Cofan Christmas Appeal



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Dear beautiful Family,
As you may be aware we are currently working with the Cofan Tribe in Putumayo, south region of Colombia in the Amazon. The governor of the Resguardo Jardines de Sucumbios, Lorenzo Morales, recently contacted me. He was asking for help and assistance for the children of his community.

Due to the current political and social situation they are facing in the region, this year they will not received any assistance from the government this Christmas, thus the children and their families will not have a Christmas celebration this year. 

Their Christmas celebration is not just about buying presents for the children that of course is a good enough cause, but is also an opportunity for all the families to be together including the non indigenous families that share the territory with the Cofanes. Taking into account what this community is going through at the moment, any opportunity to celebrate and be together is a great opportunity. 

Thus, we are asking for donations to buy the children presents and also to buy food so that they can have a communal dinner and celebrate. 

For more information about the Cofan tribe and their struggle to defend their territory, their land… Our Land.
Please follow this link:



***Donations will be send to the community on the 21st of December 2015***
For any more information:
Mobil: 07757946219
Clothes to donate are also welcome; please get in touch before the 1st of December 2015 to arrange collection.
Thank you
For all my relations,

Support Relmu Ñamku - Mapuche Indigenous leader

"Relmu Ñamku, mother of 3, is a Mapuche Indigenous leader from Argentina. She is currently facing trial, after being prosecuted for defending her territory against oil & gas extraction. This Changes Everything UK, Movimiento Jaguar Despierto and Argentina Solidarity Campaign are working together in the UK to raise funds to support Relmu in her trial. All funds will passed on directly to Relmu and will be used to cover costs associated with the trial and her defense."

For more information about Relmu and the case, you can read this excerpt from an Amnesty International briefing below: 

"An Indigenous leader, Relmu Ñamku, [is being charged] with attempted homicide on 26 October for hurting a policewoman in 2012, when her community resisted eviction from their ancestral land, in Argentina’s Neuquén Province. She had first been charged with ‘causing harm’. She may face an unfair trial, and risks 15 years in prison.

Relmu Ñamku, an Indigenous leader from the Mapuche Winkul Newen community, [began her] trial on 26 October, charged with attempted homicide. She had been one of three members of the community prosecuted in 2012 after they resisted an oil company’s trucks preparing to drill on their land, and a police officer was injured.

On 28 December 2012, while members of the Winkul Newen community were attending a Mapuche funeral (Eluwvn) the police came to their ancestral land in Paraje Portezuelo Chico, Neuquén Province, with an eviction order. A large number of trucks and bulldozers from the oil company Empresa Apache arrived at about 3pm and were ordered to enter Winkul Newen territory. Members of the community threw stones at the bulldozers, and a police woman was injured.

After this, three members of the Indigenous community, Relmu Ñamku, Martín Maliqueo and Mauricio Raín, were charged with «causing harm». The charge against community leader Relmu Ñamku was later changed to «aggravated attempted homicide». The prosecution provided no additional evidence to justify this change. If convicted she will face up to 15 years in prison."

For further resources, see:

You can also sign a petition to support Relmu here:

Freedom for Feliciano Valencia

FELICIANO VALENCIA is an indigenous leader       

For the the defence of the territory, self determination and self governance !freedom to mother earth and to our people!

FELICIANO VALENCIA is an indigenous leader from the Asociacion de Cabildos Indigenas del Norte del Cauca (ACIN), and was a councillor of the Consejo Regional Indigena del Cauca between 2007 and 2009. He was spokesperson of the social movement Alliance la Minga de Resistencia Social y Comunitaria, and also it’s successor the Congreso de los Pueblos. He is recognised as a ‘master of traditional knowledge’ by UNESCO, and is one of the most distinguished social movement leaders of the 21st century in Colombia. He is recognised nationally and internationally for his extensive knowledge of ethnic rights, his important contribution to advances in indigenous legislation, and his protagonist role in regional and national debates between social movements and Colombian ex-presidents Andres Pastrana and Alvaro Uribe Velez, and current president Juan Manuel Santos.

In recent years Feliciano has led countless public protests and campaign actions, which gave rise to negotiations and agreements with the government. Feliciano has been vociferous in demonstrating how the government has not complied with these agreements, and arguing that the Colombian state has a historic debt towards the social movements, communities and peoples. He has been invited to conferences, forums and to universities around the country to present the vision of peace of the indigenous movement and social movements, where he has outlined the proposal of construction of community-led, transformative peace which is inclusive and participative. Because of his frank and uncompromising attitude in demanding respect for the collective rights of communities, he has suffered serious security threats against him, which have increased with his leadership in social protests against genocide and state abandonment of communities. In his role as representative of indigenous authorities, Feliciano has exposed the responsibility of state and other armed groups’ in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in indigenous territories.

For more information:

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Defending life, resisting destruction: communities and coal mining in Colombia

"Your operations generate displacement, they dispossess us of our territory, and they result in a loss of our culture and of our cultural identity. It generates internal community divisions such as is the case with the internal divisions caused to the organisations of my community of Tabaco." Samuel Arregoces

BHP Billiton part-owns the massive Cerrejon opencast coal mine in Colombia. It also has opencast coal operations in Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa. And it produces oil and gas and is involved in fracking in the USA. 

Danilo Urrea of CENSAT Agua Viva (Friends of the Earth Colombia) and Friends of the Earth International said that CENSAT had been accompanying the communities in La Guajira in the north of Colombia, where the El Cerrejón mine operates. He continued:

“Throughout these years we have witnessed the irresponsible behaviour of the Colombian state in the face of conflicts related to coal mining, generated by the Cerrejón mine. We have also witnessed systematic, repeated and irreparable damages that your company has generated, and the inadequate way in which Cerrejón has responded to these impacts.

“We are also aware of the abuses of corporate power which can be seen in the following ways:

Negotiations which have resulted in the subjugation of communities
Processes of community division
Not respecting signed agreements
A pretence of corporate social responsibility
Privatisation of Water

“These elements have generated the dispossession of ethnic communities from their territory.

“These situations lead us to believe that shareholders of the Cerrejón should profoundly consider what is currently happening with their company in Colombia.

For more information visit:

UMATURKA The Call of the Water Documentary

The documentary UMATURKA - The Call of the Water follows the Aymara community of Quillacas, who continue to challenge the encroaching modern world and culture by performing the annual Umaturka ritual to call the clouds and rains following the dry season. UMATURKA serves as a memory of the Quillacas’ customs, culture and traditions that form part of the present, reality and life in the contemporary Andes. Giovanna Miralles and Dr. Peter Wilkin completed the different stages of production for the documentary with their own resources and are seeking support to cover the costs of image post-production. Luzmila Carpio, a North Potosi artist, singer, composer, former Bolivian Ambassador to France, contributed one of her songs for the documentary. 

This film is an important record of cultural heritage and memory of an ancient Andean ritual of the South American plateau; performed to keep the delicate balance between the life of the community and the harsh environment. 

This is your opportunity to help to finish this documentary to show one of the facets of Latin American culture, enabling Andean culture and tradition to reach a wider audience.

Support our campaign:

Next opportunity to watch the trailer will be at the event organised by the Anglo-Bolivian Society on the 11th of November 2015. Please follow the link for more information:




Lorenzo Moralez (Governor of the Ukumary Kankhe Protected Territory of the COFAN people )

Abuela Maria, Taita Querubin and Lorenzo Morales new Governor. 

Abuela Maria, Taita Querubin and Lorenzo Morales new Governor. 

My name is Lorenzo Morales. I am a governor of indigenous reservation Ukumary Khanke, the ancestral territory of Taita Querubin Queta Alvarado. My job and mission as a political authority has always been governing, taking care of our territories and people, and ensuring that all the internal rules are observed.

It is obvious that our people have many concerns, among which the greatest is when the multinational companies enter our territories to exploit them, to take our resources careless of the impact there are making, the destruction of nature, careless of the contamination of water, air and soil.

Therefore today, through this medium we express the concerns of indigenous peoples, millenary tribes that inhabit this planet. 

Nowadays we are at risk of being displaced. If we let the multinational companies enter our territories our life will come to an end, because our land is our life. Our land is the base, the origin of our people. In fact the indigenous people cannot be indigenous without their land… and in my case… as a governor I strongly oppose the activities of the oil companies on our territories, although there are still legal means of entering our territories by means of force, such as the directive nr. 10. It is enforced when the indigenous peoples do not give their consent.

I am asking the government today what they mean by the defence of the indigenous peoples that they mention in the plan of development, if on one hand they impose the laws in favour of indigenous communities and on the other hand they enforce laws and force against them.

The multinational companies are not the only threat. We also lose our land due to public force – forced displacement. The 2012 and subsequent years have seen the growth of illegal cultivations that cause violence in our lands. Nowadays there are far less cultivations of this type, but they still exist and still pose a threat to our communities.

Our elders, our children, our community, our people are very concerned about the land we are protecting. There are other entities that come to violate our rights that apply rules against us. There are no more fish and animals we used to hunt, because the white man has entered our territories to kill them off and to build mines. Our reserve has 20.400 hectares. We propose to increase it up to 59.000 hectares.  Even now our reserve is still trespassed. It is a home to 400 class of medicinal plants and over 800 species of animals, birds, different types of insects, snakes, jaguars, bears… but they are becoming extinct. That’s why we ask what will be the tomorrow for our children, if even today there is scarcity, if even today there is no abundance of our natural resources.

As the Cofan People we stand out as a yage culture. We are yageceros. We consume yage to embrace life, to learn from our nature, to know what is what we have, to know what we feel for our Mother Nature…. But when we take the medicine we notice there is no longer the same strength in the nature that there was before according to the elders. Nowadays the nature is completely altered because the spirits of the jungle are no longer around us, they are hidden, scared of the noise and appalled that the Mother Nature is trampled/ treated so badly by some people…

With this in mind we are also planning an event called a Prayer For Mother Earth. We have a tentative date, but we still need to make it official. We still need a lot of things, many resources to do it. The goal is to organise a series of ceremonies in our reserve with men of knowledge, shamans who know the ancestral medicine of different tribes, peoples and countries: yageceros, Peyote tradition, Tabaco tradition, Mambe tradition… with their different culture, yet the same feelings and concerns about Mother Earth, to show the rest of the world the indigenous people’s concern for the Mother Earth.   

We will give more information and necessary contact details later on.

In the background we can hear the music of our culture we use to show our appreciation for our lives. We sing for our Mother Nature in our language. God gives nature to the human being so that we can discover the mysteries of the jungle and be able to cure many people of different illnesses using yage plant.   

Yage plant is very sacred and delicate. Nowadays many white men in other countries publish articles and books, are becoming chamans and establishing Ayahuasca schools. Because as they do not know how to use properly the spirit of yage, they shouldn’t do it. There are serious consequences of the lack of knowledge, not being a member of indigenous community and taking what belongs to our people. Many elders are very worried. We would like to ask these people to come here, to our land to talk about it.

The Cofan tribe, led by Taita Querubin Alvarado didn’t give any permission to no one.

Special greetings for the ones that are going to receive this message from indigenous people from Ukumari Khanke, which means the land of the bear.

Many blessings and a lot of health!