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Emergency Response for Indigenous Colombian Women

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Objective: Obtain the provision of personal protective elements (PPE), medicine, and food (proper to the indigenous diet) for 348 indigenous women who are the heads of families in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. These women and their families had been displaced from their ancestral territories by a brutal and ongoing armed conflict. They are stranded in Bogotá and with little to no support from the Colombian government.  OPIAC (Oganización Nacional de los Pueblos Indigenas de la Amazonía Colombiana) is providing support but the dimension and magnitude of the current crisis has overwhelmed the precarious safety network the organization could provide. The gravity of the situation forces us to appeal to your help and support. 

We are looking to raise $5.000 that could help OPIAC and Fany Kuiru (traditional name Jitoma Monaiyanho), coordinator of the Women, Youth, Children, and Family office of the organization to provide temporary but crucial support for this community for the next couple of months. This amount is far from being enough to solve all the necessities these women face in the midst of the armed conflict and a pandemic. This sum will simply facilitate attention and much-needed support in the form of food, protective elements, and medicines. 

Fany Kuiru wants to remind us that "the threat that indigenous people from the Amazon are facing during the current pandemia does not only concern the Amazonian people or the Colombian government. The present situation puts these communities' very survival at high risk. The disappearance of Amazonian people, guardians of the Amazon and of life itself, represents a great loss for humanity, a loss of knowledge, ancient sacred technologies, and of life that humanity cannot afford anymore." 

We kindly invite you to support this effort if you are able to donate. If you are not able to do so please help us spread this campaign in both your social and professional networks. OPIAC has produced a call for international support, a much comprehensive plan to support the total of the indigenous population in the Colombian Amazonia. We invite you to consider connecting us with institutions, NGO's, international agencies or governmental entities that you know or are connected to. These are the two components of the campaign that we invite you to consider. 

Please consider reading the international call of support (below for more detailed information) and donating or contributing to this campaign in the way you can and help us reach out to individuals and institutions that can support us in this effort. We also invite you to read the call so you can also make an informed contribution to our campaign and efforts.


Campaign director:
Fany Kuiru Castro / Coordinator of the office for Women, Children, Youth and Family of the OPIAC, and responsible for the management of humanitarian aid in the region. e-mail: [email redacted].co/ [email redacted]

Luis Rincón Alba (Manglar Collective-New York City)

Call for humanitarian support for the Amazonian region in Colombia due to the pandemic produced by COVID-19.

1. Presentation

The departments (states) that make up the Amazonian region in Colombia are: Amazonas, Caquetá, Guainía, Guaviare and Putumayo. According to figures from the OPIAC, the population in this region is 733,110 inhabitants, of whom 168,111 are indigenous to 64 towns. These numbers correspond to approximately 12% of the total indigenous population of the country. The recognized indigenous reserves in the region total 227,389 square kilometers that represent almost 50% of the national territory.

Amazonian Context: between abandonment, institutional violence, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The geographical configuration of the Amazon has been particularly impacted by the armed conflict in the six departments (states), abandonment and weak institutional presence and the emergence of other territorial and environmental problems resulting from the conjunction of all of the above. As a result, there has been a weak articulation and inclusion of the Amazon into the whole of the Colombian society, this has led to the government’s incapacity to guarantee adequate governance and, therefore, the population is deprived of their human rights. The departments of the Colombian Amazon register one of the highest rates of Unsatisfied Basic Needs in the country, which is exacerbated with population dispersion and difficult access to indigenous territories.

Currently, part of the original population of the Amazon resides in their own territories; many others live in urban and suburban areas of local municipalities; and a growing part of the population lives in capital cities due to forced displacement, lack of job opportunities in their territories and to study. In contrast, there are other departments (states) and Municipalities where the majority of the population is indigenous. These are regions that conform to the Amazon Biome, where armed actors threaten the physical and spiritual life of communities still today, thus forcing their migration, and endangering their cultures and the conservation of its habitat.

The health system in the region is weak or non-existent; this is why today in Leticia, the main city in the Amazon, there is only one public hospital and a few private institutions, which do not have the capacity to serve the population infected due to lack of supplies and medical staff. According to information provided by CORPOAMAZONÍA, the following is the medical infrastructure in the region: a second level hospital in Leticia, a first level at Puerto Nariño, Health Centers at Tarapacá, Puerto Arica, La Chorrera, San Rafael, Puerto Alegría, Puerto Santander, Mirití - Paraná, Pacoa and La Pedrera, in the Department of the Amazon and thus in the rest of the 5 departments that make up the region.

 In conclusion, the region is in a disadvantageous condition to face the arrival of COVID-19, since it does not have enough hospital infrastructure, health workers, medicines and other medical supplies required to attend the growing number of affected people. Aid from the National Government has not yet arrived, nor has the socialization of information been coordinated with the ethnic-territorial authorities, nor adopting measures to prevent, contain and mitigate the effect of the pandemic in the region.

 Likewise, the communities do not have sufficient resources to exercise territorial control, access of their reservations, nor do they have means of communication and biosafety elements to carry out their tasks without putting themselves at risk. Due to the population dispersion in the territory, the transport of both people and supplies must be done by air or river, which makes it difficult to transfer patients for timely care in a first or second level hospital center. In these conditions the indigenous and riverside population is condemned to death by COVID-19.

 It is true that indigenous populations have their own doctors and traditional medicine, but this is not enough to contain the effects of the virus. It is necessary to develop prevention and management actions with indigenous populations, especially in those communities with greater vulnerability.

 For these reasons, this proposal is aimed at obtaining financial resources and the provision of biosecurity elements, equipment for the health system, and food in accordance with the Indigenous Food Basket, which guarantees communities live with dignity and have food security during the crisis.

The following is the request for support received by us from the indigenous authorities:

Families that have requested support by community and department:

Women at the head of the household who have requested support in the city of Bogotá:

Associations and Ethnic Groups

Boras, Huitotos, Ticuna, Tucano, Miraña, Matapi, Cabildo Indigena Uitoto, Monufue Uruk+, Carijona, Piratapuyo, Desano, Cubeo,Gaunana, Siriano.
348 women

2. Humanitarian Aid

Taking into account the affected population, the goal is to distribute at least 34,811 Indigenous Food Baskets, which must be sent periodically to the families in need at least 2 times a month.


Indigenous Food Baskets contain Fariña, cassava starch, pasta, salt, banana, panela, dried fish, bush meat, cookies, sweet cookies, milk powder, oatmeal, batteries, hooks, flashlights, nylon, oil, coffee, chocolate, rice and sugar, the latter in considerable quantity.


Cleaning kit:

Powdered soap, bar soap, bath soap, toilet paper, feminine pads.


Personal security kit:

Covers No. 95 (washable, 3 units per person), antiseptic alcohol, hypochlorite and gloves.


Planting tools:

Boots, machete, shovel, hoe, overalls, pick, and fuel. These resources are necessary during the pandemic to guarantee food sovereignty.


Harvesting: Ovens to toast the fariña, electric graters, gasoline.


3. Delivery and Donation Logistics

Campaign director:
Fany Kuiru Castro / Coordinator of the office for Women, Children, Youth and Family of the OPIAC, and responsible for the management of humanitarian aid in the region. e-mail: [email redacted].co/ [email redacted]

If you or your institution prefer to directly contact OPIAC to arrange support in other than monetary help, you can contact the organization or send material donations to these Places of Reception and Delivery:

a) Donations for the population living in Bogotá will be received at the headquarters of the OPIAC in the city of Bogotá, D.C. in Carrera 16 A # 30 - 78, Barrio Teusaquillo. For said delivery please communicate the day before.

b) For donations to the population that lives in the Amazon, the donor is required to

consult the shipping route with OPIAC or provide an economic resource of five thousand pesos

(COL$ 5,000 = US$1.50 = €1.25) per kilo to deliver these supplies directly to the territory.

c) Those who wish to make a monetary donation may deposit in the Bank Account

# 049007883 of Banco BBVA in the name of OPIAC, whose Nit is 830.009.653-1. We ask donors to send proof of the transaction to the WhatsApp number +57 3118541670 or to the aforementioned emails, since OPIAC wishes to send donor thank you notes.

Si los pueblos de la amazonía que no tienen la protección medica están afectando y estos pueblos desaparecen entonces van a desaparecer los pueblos de la amazonía. De los 27 millions 24 son selvas naturales. Donde hay colonización see than debastado. Si estos pueblos desaparecen la humanidad va a perder. Esto regula el claims, mayor contención de agua dulce en el planets. 

Fundraising team: Campaña para la OPIAC (2)

Luis Alba
Brooklyn, NY
Jessica Coffey
Team member

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