Flying Eagle Woman Fund for Peace, Justice and Sovereignty
708 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York NY 10003
Phone: 212-982-5358
Fax: 212-982-5346

A Statement from her husband, Ali El-Issa

American Indian Movement 32nd Anniversary Conference,
11-13 July 2000, Hayward, Wisconsin

Greetings to all of you gathered here from the Flying Eagle Woman Fund (established to honor the work of my wife, Ingrid), the American Indian Law Alliance, the American Indian Community House in New York City, the Solidarity Foundation, and Native American Council. We are grateful for this moment of your time.

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:

  • We call on revolutionary movements around the world to call FARC what they are, Indian killers. Men lacking moral fiber. Men who speak out of both sides of their mouth.

  • We call on Indigenous peoples around the world to discredit people or groups who will kill Indians. Left, Right or Center they are Indian killers.
  • We call on the government of the United States to withhold payment of the $1.3 billion promised to the government of Colombia until the government of Colombia finds, arrests, and extradites to the United States for trial those responsible for the deaths of Ingrid, Lahe, and Terence as per House Resolution 181.

  • We call on the government of the United States to have no further business and to have no further contact with FARC or with the government of Colombia until these killers are extradited.

  • We call on the business community to boycott FARC, to put simple decency and common sense ahead of the pursuit of "international markets and opportunities." These are the actual words of the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange after meeting with representatives from FARC, "Please sir, you are meeting with Indian killers not "international markets and opportunities.

  • We call on the United Nations to acknowledge the work of these International Indigenous Leaders, and to convene hearings to investigate the kidnapping and murders of these extraordinary defenders of human rights.

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 "Manifesto for a New Millenium"

American Indian Movement . Ministry for Information . Press Releases