate return of the Nukak Maku people to their lands.
  • "Indigenous people have the right to the recognition of their property and the right of dominion in respect to their lands, territories and resources that they have historically occupied, as well as the use of those which they have had access to carry out their traditional and subsistence activities. Law of American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Section 5.2 of social, economic and property rights.

Colombian National Indigenous Organization ONIC
Dr. �lvaro Uribe V�lez,
Cra. 8 No.7-26, Palacio de Nari�o, Bogot�.
Tel: (57 1) 562 93 00 Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71 write to his web site at : (There is a box at the bottom that says " Escribale al presidente" which means write to the president)

Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos y de DIH
Dr. Carlos Franco
Calle 7 N� 5-54
TEL: (+571) 336.03.11 FAX: (+57 1) 337.46.67
E- mail: , E-mail:

Procuradur�a General de la Naci�n
Dr. Edgardo Jos� Maya Villaz�n
Carrera 5 No. 15-80
Santa F� de Bogot�.
Tel: (57 1) 352 00 76 Fax: (+57 1)342.97.23
E-mail: , ,

Fiscal�a General de la Naci�n
Dr. Mario Iguaran Arana
Diagonal 22 B No.52-01
Santa fe de Bogot�.
Fax: (+571) 570 20 00
E-mail: ,

Defensor�a del Pueblo
Dr. Wolmar P�rez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32
Santa Fe de Bogot�.
Tel: (57 1) 314 73 00 Fax: (+571) 640 04 91


Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621

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