Linked with our presentation of COICA Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indigenas de la Cuenca Amazonica.
Antonio Jacanamijoy – Colombia
Antonio is from Colombiaâs Sibundoy Valley. He has a university degree, is married and has three children. Antonio speaks Spanish and Quechua. Antonioâs interests, concerns, and experiences are in indigenous rights, human rights, economic development, natural resource protection, biodiversity, and intellectual property rights. Antonio began working in his local community in the Colombian Amazon from which he rose to Colombian regional and national levels, and then on to such international arenas as the United Nations, the World Bank, OXFAM, and the Climate Alliance (Germany).
In each case, he has taken a leadership role that encourages and enables the sort of open dialogue and negotiation that, breaking with Latin Americaâs traditional hierarchies, moves toward participatory and deliberative democracy. Antonio assumed his first official leadership role as governor of the Colombian Inga Indigenous Community in 1987. From this position, he gained more powerful roles as he represented the interests of his community at increasingly wider regional and national levels. His representation of indigenous interests extended internationally when he assumed coordinating positions for Amazon basin indigenous groups in Ecuador and became a member of the directorate for the Forest Stewardship Council in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Long active in the Colombian Indian rights movement, he was elected as Coordinator General within the international “Coordinating Group for Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA).” COICA currently links about 4 million Indians from several hundred regional and national organizations and is active in a number of international forums on issues ranging from human rights to intellectual property rights to climate/environmental issues. Antonio served with COICA on the Council of Directors, Climate Alliance in Frankfort, Germany, and on the Council of Advisors, COICA-OXFAM in the United States.
In 2001, Antonio was selected to one of six Permanent Members to the UN Working Group on Indigenous Affairs. After retiring from COICA in 2002, he ran for the Colombian Senate. His leadership roles and bridge building capacities are illustrated by the extensive roles he has occupied at community, regional, national, and international levels.
He works to increase the status and role of indigenous peoples, in Colombia and internationally, such that they can maintain their distinct cultures while also engaging in productive and egalitarian dialogue with other sectors of the national and international community. (Read on bb conference).
Redacción Actualidad Étnica, Bogotá, Febrero 17 de 2006;
Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change;
Report on the First Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
Amazon groups challenge US plant patent;
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, IFAD and Its Partners: The Way Forward;
Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development Inc.;