JUSTICE FOR INGRID WASHINAWATOK|
Flying Eagle Woman Fund for Peace, Justice and Sovereignty
708 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York NY 10003
A Statement from her husband, Ali El-Issa
American Indian Movement 32nd Anniversary Conference,
As you know, on Thursday, March 4, 1999 the bound, blindfolded and bullet-ridden bodies of Ingrid Washinawatok, Terence Freitas, and Lahe'ena'e Gay were found lying about ten paces apart in a level pasture near the Arauca River in Venezeuela. The tharee had been kidnapped in Colombia from a blue Toyota van seven days earlier by three members of the 15,000-man Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia known as FARC.
The murders made little sense. Everyone knew that the three had no connection with enemies of FARC. On Sunday, March 7th, Raul Reyes, FARC's chief spokesman said that FARC lamented what had happened and expressed its condolences to the government of the United States, the American people, and the families of the victims for this "deplorable deed." While at that time denying that FARC had any role in the murders, Reyes stated that if the ongoing investigation found that FARC members had committed the act, "There will be drastic sanctions."
On Monday, March 8, 1999 the U.S. State Department Under-Secretary, James Rubin stated, "We have concrete evidence that it was FARC," and that the United States would have no further conversations with the guerrillas until they turned over those who were responsible for the murders. Two days later on March 10, 1999, FARC admitted responsibility for the murders of three Americans.
The murders made little sense. The actions of FARC since the time of the murders make little sense, and current actions of the United States Government and prominent U.S. businessmen make little sense.
Indians have been killed for centuries by the Left for not being Left just as they have been killed by the Right for not being Right. Because Indians are poor and oppressed, the Left gives us a certain amount of lip service. It is uncertain that FARC even knew whom they were killing. They killed Terry, Lahe and Ingrid to make a statement and wound up making a statement about themselves. They are Indian killers.
They call themselves revolutionaries, fighters for the people. They are Indian killers lacking the courage to take responsibility for their actions. They said, "there will be drastic sanctions." The murderers have been identified. FARC knows who they are. Yet neither FARC nor the government of Colombia has taken action to extradite the murderers.
So now we say to you -- yes, FARC, there will be drastic sanctions.
We have waited for sixteen months. Unless you, FARC, step forward and face the consequences of your actions in the very near future:
Today many of us have been inspired by the work of Ingrid, Lahe, and Terence. We hope their memory will inspire others to join us in our work for Indigenous peoples. But let us be perfectly clear.
There will be no peace until those responsible for these killings are brought before a court of law. There will be no justice until those who kills Indians are held accountable. The world has lost a true champion of all peoples. We call on all peoples to insist on justice for Ingrid.
Article 1: Commission to Seek Justice for Ingrid Washinawatok
American Indian Movement . Ministry for Information . Press Releases