We are saddened by the news we received yesterday, that our friend and compañero Andrés Muelas was murdered on Tuesday night as he was returning home on his motorcycle in Northern Cauca, Colombia. It is uncertain who was responsible, but it was nonetheless a senseless act representative of the senselessness of war. We share the communique below in English and the following words in Spanish to honor Andrés, whose life and spirit has touched all of us in different ways.
Ya somos el olvido que seremos.
El polvo elemental que nos ignora
y que fue el rojo Adán y que es ahora
todos los hombres y que no veremos.
Ya somos en la tumba las dos fechas
del principio y el término, la caja,
la obscena corrupción y la mortaja,
los triunfos de la muerte y las endechas.
No soy el insensato que se aferra
al mágico sonido de su nombre;
pienso con esperanza en aquel hombre
que no sabrá que fui sobre la tierra.
Bajo el indiferente azul del cielo
esta meditación es un consuelo.
-- Jorge Luis Borges
Las arismetica nos falla no sabemos si decir que eres uno mas o uno menos o depronto el equilibrio donde el mas y el menos se encuentran para dejarnos el vacio y al mismo tiempo el todo del ejemplo. Aqui estamos hablandote desde la conformidad de la distancia y la inconformidad de la conciencia que se reuza a hacere historia y te quiere en el presente. En este presente que tanto requiere de andreses que caminen mientras nombran la palabra, la palabra libertad. Tu voz hace eco que despierta nuestra concienia colectiva al mismo tiempo con tu sonrisa nos anima y nos alegra. Para que no te conviertas en uno mas o uno menos sino en razon y ser del ejemplo de la libertad.
Colectivo La Chiva, Canada
Safe journey, Andrés.
War takes from us dreams, hopes, and the life of a weaver
[02/24/2010] [ ] [Author: Communication Network – ACIN (Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca)]
Andrés Fernando Muelas, his warm and sincere smile will always radiate. The same one that inspired and reminded us that we must continue to fight during times of pain and sorrow, like today.
They don’t tire of causing pain. On his way home last night [Tuesday Feb. 23], a bullet took the life of our compañero, Andrés Muelas. At around 10:30 pm in an area known as El Frutal, five minutes away from the rural township of Mondomo, men in military uniforms came onto the road and began shooting indiscriminately. A truck driver was also killed, and four others travelling on the same road were wounded. It is unknown who is responsible for these killings, but we know that various armed actors travel throughout these areas.
Andrés Muelas began his community involvement as the youth group coordinator in the reserve of Concepción in Northern Cauca, where he was also from. He was an active member of the Council [traditional indigenous authority], acting as an official, secretary, and treasurer. He also worked alongside other compañeros from the Communications Program. Despite his young age, the community selected him to become the coordinator for the Sa’t fxine Kiwe community project for his leadership and intelligence. He also worked with the ACIN’s Communication Network and community radio, was a health assistant, and was part of the musical group Son Rumbero. As the coordinator of the youth and adult education program of the ACIN, our friend and compañero was truly committed to his community.
The bullets from these armed men, who have taken ownership of life, continue to threaten, displace, and steal our territory and our lives. The communities of Jambaló, Caldono and Cajibío have not had the opportunity to recover from the impacts of the armed confrontation that occurred last weekend, and yet this meaningless war continues to sadden and fill with sorrow the Nasa community of Northern Cauca.
Currently, our territory is completely militarized by various soldiers on the roads and highways. Certainly, this incident will be an excuse to increase the military presence in our territory on top of the president’s recent order to place 5,000 soldiers in our territories. Some say they fight for us, others say they fight in order to protect us. The truth is that none of them defend life, and their strategies of terror seek to rob us of our territory in order to take the resources from Mother Earth.
Andrés, your family, your community, and your people, cry for their loss. You leave us today in order to return to our territory’s womb, to accompany those who have given up their life in the name of liberty for our community and those around the world. Your struggle will not be in vain. There will come a day when communities will break the chains of greed and oppression, and we will return to feel that we have a right to life. On this day, Andrés, your name will be with all of us, accompanying and guiding the way of these people that watched you grow.