CAMIZBA is the Major Indigenous Cabildo of the Bajo Atrato area, which comprises eleven indigenous communities in the north of the department of Chocó. The communities represented by CAMIZBA belong to the Zenú, Embera Eyábida, Embera Dóbida, Embera Chamí and Embera Kativo ethnic groups.
The fundamentals of CAMIZBA's work are:
- The defense of the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Bajo Atrato region
- The promotion of the principles and plan of life of the indigenous communities
- The awareness of the problems in each territory, with the aim of being able to reduce or solve them
- The collective work for the defense of the territory
- The defense of the good living ("el buen vivir") and culture of the people
- The defense of the self education and health of the indigenous communities
- The dialogue and the establishment of alliances with organizations and other entities
The indigenous authorities (governors) of each community elect their representatives in CAMIZBA for a period of three years. Through this process, they receive a direct mandate to act in favor of their people and communities. An additional challenge for CAMIZBA is to simultaneously maintain dialogue with politicians and the armed actors in the region, in the midst of the difficult conditions of underdevelopment and state neglect in which the department of Chocó unfortunately continues to find itself.
Based on the conviction that unity as an organization is fundamental, CAMIZBA is associated at departmental level with ASOREWA (Association of Traditional Indigenous Councils and Authorities of the Department of Chocó) and at national level with ONIC (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia).
"For our people, culture represents life, spirituality and connection with nature"
CAMIZBA: Unity, Territory, Culture, and Autonomy
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