Lay Claretians of Colombia are deeply involved in environmental protection and protection of the land and the indigenous people of the communities of the Medio Atrato. Mining development in the area causes land degradation and hinders the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the area. Therefore, the recent judgment of the Constitutional Court that leaves WITHOUT VALUE AND LEGAL EFFECT three resolutions demarcating Mining Strategic Areas (AEM) on over 20 million hectares of the national territory is a great achievement.
The resolution resolves the guardianship action filed by associations and community councils in the area, to the violation of fundamental and collective rights .The Constitutional Court decides so to protect the rights of previous consultation, to the territory, to the ethnic diversity and to the citizen participation of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities that had been affected with previous resolutions. The Court recalled that consent is a fundamental right that is guaranteed through an intercultural dialogue that excludes the State to take unilateral, tax and arbitrary decisions. That’s why all of the associations and organisations in the area, (including those participated by LCM and CMF) celebrate this achievement that allows them to see the future with greater hope
In addition to share with us this news, Aurora Bailon, Lay Claretian in Quidbo, sent us pictures of the feast of San Antonio de Padua, patron of Tanguí. Holding a Eucharist, with numerous African dances, presided by a Claretian priest and well attended by members of the community. These spaces are very important because they generate ethnic, community and social fabric and around them the struggle for life and territory, unity, autonomy and identity is strengthened, strengthening the experience of what it means to be a people with their own history and master of their destiny.