Barrancas, La Guajira, February 16 of 2020

Tamaquito II becomes an indigenous reservation

Yesterday, Tamaquito II became an indigenous reservation after 12 years of work that the community started in 2009 and which Cerrejón has aided since 2013 as agreed in the relocation agreement. This Wayuu community has also become an international benchmark for its status as a resettlement in Colombia and in receiving this status from Colombian authorities.

Located in the municipality of Barrancas, Tamaquito II is currently the only reservation in La Guajira that has its own water treatment plant, operated by the community itself, providing drinking water and basic sanitation access to the 46 families residing there.

Tamaquito II currently has 300 hectares in which it has cooperative production projects and a labour and service-provider company. Further, as part of the preparation for a better quality of life in the relocation agreement signed with Cerrejón, education opportunities are being offered to over 28 young people, who are now studying or have graduated from a vocational, technological, professional, or post-graduate program at various institutions in the country.

“I am very happy and proud because our dream has come true. The constitution of this reservation is historical for us after 12 years of struggle. I would like to thank all the families and everyone who supported us and united in their efforts to make this day a reality,” stated Jairo Fuentes, Council Governor of Tamaquito II.

Its new status as a reservation will aid its cultural, social, economic, political, and religious organization aimed at preserving their traditions. It also opens up access to State resources and a special protection in which each community member is a holder of the entire land.

“Tamaquito II is an example of the committed work and unflinching will of an entire community to have continual dialogue with Cerrejón. For the company, its official declaration as an indigenous reservation is a source of pride because it was a challenge we undertook together and that, after much effort, we have reached to allow them to keep growing sustainably as a community,” notes Juan Carlos García, manager of Cerrejón’s Resettlements, Land, and Compensation.

This achievement illustrates that effort and consistency are the pathway to an independent territory sustainable over time, and it has become a precedent of perseverance and success for the region.