Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller 6 donations

I am Aura Tegria Cristancho, a 24 year old U’wa woman. I studied in the Cooperative University of Colombia, at their Arauca campus. In June of 2013 I traveled to Peru for three months where I did a fellowship with EarthRights International, working with indigenous peoples of Peru. Currently I am the legal advisor to the Association of U’wa Traditional Authorities and Councils – ASOU’WA, which represents 17 U’wa communities. After 12 months working there I will get my professional certification as a lawyer.

Today, May 13th I am going to pick up my visa in order to carry out a trip to the United States within the framework of reactivating the process of defending U’wa territory. We have received the mandate from our traditional authorities. For this, the solidarity of different human rights defender and environmental defender organizations is indispensible. We intend to continue defending our mother nature and our survival as an ancient people.

One of our key objectives is to bring visibility to the current situation of the U’wa people. The Colombian government along with multinational oil corporations continues to threaten U’wa territory, for example the case of the Magallanes gas exploration project. So I’ll be reaching out to the many organizations who have been accompanying our process.

And we want to once again bring the message that our god, Sira, has left in the hearts of every one of our Werjayas (spiritual elders), passed down from generation to generation. Today, as an U’wa leader and woman I have the responsibility to bring this to the world. My path, my cultural values and my principles I owe to my mother, Daris Cristancho, my family, and my people.



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