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Colombia, indigenous mobilization

Tathiana Montaña Mestizo

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place South America » Colombia

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics equality, indigenous, indigenous rights, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00374.x


In Colombia there are approximately 85 indigenous communities who speak 64 different languages with a total population of 800,000 people, or 2 percent of the country's population. Historically, the struggles of indigenous movements in Colombia have been based on the defense and liberation of “Mother Earth” from aggression by the government, multinational corporations, and mega projects. During the 1970s, the peasants' ( campesino ) movements called upon the indigenous communities to join their struggle for land rights. Though social and political organizational differences led the indigenous communities to form an autonomous and independent movement, they did unite efforts in many struggles. The first indigenous mobilizations, giving origin to the actual movements, occurred at the beginning of the 1970s, especially in the southern departments of Cauca, Tolima, and Huila. As the movement spread across the country, it gave rise to the creation of indigenous organizations at regional and national levels. The Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) formed in 1971, followed by the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) in 1982. Between 1974 and 1978, the Indigenous Authorities of Colombia (AICO) formed on a national level. The indigenous movement in Colombia is considered the pioneer of indigenous movements in Latin America. The CRIC supported the consolidation of the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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