The Taquile Manifest
Taquile Island in Lake Titikaka, February 1998
Very recently, within the Quechua people of Taquile, the forces of
Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Mamaqota (Mother Lake)vibrated a new and nurtured CISA, the
mother organization of the indigenous peoples under the light of Taita Inti (Father Sky).
The Statutory Forum which had the participation of Quechuas and Aymaras was a success. The Assembly ratified the Principles that had been approved in 1980 in Ollantaytambo - Qosqo and which define human beings as integral part of the Cosmos and as a balancing factor between nature and the universe. We define ourselves as Indian peoples, reaffirming indianism, because it is our theory of liberation.
The Assembly proclaimed the Organic Statute which will govern the institutional life of CISA from now on. The previous
Statute did not express the yearning and work perspectives of this reality. This meeting constituted a step that strengthened
the history of indianism and of CISA as it joins with its people.
Taquile is a Quechua island in Lake Titikaka where the spirit of the Amarus and Kataris persists. These island conserves
the peculiarity of being one of the last bastions of resistance against the Spanish invasion. The island was seized for King
Carlos V, who much later auctioned the island and its inhabitants off to Count Rodrigo of Taquila. This is where the Island derives its name from. Men and women were forced to dress according to the fashion and custom of Spanish peasants,for which they are still known today. It was this imposed colonialism, which deprived them of the use of their original name, INTIKA. In spite of having been stripped of their name and their traditional clothing, the Quechua islanders preserve their language and their social organizational system to this day. Their social system is based on community
collectivism and they observe the moral code of AMA SUWA (don't steal), AMA LLULLA (don't lie),and AMA QILLA (don't be lazy), reason for which there are no dogs on the entire island.
Presently, despite the traps of modern times, the people have not changed their way of life, and their collective organization
persists as a proposition against an individualistic, colonial, and plundering culture.
The Taquilenos live on fishing, agriculture, arts and crafts, and transportation for tourists who visit the island and are interested
in the customs of its inhabitants. Unfortunately, foreign private enterprise threatens to displace them from the latter activity.
These enterprises use modern boats and are slowly depriving the Taquilenos from their revenues as boat drivers.
On the other hand, our Taquileno brothers denounce that the waters of the sacred Lake Titikaka are threatened by the systematic drainage of sewage from the neighboring cities, which flows directly into the lake. In addition, they denounce the bi-national project between Peru and Bolivia which plans to build dam on the Desaguadero River, supposedly in order to regulate the waters of Lake Titikaka y Lake Poopo. Their obscure pretension is to transfer the waters of the hydrographic basin of Lake Titikaka to the Pacific Coast. This, however, will have a negative impact on the life and habitat of the mountainous region and provoke an ecological disaster.
For these and many other reasons, the Quechua and Aymara people insist that CISA remain in force and stand as firm
as stone sanctuary with all the indigenous peoples for defense and respect of their human rights.
(Translation: Maria Dolores Perez Orellano)
Consejo Indio de Sud América, CISA
Puno - Perú
Telf. 5154 355362