The Civic Strike in Buenaventura had reached an agreement with the national government and the strike has been suspended.
This is a major and historical moment not only for the people in Buenaventura but for the Black movement and people in Colombia. The strike showed the indifferent racist Colombians and Colombian government that people who has been suffering for centuries the racism and exclusion and the excruciating situation of poverty and violence eventually raises up and turn things around.
The agreement has four important components:
1. The creation of a special autonomous fund with resources that are consider patrimony of the people in Buenaventura, coming from 50% of the taxes from the business and companies that profit from activities related to the port, plus $76 million dollars that the government will raise from credits with international banks, regulated by a law that should be signed in a month.
2. A initial investment of COP$1.500 billions to attend the immediate needs in basic infrastructure for water, health and basic sanitation services in rural and urban areas.
3. A integral development plan for the city that implies the policies and programs, institutional reform and community participation to make of Buenaventura a port for the people and not simply for profit.
4. The proper investigations and penalization for the abuses and human rights violations committed by the state forces, guaranties for those who has been criminalized and ensuring security and protection for the many leaders that guided 22 days of peaceful, organized and successful strike.
It has been a historic victory, this is not the end. Agreement are something the Colombian government easily ignore. Many hace condemn Buenaventura leaders for the significant lost of money that the strike represented. We certainly expect that the raise of people in power will be penalized. Buenaventura and Black people in Colombia continue in struggle for self-determination.