Manuel Rozental Case Cleared by Indigenous Tribunal

We are very pleased to report the following news. The maximum authority of the indigenous territories of Northern Cauca, the Indigenous Tribunal, has found, after the report of its Investigative Commission that worked for a year and four months on the investigation, that the accusations against Manuel Rozental are entirely unfounded, without evidence or merit, and that the accusations represented an attack on the indigenous movement.

We view this as the closing of a very ugly chapter on the history of international solidarity with Colombia, and we accompany the Indigenous Tribunal in their wish that this decision facilitates Manuel's return to the territory and to the important work of the indigenous movement.

This is also a good moment to remind readers of a few things. Pueblos en Camino is a successor organization to the Canada Colombia Solidarity Campaign, which we believe was in part destroyed by the types of accusations of which Manuel has been cleared. A short note on this experience was published on ZNet and the En Camino website about a year ago: "Stop the Deadly Rumours" by Justin Podur.

The accusations also forced Manuel from Colombia years later. This is recounted in "Stop the Deadly Rumours" and also in an article by Naomi Klein, published in the Nation in November 2005, called "The Threat of Hope in Latin America".

One way of summarizing this experience is that a committed activist of Colombia was hounded by false accusations for years, accusations intended to undermine the solidarity and movement efforts and processes he was a part of. And now, a legitimate, indigenous authority, after a year of patient and thorough investigation, has declared the accusations entirely without merit and now intends to bring to justice those who wielded the deadly rumors against the indigenous process. The accusers failed. The movement is stronger for it and may even have shown a way that movement organizations can deal with these sorts of matters in future. The trajectory of accusation and destruction has been reversed. The resolution of the indigenous tribunal is, in other words, a major victory for the process and for international solidarity.

Please find the resolution below.

Nasa Resolution 001 [In Spanish]

Resolution of the case of “Accusations Against Manuel Rozental” expedited by the Indigenous Authorities in Session of the Indigenous Tribunal

Source: NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI – Indigenous Tribunal

RESOLUTION 001

THE NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI – INDIGENOUS TRIBUNAL, IN ITS CAPACITY AS THE MAXIMUM AUTHORITY ON JUSTICE WITHIN THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES OF NORTHERN CAUCA WHOSE LEGITIMACY IS BASED IN THE LAW OF ORIGIN OR INDIGENOUS LAW, PUTS FORTH THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION ON THE CASE OF ACCUSATIONS AGAINST MR. MANUEL ROZENTAL KLINGER

Considerations:

-In 2005 the NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI – Indigenous Tribunal formally opened the investigative process on Mr. Manuel Rozental Klinger based on accusations put forward by 3 members of the community who claimed he was an international agent for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency of the United States), an infiltrator of social organizations and processes, and falsifier of his profession (surgeon). The NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI – Indigenous Tribunal designated an Investigative Commission to investigate these issues. At this time, Mr. Manuel Rozental was designated by ACIN as a coordinator of Communication and External Relations in addition to other activities in the strengthening of the political organization in the region.

-Under the auspices of the mission given them by the authorities, the Investigative Commission began its work, looking into the facts of the case, sources and motives of the accusations, visits, declarations, evidence and everything leading to the elucidation of the case.

-Under the circumstances, people, and type of accusations raised, the investigation grew long and complex.

-Having exhausted the investigative process after a year, the Investigative Commission gave its report to the NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI on January 17, 2007, including the following results:

1. That once the work of verification and comparison of the different local, regional, national and international sources of accusation had been completed, the accusations and claims of the accusers were found to be without merit, proof, argument or evidence to support them.
2. That the accusations and defamatory comments against Mr. Manuel Rozental have their origins at the international level, from where they extended to the national, regional, and local levels.
3. That the accusations and defamation against the individual in question were of a political and retaliatory character by personalities and organizations who are against the indigenous process and whose intention is to make invisible and undermine the international diplomacy of the indigenous process of Northern Cauca, which has been supported by Mr. Manuel Rozental among others.

Based on the above and as soon as the report from the Investigative Commission was received (4:16 pm on January 17 2007 at the installations of CETEPAN – the Nasa Thelogical and Pastoral Center in the municipality of Toribio in Cauca Colombia), the NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI – Indigenous Tribunal proceeded to make public the following Resolution on the case known as “Accusations Against Manuel Rozental”:

Resolution:

1. Facing the accusations against Manuel Rozental, upon hearing the report of the Investigative Commission, the members of the NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI concluded that all of the accusations are without basis or argument, which leaves the individual completely clear of any charges against him.
2. That we do not share but reject the defamatory mechanisms of several persons and organizations at the regional, national, and international levels who have used defamation to delegitimize and undermine the international political work of the indigenous communities of Northern Cauca, work that has been supported by Manuel Rozental, peasant leaders, and NGOs close to the indigenous process.
3. That these accusations against Manuel Rozental do not only affect the physical and moral integrity of the accused, but also have repercussions for the indigenous organization of Northern Cauca,ACIN, its leaders, and the community in general.
4. That the indigenous authorities and communities affirm and support the national and international political work that Manuel Rozental and others close to the indigenous communities have done and continue to do to strengthen regional organization and processes.
5. That now that the situation has been clarified and the possibilities and timing arranged, we await the presence of Manuel Rozental in our territory to re-establish the good relations and familiarity that has existed between Manuel Rozental and the communities and processes of Northern Cauca.
6. That this process and these indigenous communities of Northern Cauca have been represented and strengthened in the work that has been done by Manuel Rozental, whose work has not been for personal gain but community benefit.
7. That now that the case of Manuel Rozental is cleared, the NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI calls the 3 persons in the community involved in false accusations against him to account under Indigenous Justice for their involvement in the disruption of the community’s equilibrium and in defamation.

NASA UUS YUT’X PEHNXI – INDIGENOUS AUTHORITIES OF THE NORTH OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CAUCA COLOMBIA

Traditional Territory of Toribio, Cauca Colombia, January 17 2007

Signed by the Indigenous Governors

JOSÉ OMAR VITONÁS HERNANDO MESA MEDINA
Resguardo de Toribío Resguardo de Tacueyo

ISMAEL UL PAVÍ SILVIO DAGUA
Resguardo San Francisco Resguardo de Jambaló

LUIS ALBERTO FISCUÉ DIOMIR ZUÑIGA
Resguardo de Corinto Resguardo de la Concepción

EDUARD EDINSON QUIGUANÁS RAFAEL BALTAZAR
Resguardo de Miranda Resguardo las Las Delicias

EMILIANO TRÓCHEZ OTILIA PERDOMO
Resguardo de Guadualito Cabildo de Pueblo Nuevo Ceral

ANA DEIDA SECUÉ LEOPOLDO CAMPO
Resguardo de Huellas Caloto Resguardo de Tóez

ENRIQUE GUETIO ALBEIRO BASTOS
Cabildo de Cerro Tijeras Resguardo Munchique los Tigres

MARINO ULCUÉ BLANCA ESTELLA GARCIA
Resguardo de Canoas Cabildo Nasa Kiwe Theck Ksxaw

GREGORIO LABIO
Cabildo Alto Naya