The communities that participated in this workshop also pledged to build a truly democratic community consultation process and to resist the companies’ attempts to take over and distort the process. The workshop’s final declaration called upon the Colombian government to nullify the results of the manipulative “consultations” carried out thus far. Participants vowed to carry out a massive education process to lay the groundwork for true community consultations, and to refuse to participate in any more company-organized “consultations.” The final declaration stated: “We have the right to give, or withhold, Free, Prior and Informed consent. This consent cannot be obtained under pressure from the companies. Representatives of these companies are contacting our Indigenous brothers and have arbitrarily entered our Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. They are dividing families, ignoring our customs, traditions, community authorities, and ways of life, and the autonomy of small-holders. They are They are holding meetings, signing agreements with individuals, ignoring the fact that the land belongs to all of the members of the communities, and that 100% of the members should participate. Thus we declare, based on ILO 169, ratified by Law 21 of 1991, the Colombian Constitution and national and international law, that the companies should not be promoting consultations nor going into our territories without our consent and the permission of our community assemblies which are the highest level of governance in our communities.”
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