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The Gonawindúa Tayrona Organization - OGT - COLOMBIA The Black Line

ogt is an indigenous organization gathering the different indigenous communities living in a shared territory in the 'sierra nevada de santa marta', colombia. It represents the kogui, arahuaco, wiwa, malayo, and kankuamo INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.

the 'sierra nevada de santa marta' is an isolated mountain range in northern Colombia. Reaching an altitude of 5,700 m (18,700 ft) just 42 km (26 mi) from the Caribbean coast, the Sierra Nevada is one of the world's highest coastal ranges.

A major part of this LAND has been inhabited by indigenous communities for centuries, and so it is a network of interconnected sacred spaces that holds the balance of THIS PRECIOUS ECOSYSTEM. FOR THESE PEOPLES, THE SIERRA NEVADA IS CONSIDERED the origin of tHE world. this ancestral LAND is delimited by what is CALLED as 'the bLack line'.

'the black line' is the border DEFINING this espiritual LAND and their connections within, enabling the links between LAND, culture, nature, and the world in general.
Indigenous communities in this sacred land, have the responsibility of protecting IT, from the sea LEVEL to mountain top, including every animal, river, and tree in it.
This territory has been deeply impacted by illegal mining and logging, and legal mining projects around the border, including wild-fires due to climate change. Furthermore, illegal armed groups have presence in the territory, threatening its inhabitants and planting illegal crops. The consequence of this is a critical level of deforestation, biodiversity loss, rivers drying, and snow disappearing at the top of the mountain, not to mention the invaluable cultural and espiritual loss.
ogt represents indigenous communities from the 'sierra nevada de santa marta' before external actors and governmental entities. They fight for their interests and rights.

The organized work of indigenous communities through the ogt has stopped several projects that would have affected their indigenous rights.

in 2019, During a meeting between ogt and the ministry of culture, it was exposed the damaged in the land caused by large-scale interventions with heavy machinery near 'the black line'.

inspections took place at the river mouth of the 'RIO ANCHO' RIVER. IRREGULARITIES WERE FOUND IN THE AUTHORIZATION FOR MACHINERY WORK, and it was determined this work had affected the vegetation and some crustacean species in the ecosystem. The work was demanded to stop until environmental permits are in place.

tHE OGT ALSO CLAIMED THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAMAGE OF THE RIVER, ALSO HAD A CONSTRUCTION PLAN FOR A HOTEL NEAR THE land. WITH THE SUPPORT OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND PUBLIC FIGURES, THIS ISSUE HAS GAINED VISIBILITY.
However, tourism and private real state projects continue to be a threat for the livelihood of the indigenous peoples. More than 3 times, the indigenous authorities of the Sierra Nevada had had to close entry to the land given the environmental degradation caused to the ecosystem. The Colombian government reassures communities to be respectful of their ancestral land, but the actions of the government speak differently as they continue to promote tourism and large-scale projects.

Credits:

1. Claude Dopagne; Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; March 11, 2019; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 2. Alejandro Bayer Tamayo; Palma de cera de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Ceroxylon ceriferum); October 28, 2014; (CC BY-SA 2.0). 3. Sailing Nomad; IMG_8964.JPG; February 8, 2007; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 4. Peter Chovanec; Dva špice na chalupách symbolizujú dva posvätné vrcholy pohoria Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Oba majú výšku 5775 m; April 25, 2017; (CC BY 2.0). 5. Sailing Nomad; IMG_8893.JPG; February 7, 2007; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 6. Sailing Nomad; IMG_9007.JPG; February 8, 2007; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 7. Jorge Láscar; Tayrona indian resident at Pueblito - Tayrona Walk - Calabazo to Pueblito; September 18, 2009; (CC BY 2.0).