Colombian Indian organization ONIC has launched an international photography exhibition to highlight the desperate plight of Colombia’s indigenous peoples.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Dignity’, showcases those of the country’s tribal peoples that are at risk of extinction.
ONIC now estimates that 36 tribes in Colombia are at imminent risk of becoming extinct, and many more could be wiped out in the violence that has engulfed their territories.
Colombian Indians have been some of the worst affected people in the country’s more than 50-year civil conflict that has left thousands dead and displaced many more from their lands.
Targeted by guerrilla groups, paramilitaries and government forces, many indigenous people are confronted daily with extreme violence that makes their continued survival as peoples impossible.
Juan Pablo Gutierrez, whose photographs make up the exhibition, told Survival, ‘Bombings, armed conflict and ensuing militarization have violated the balance and harmony of indigenous peoples’ territories… all this topped with the government’s promotion of extractive development is leading to the actual genocide of indigenous peoples in Colombia. It’s an emergency situation as serious as it is invisible. The survival of Colombian indigenous peoples is in all of our hands.’
Survival is supporting ONIC’s campaign to halt the extinction of indigenous peoples and is lobbying the Colombian government to bring an end to the violence that plagues Indian land.