Traveling Indigenous and Social Summit Meets Repression, but Continues 
nasaacin.net/noticias.htm?x=2199  and www.nasaacin.net/noticias.htm?x=2196.)
Less than sixty miles to the south, also on the Pan American Highway, in the town of Remolinos (province of Naria), campesinos from several villages assembled to protest massive aerial herbicide spraying that is part of U.S.-Colombia drug eradication policy. There, too, Colombian army and police met civilians with brutality, that included firing and deploying unknown gases from Blackhawk helicopters. Such attacks left dozens wounded. Elsewhere in Naria, the bodies of two Afro-Colombians were found on May 24, as protesters began the long walk back to their homes.
Indiscriminate use of force with Blackhawk helicopters also targeted Naria Ombudsman Carlos Maya, who was leading a humanitarian commission to the protest site. Maya harshly criticized the army and police attack. In a radio interview, he denounced "the aggression [and] excessive use of police and military force against civilians. Certainly, the ombudsman's office and the commission were exceptional witnesses to the outrageous aggressions against poor farmers who were gathered in Remolinos from different towns." Blackhawk helicopters have been a key component of U.S. military aid to Colombia.
Yet the brutal attacks did not break the communities' will. The communities resisted, and, paired with national and international attention, such resistance forced of the army and police to back away from the protest. The summit in Cauca continues, now under the name "Permanent Summit for Sovereignty and Life with Dignity," to ensure that "what happened in La Mara is not a preview for the next four years - that must not be our country's destiny." The Summit will operate throughout the country, coordinating with grassroots organizations; working on "truth, justice and reparation" regarding last week's abuses; following up on compliance with the government's previous commitments to communities and civil society organizations and on civil society's peace proposal to end Colombia's armed conflict.
Notes: To hear the interview with Nari's ombudsman: colombia.indymedia.org/radio/cumbre/Turbion_15-18.mp3 .
For more on the summit visit: nasaacin.net  and Back to Top 
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Our office is happy to assist in the planning of these events. If available in your area, we can help to coordinate the presence of a returned volunteer or staff member. Additionally, we are always looking for donated air miles in order to help with the cost of international travel for our volunteers. If you have any questions about this or have other ideas about ways to combine advocacy and fundraising, contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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