THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN COLOMBIA
According to official figures, there are nearly 600,000 indigenous people whom the Colombian State regards as an invaluable part of the nation and a cultural and social treasure. They are organized into 81 groups, speak 75 different languages and inhabit 25% of the national territory.
A. THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES UNDER THE NEW
The new Constitution approved in 1991 recognizes a number of rights that specifically pertain to indigenous communities:
- The State recognizes and protects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Colombian nation (Article 7); it is the obligation of the State to protect cultural assets (Article 8).
- The languages and dialects of the ethnic groups are also official languages within their territories; in communities with their own linguistic tradition, education shall be bilingual (Article 10). Instruction shall respect and develop their cultural identity (Article 68).
- The communal lands of ethnic groups and reservation lands cannot be taken away or attached (Article 63).
- Ethnic groups settled in areas of archeological treasures have special rights over that cultural heritage, which rights must be regulated by law (Article 72).
- Indigenous persons who share border territories are recognized as Colombian nationals, provided the recognition is mutual (Article 96).
- The new Constitution creates senatorial posts and as many as five representatives to be elected by indigenous communities in a special national election (Article 176).
- The new Constitution provides that the indigenous peoples' authorities may exercise jurisdictional functions within their territory and in accordance with their own laws and procedures, provided they are not contrary to the Constitution and the laws (Article 246).
According to the Minister of Government, the entire State policy toward indigenous communities is based not only on the provisions of the new Constitution, but also on Law 21, of 1991, which ratified ILO Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and made it the law in Colombia.
B. RIGHTS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
These rights are exercised vis-a-vis national government and local self-government. At the national level, there are two senatorial positions and as many as five representatives to the National Congress reserved, under the Constitution, for representatives of indigenous peoples. In the election for the most recent Constitutional Assembly, two indigenous leaders were elected by popular vote. At the national level, the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights has a Committee on Indigenous Policy, on which indigenous people are well represented.
At the local level, indigenous persons serve on the municipal rehabilitation councils and the "indigenous town councils." Decree 2001, of 1988, recognized that the indigenous town councils were special public bodies charged with governing indigenous affairs and administering their territories.
The 1991 Constitution develops the concept of indigenous territories, which it regards as territorial entities on a par with departments, districts and municipalities. The indigenous territories are another regional configuration and may lie within the jurisdiction of one or several departments (Article 329). Their relations with the department--and especially with the municipalities that overlap the respective indigenous territories--are not defined in the Constitution. That relationship is to be defined in the respective law.
However, under the Constitution indigenous territories are autonomous for purposes of managing their interests. They may have their own authorities to govern them; they may administer their own resources, levy taxes and have a share of the national revenues (Article 287). The indigenous territories are to be governed by councils that, using their own customs and practices, shall be responsible for seeing that the laws are observed, for designing economic and social development policies, plans and programs within their territory, promoting and overseeing public investments, receiving and distributing revenues from those investments, overseeing natural resources, coordinating programs and projects, and helping to maintain law and order (Article 330).
Some believe that these functions give them the authority to control, cooperate, promote and coordinate, but not direct executive authority; by extension, therefore, the councils would be something that the municipalities or departments could use to carry out their own business.
Some indigenous organizations have three levels: ONIC (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia) is the federation of regional councils (the most important regional councils are the CRIT in Tolima and the CRIC in Cauca); under these councils come the cabildos, which most closely approximate the local communities and their traditional structure of authority. The regional councils are the bodies through which the indigenous communities can function as groups with a legal personality and interact with other indigenous organizations.
Although it can be traced back to the Spanish colonial institution of the same name, the cabildo--an institution of Colombian public law--is a representative body and enables the community to preserve established community principles and collective decision-making procedures. It was law 89, in 1890, that officially adopted the cabildo as the organizational structure of indigenous people. It was a compromise between, on the one hand, self government and indigenous administrative autonomy, and on the other the unified political and legal system of the Colombian state.
The members of each cabildo (the number varies between 5 and 12) are elected by each community to one-year terms; they receive no pay and enjoy no privileges. The members of the cabildo elect a governor. Although Law 89 gives them broad authorities as regards internal administrative, executive and police affairs, their authority over the community is not binding; instead, it is a kind of moral authority. While this reinforces their democratic commitment, it weakens them vis-à-vis challenges or attacks from other State institutions with overlapping or parallel authority. The result is that the authority of the cabildos is systematically disregarded or dismissed by State institutions, even the courts, the police and municipal institutions.
This conflict of parallel authorities also occurs between the cabildos and municipal political authorities. The latter are also popularly elected officials, but in general through a party structure controlled locally by the political elites that operate by buying votes through the so-called community action boards. This source of conflict and of frequent human rights violations could be reduced--according to some authors--if, within the new territorial division, the municipalities were to be configured to coincide with the communities or to be contiguous.
Because the cabildos are weak and do not have the regulations and statutes they need for real self-governance, the governors of each cabildo sometimes exercise authoritarian practices and take over too much power. This is detrimental to the communities, whose general reaction is civil disobedience.
Article 246 of the Constitution of Colombia provides that the authorities of the indigenous peoples may exercise jurisdictional functions within their territories, in accordance with their own standards and procedures, provided they do not conflict with the Constitution and laws of the Republic. This provides an important opportunity to develop the independence and autonomy of the ethnic minorities, as it could obviate the difficulties that occur when members of the indigenous communities are tried by authorities who do not take into consideration the minorities' cultural values.
Those who know this subject well, however, worry that future rules and regulations will restrict that jurisdictional autonomy, making it impossible for the indigenous communities to achieve full juridical development.
C. THE RIGHT TO INDIGENOUS PROPERTY AND TERRITORIES
The Government is instituting a system of national indigenous parks and reservations, in order to "recognize the claim that indigenous communities have to the territories they have traditionally occupied; to adopt programs to manage, preserve, replace and exploit natural resources; to obtain clear title to the reservations by purchasing the improvements from third parties within those reservations and awarding them free of charge to the indigenous communities; to give land to indigenous communities that have none, while expanding colonial reservations by purchasing new lands." This system is most prevalent in the area of the Amazon Basin.
There are presently 302 reservations, involving a total of 26 million hectares of land and inhabited by 310,000 indigenous persons. Some 63 of those reservations, which account for approximately half of the 26 million hectares and benefit 28,000 persons, were formed by INCORA (Colombian Agrarian Reform Institute) between 1986 and 1989. Another 19 indigenous reservations are for 1,535 families.
The legislation regarding reservations basically consists of Law 135 of 1961, Law 31 of 1967 (which approved the 1957 ILO Convention) and the new Agrarian Reform Law.
Colombian law guarantees indigenous communities their right to exploit the renewable natural resources on those lands. With the participation and agreement of each community, since 1987 indigenous inspectors have been named to monitor the natural resources on the reservations.
The Government reports that it invested some $14 million (21 billion Colombian pesos) in economic improvements for indigenous communities in the four years from 1986 to 1990.
D. THE CULTURAL RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PERSONS
Various State measures concern respect for indigenous practices and cultures: Public Health Ministry resolution 10,013 (1981) provides that the health care provided must take into account the cultural characteristics of each community; Decree 1141/78, on education, recognizes ethnic pluralism and the indigenous communities' right to receive an education that is tailored to their own socio-cultural and economic characteristics and that strengthens their ability to make collective decisions concerning their own fate.
Decree 2230/86 creates the National Aboriginal Linguistic Committee, to advise the Government on developing policies on the native American languages within Colombian territory.
Some 2% of the slots available in the National University of Colombia are reserved for students of indigenous origin and the "Alvaro Ulcué" Scholarship Fund has been set up to assist them financially with their pre-university studies and undergraduate studies. By law, indigenous persons are exempt from military service.
It is interesting to note that under Colombian law, the indigenous community is regarded as an extended family. For example, in Article 93 of the Minors Code, "only indigenous minors found abandoned outside the community may be put up for adoption" and only after an effort has been made to restore them to their indigenous community.
Article 92.2.c recognizes Colombian nationality via adoption "in the case of members of indigenous peoples who share border territories" thereby recognizing that indigenous peoples who inhabit lands belonging to several States have certain rights because those are their ancestral lands. Under this same article, recognition of nationality by adoption is subject to execution of such reciprocity treaties as the Amazon Cooperation Agreement with Ecuador (1980), the Amazon Cooperation Treaty with Peru (1979), and the Treaty with Venezuela on integral development of and basic assistance to the Wayuu Indigenous Communities (1990).
E. THE OBSERVANCE OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PERSONS IN PRACTICE
The Colombian Government has a number of State agencies whose job is to coordinate with one another to carry out indigenous policy in various areas and to see that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected. These agencies and their responsibilities are as follows:
- The General Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Ministry of Government, responsible for policies and programs;
- The Colombian Agrarian Reform Institute whose function is to recognize the indigenous communities' full ownership to their ancestral lands if they do not have legal title to those lands;
- The Ministry of Education, for ethnic instruction and to see that public education respects indigenous values;
- The Ministry of Health, responsible for establishing health programs designed for indigenous people and for training indigenous health agents;
- The Indigenous Affairs Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, which sees to it that public entities fulfill their responsibilities vis-à-vis indigenous peoples and that indigenous rights are guaranteed;
- The Public Defender's Office, a new institution which, in this particular area, monitors the official conduct of civil servants and endeavors to create tolerance and acceptance of diversity;
- The Colombian Anthropological Institute (ICAN), which studies past and present indigenous cultures and coordinates with the Aboriginal Language Committee;
- The Departmental Indian Affairs Bureaus;
- The Regional Development Corporations, which promote the indigenous communities' productive development;
- The indigenous program under the National Rehabilitation Plan and the Municipal Rehabilitation Councils and Committees of Traditional Authorities, especially in areas that were once embattled and are now being redeveloped, and
- The Municipal Institutional Development Program, which trains administrators with the Indigenous Territorial Agencies.
According to the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights, some of the chief problems in securing respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples are as follows:
Government officials are, on the whole, ignorant of the laws that protect the rights and territories of indigenous groups. As a result, their lawful authorities are ignored and supplanted by countless State institutions.
In most cases, their titles to the reservations are not recognized by government officials. Some institutions and organs in the regions... do not take kindly to creation of areas and regional organizations with spokesmen for a number of communities... engaged in defending their ethnic rights and their territory.
The right to autonomy... is not recognized by political groups and organizations of all persuasions.
An example of that ignorance--which is just as common among nonindigenous civilian society--and of how it is to overcome it has been the difficulty in negotiating and executing an agreement concerning the salt mines in Guajira. The agreement was negotiated between the Wayuu community--assisted by certain government institutions such as Inderena, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Attorney General's office--and the Industrial Development Institute (IFI), representing other State and private institutions. This agreement, signed on July 27, 1991 in Manaure, department of La Guajira, for exploitation of that ecosystem and the regional salt market, respected indigenous peoples's rights and averted a larger confrontation between the indigenous population and other sectors interested in salt mining.
Apart from the dispute over landownership between large landowners and the indigenous communities is the dispute between small farmers and their organizations such as the National Small Farmers Association (ANUC), which want individual ownership of land, and the indigenous communities, which are fighting for communal ownership of those lands.
Communal ownership is viewed by them not only as guaranteeing permanent control as an inalienable right of the communities, but also of preserving their proven agricultural techniques and ensuring the survival of their political, social and cultural structures.
Given the constitutional guarantees to those ancestral lands, Colombian analysts believe that the position taken by some State agencies--among them the Colombian Agrarian Reform Institute - INCORA--that do not wish to recognize indigenous communities as collective and separate entities with legal title to their ancestral lands and organized, in colonial times, under the name of "Resguardos", is unconstitutional.
The Commission has received information to the effect that in their efforts to reclaim their lands, indigenous communities have to contend with opposition from other groups: the death squads working for the landowners and guerrilla groups opposed to indigenous autonomy on the grounds that the class struggle must take precedence over indigenous autonomy. Then, also, indigenous communities must contend with opposition from associations of small landowners or seasonal farm workers.
The information indicates that those who defend the rights of indigenous people are frequently the target of attacks, as in the case of attorneys who work in the region of Guamo-Coyaima in law offices that serve a mostly indigenous clientele. The death squads threatened and harassed them to the point that they were forced to leave the area and to abandon their activities.
As with so many other sides of the human rights situation in Colombia, all these factors make it very difficult for the State to guarantee and promote the human rights of indigenous people. This in no way diminishes the responsibility it has, as the State, to be ever vigilant and to intervene actively to balance the various legitimate interests that come into play. It also has a responsibility to eliminate those violent elements that operate either with the complicity or support of security and judicial forces or against them.
F. PETITIONS RELATIVE TO THESE RIGHTS
One case is typical of the kinds of problems that indigenous peoples in Colombia face:
On December 18, 1991, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received a petition concerning a massacre of indigenous peasants that occurred on the property called "El Nilo". The Commission sent the pertinent parts of that petition to the Colombian Government, as follows:
Washington, D.C., December 18, 1991
Nohemí Sanín Posada
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received information regarding the following: background information:
1) Since July of this year, the indigenous communities living on the property known as "El Nilo", Huellas reservation, municipality of Caloto, department of El Cauca, have been filing complaints with the mayor of the municipality and the regional prosecutor's office concerning the serious threats, intimidation and violence targeted against them.
2) The cabildo has put in a request for this property, owned by Mrs. Betty Mora Mejía, with the Colombian Agrarian Reform Institute, INCORA, although thus far no reply has been received.
3) On December 7, a group of heavily armed civilians appeared at the El Nilo property. They proceeded to burn the farm houses and to destroy the crops. They also made serious threats. They were accompanied by an attorney by the name of Gilberto Márquez, who said: "If we don't come to some agreement, this'll be war, either open or secret."
4) The events of December 16. The community on the "El Nilo" property, on the Huellas reservation, municipality of Caloto, was brutally massacred by a paramilitary group, presumably hired by the neighboring ranchers; the massacre left 20 dead (11 men, 5 women and 4 children). The names of the victims are: JAIRO SCCUE, DOMINGO CALIS, DOMINGO CALIS (WIFE), DANIEL PETE, ADAN MESTIZO, DARIO COICUE, FELICIANO OTELO, CALICIO CHILHUESO, MARIO JULIQUE, EDGAR MESTIZO, JESUS PETE (CHILD), JULIO DAGUA, CAROLINA TOMBE, OFELIA TOMBE, JOSE ELIAS TOMBE, FORESMIRO VISCUE, LEONIDAS CASAMCHIN AND JOSE ELIAS ULCUE.
Aware that Your Excellency's Government has condemned this massacre, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights would ask that your Government kindly inform the Commission of the investigations being conducted into this case.
Accept, Excellency, renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
Edith Márquez Rodríguez
On January 16, 1992, the Government of Colombia replied to the Commission's note and supplied the following information concerning the massacre in question:
I have the honor to address Your Excellency, on behalf of the Colombian Government, in response to your note of December 18, 1991, concerning the massacre that occurred on the "El Nilo" ranch in the municipality of Caloto.
I would like to inform the Commission that Dr. Jorge Alfonso Medina Avella, Departmental Prosecutor for the department of El Cauca, informed this Ministry that neither the indigenous community in question nor any other citizen reported the threats made against the indigenous group to the Departmental Prosecutor's Office in Cauca or to the Provincial Prosecutor's Office for Santander de Quilichao.
As for the criminal investigations, once information of the crime was reported, a committee headed by the Popayán Criminal Investigations Director, department of El Cauca, went to the scene of the events to conduct the first inquiries and proceedings. This Committee was assisted by the Mobile Unit of the Technical Corps of the Popayán Criminal Investigations Police, the Preliminary Investigations Unit of Caloto and the Popayán Investigations Unit.
On December 18, 1991, through Resolution 1339, the case was assigned to a Judicial Investigative Unit, which took cognizance of the investigation that same day.
The Human Rights Section of the Popayán Criminal Investigations Unit made contact with the officials of the cabildos and indigenous organizations in order to locate eyewitnesses to the crime. Also, three indigenous persons were brought before Criminal Examining Magistrates 7 and 20 to make statements in connection with the events; the Judicial Investigative Unit ordered that the foreman of the "El Nilo Hacienda" and two residents from the area where the events occurred be summoned.
With the help of the Investigative Unit, the addresses of three individuals allegedly involved in the massacre were obtained.
On December 19, 1992, the Human Rights Section, with the help of two indigenous leaders and the Investigating Unit of the Technical Corps of the Criminal Investigations Police, succeeded in assembling the survivors of the massacre to name witnesses who might be able to identify the authors of the crime.
Criminal Examining Magistrates 8 and 20 continued the investigation. They took a number of statements, one being from a Congressman and representative of the Indigenous Communities in the region. Accordingly, Popayán Criminal Examining Judge 7 issued a warrant for the arrest of an individual working on one of the farms located in a area adjacent to Caloto. Criminal Examining Judge 8, located in the community of Caloto, issued a warrant for the arrest of two private citizens suspected of being involved in that monstrous crime.
On December 30, an order was given to turn over the case files to the Public Order Court of the city of Cali, which was done that very day.
On January 8, 1992, the jurisdiction in question began to take cognizance of the investigation, ordering that measures be taken to establish the identity of several people for whom a physical description was available.
On January 9, a group was formed out of the Investigations Unit, composed of people with the Administrative and Security Department (DAS), police and criminal examining magistrates from the city of Popayán, in order to submit the evidence ordered.
At this point the investigation is being conducted by the Cali Public Order Office and no agent of the State has been implicated.
As soon as new information is received on further developments in this criminal investigation, it will be forwarded to the Commission.
The Colombian Agrarian Reform Institute (INCORA) was created in 1962 and is part of the Ministry of Agriculture. Its mandate is to purchase and deliver lands to indigenous and farm communities. It has always stayed abreast of the needs of the indigenous people in the department of El Cauca, as the manager of INCORA explains in the memorandum that he sent to this office on December 26, 1991.
The Institute's Manager states that the "El Nilo" property was being taken over by INCORA in April 1990, in order to give land to the Páez de Huellas indigenous community, which had invaded the upper portion of the property.
As part of the proceedings required in cases of this type, technicians from the Institute visited the property and found that most of the land did not satisfy the requirements stipulated in Rule II of Article 57 of Law 135 (1961); in other words, the land was not suitable for either farming or ranching. Hence, no further steps were taken to determine whether or not the property could be acquired.
In mid 1991, the representative of the Indigenous Community in question informed the INCORA Regional Management Office in El Cauca that they had had talks with the attorney for the corporate owner; the attorney had reported that the owner had volunteered to sell the rural property in question to INCORA. In fact, no such offer had every been made.
It is important to point out that almost nationwide, indigenous or farm communities are taking over or invading rural properties, forcing the owners of those properties to resort to the established legal procedures to reclaim their property or to turn to the Institute to volunteer to sell the property when there is considerable social pressure on the land in the regions concerned. But what happened on the "El Nilo" property in the northern portion of the department of El Cauca was unprecedented.
Despite the land's limited potential for farming, the Huellas Indigenous Community requested that INCORA enter into negotiations for the property in question, based on the principle of indigenous territoriality. Two experts from the Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute, on orders from INCORA management, are now making an assessment of the "El Nilo" property. The assessment will be submitted to INCORA's Board of Directors at its first session in 1992, to secure its approval of negotiation of the property in question. Should no agreement be reached for voluntary transfer of the property, the Institute shall take the necessary legal measures for expropriation.
The Colombian Agrarian Reform Institute has provided the Huellas Indigenous Community with 2,371 hectares for 169 families; in 1991 it purchased a rural property known as "Nápoles" for that community: its 155 hectares were valued at 38 million Colombian pesos.
At a December 1991 meeting, the Board of Directors authorized purchase of the "La Mancha" farm for the Huellas Indigenous Community. La Mancha was a farm of 205 hectares, valued at 143 million Colombian pesos.
In an agreement concluded last December between the Institute and the Indigenous Regional Council of the Department of El Cauca, it was agreed that over the next three years, 15,000 hectares would be acquired for 9 indigenous communities in that department. The Community that benefits most during those three years will be the very same community rocked by the violence of December 16.
INCORA has distributed another 44,000 hectares, benefitting 4,482 families, to the nine Páez indigenous communities.
Finally, between 1962 when it was created and 1991, INCORA has arranged the following: it has purchased 5,928 properties involving a total of 1,278,622 hectares. Of these, 116,243 hectares, valued at $41,162,300 pesos, have been for indigenous communities. It has made sanitation improvements over 505 hectares, at a cost of US$1.4093 million.
There are 245 indigenous reguardos in the country, which are home to 30,782 families and involve a total of 24,692,422 hectares. There are another 19 indigenous reservations in the country, covering 1,059,184 hectares and home to 1,535 families.
Finally, the day after the massacre, the President of the Republic, the Honorable César Gaviria Trujillo, and the Minister of National Defense, Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda, went to the scene of these horrible events and energetically condemned these criminal actions that are so offensive to the Colombian nation. President Gaviria offered the judges in charge of the investigation any logistical support they may require.
As Your Excellency can see, the remedies under domestic law are fully in motion and at no time has the State neglected the Páez de Huellas Indigenous Community, which is an integral part of this nation.
Allow me to take this opportunity to reassure Your Excellency of the Colombian Government's commitment to the human rights cause and to extend renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
Luis Guillermo Grillo Olarte
Multilateral Political Affairs
According to reports received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Special Investigations Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, which is handling the investigation into this case, has uncovered evidence of the involvement of members of the National Police, both before and during the execution of the events leading to the murder of the indigenous people at the El Nilo property.
The attorney defending the indigenous people, Mr. OSCAR ELIAS LOPEZ, was still another victim of a heinous crime. He had been serving as legal advisor to the El Cauca Indigenous Regional Council (CRIC) and was defending the interests of the families of the victims of the Caloto massacre. Attorney OSCAR ELIAS LOPEZ was murdered on May 30, 1992, in the municipality of Santander de Quilichao, Department of El Cauca, by two hired killers riding a motorcycle.
As a consequence of this, the National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) issued a public communique that alludes to the fact that departmental authorities were already aware that paramilitary groups operating in the area were making serious threats against the indigenous people. Nevertheless, ONIC claims, those authorities did not take the measures necessary to avoid what happened.
The IACHR has learned that the judicial investigation into the Caloto massacre being conducted by the Cali (Valle) Regional Prosecutor's office has implicated six individuals as the material authors of the crime. These include National Police Major Jorge Enrique Durán, Captain Fabio Alejandro Castañeda, and four other individuals as intellectual authors.
G. FINAL OBSERVATIONS
The massacre of the indigenous people at Caloto is just one example of a more generalized problem. The department of El Cauca has one of the highest concentrations of indigenous people in the nation, made up of Paez, Yanagona, Coconuco and Guambiano communities which extend as far as the southern reaches of the departments of Valle del Cauca and Huila. Since colonial times, these communities have had to contend with violence from the owners of the latifundios; now that violence comes from the agroindustrial sector entrenched in that zone. It is a vast region. The indigenous people there have organized themselves around the Cauca Indigenous Regional Council, CRIC, created in the 1970's to assert the property rights of the indigenous protected areas.
The indigenous people are faced with a very complex dilemma: they face opposition from the traditional owners, from the new agroindustrial owners, and from the State, which by failing to pursue a policy of defending the rights of indigenous people has only made the problem worse. In an effort to cope, the indigenous people themselves formed social and political organizations ranging from civic groups to such armed groups as "Quintin Lame," a guerrilla group that was reassimilated into civilian life with the 1991 agreements signed with the national government.
To squelch the indigenous population, the large landowners have formed paramilitary groups and bands of hired killers who operate independently, although the influence of the public forces is sometimes present. In his 1990 report on his on-site visit to Colombia, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Executions observed that in the counterinsurgency struggle, the forces of law and order encouraged the creation of the so-called campesino self-defense groups. He added that they had solid support from the forces of law and order, which gave them arms and logistical support.
 Colombia, Information on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Populations presented by the Government (published in UN.E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1991/4). Colombia, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights. "Derechos Humanos, Reflexión y Acción 3," Bogota, September 1991.
 Law 21 of March 4, 1991. ILO Convention 169. Ministry of Government. Indigenous Affairs, Bogota, Colombia 1992.
 Victor Manuel Moncayo. "El Régimen Territorial en la Constitución de 1991" en Política, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, No. 8, December 1991.
 Fernando Rojas, "Providing Legal Services to Indigenous Communities. A case study of the Coyaima Clinic" in Beyond Law, Institute of Alternative Legal Services.
 Colombia, Información sobre Derechos Humanos y Libertades Fundamentales de la Poblaciones Indígenas presentada por el Gobierno. (Published in UN.E/CN.4/ Sub.2/AC.4/1991/4).
 Colombia, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights. "Derechos Humanos, Reflexión y Acción 3," Bogota, September 1991.
 Raquel Rojas, "El Palpitar de los Wayuu" in Colombia Hoy Informa, No. 96, Bogota, November 1991.
 Fernando Rojas, "Providing Legal Services to Indigenous Communities. A case study of the Coyaima Clinic" in Beyond Law, Institute of Alternative Legal Services.