Intercultural School of Indigenous Diplomacy. Pilot experience (year 2011-2012): Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Wintukwa village (Arhuaco)

Project: Research Project

Project Details


The Intercultural School of Indigenous Diplomacy aims to become a training space within the framework of an exchange of knowledge that contributes to discussing and solving together the most visible problems of the Indigenous Peoples in Colombia. With respect to this, we can say that in Colombia, according to the data presented by the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), there are 1,392,623 indigenous people, that is, 3.3% of the national population. Due to this, the existence of 87 Peoples is recognized, of which the majority of the population lives in the rural areas of the country (79%), particularly in the legally constituted indigenous resguardos, in the indigenous biases, or in territories that are not legally delimited. Based on this, the indigenous population has 735 indigenous reservations, located in 235 municipalities, with a population of 1,042,579, which corresponds to 27% of the national territory. However, a significant percentage of these territories overlap with natural parks and are not under the administrative responsibility of indigenous communities.

From this point of view, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) deployed during 2010 and 2011 a campaign called "sweet word, air of life" in which from the recognition of cultural diversity (82 indigenous peoples) framed in the Political Constitution of Colombia of 1991, there were extreme situations of cultural affectation and extermination of some indigenous peoples, according to this "there are 32 peoples with a population of less than 500 people, who are located mostly in the departments of Amazonia and Orinoquia. Of these 32 villages, 18 have a population of less than 200 people, and 10 are made up of 100 people" (ONIC, 2010). The records kept by ONIC show that the demographic fragility of these peoples can be explained by the following problematic factors, which directly threaten the survival of indigenous peoples in Colombia: internal armed conflict; violation of fundamental rights (1991 Constitution) and collective rights (their own right; ILO Convention 169; Declaration of Indigenous Peoples); poverty; discrimination; institutional abandonment; and humanitarian crisis.
Effective start/end date6/1/108/30/12

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Santa Marta


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