Collective protection of defenders of rights to land and territory in Colombia: indigenous communities as collective actors. The ACIN case is a joint publication by Protection International and Pensamiento y Acción Social (PAS) that tries to understand and analyse the collective ways in which the Nasa indigenous peoples think and protect themselves (Nasa indigenous people come from the higher zone, the mountainous region of northern Cauca, in Colombia).
Drawing form their research work on collective protection and on their experience in accompaniment of indigenous and rural-based communities, PI and PAS, together with the Association of Indigenous Cabildos from the North of Cauca (ACIN), carried out field research in order to learn about the needs and risks that the Nasa indigenous communities in Colombia face, but also about their capacities and counter-strategies to threats and attacks.
Beyond being a contribution to a new approach to protection that includes the collective dimension of indigenous peoples’ needs, this publication seeks to generate changes in Colombian legislation towards the recognition of indigenous governance structures and the safeguard of their collective rights. Research also showed the need to broaden protection mechanisms and measures to that they effectively reach the indigenous communities in the North of Cauca.