Learning and approaches to the ancestral Sierra Nevada justices

A project on ancient justices, led by Marcela Gutiérrez, Director of the Criminal Policy Research Center, supported by the Social and Human Sciences Multicultural Interactions Program, seeks to offer an end to the crisis of the ordinary courts.

For quite some time, the Colombian justice system has been experiencing a structural crisis. In this order of ideas, this project intends to present, as an alternative, an ancient justice model, which, according to researcher Marcela Gutiérrez, is more peaceful and less damaging than the traditional punitive system.

The ancestral justice project has the objective, among others, to unravel the key elements of restorative justice to understand the legal construction of the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada and apply this knowledge to traditional justice systems.

On August 25, 2017, a meeting was held with 11 indigenous individuals belonging to several towns in the Sierra Nevada – Arhuaco, Kogui, Wiwa, and Kankuamos, to listen to our guests and celebrate the beginning of a joint venture. Externado students, some belonging to indigenous communities and others interested in the subject, are also participating in the project.  Also attending the meeting was Belkis Izquierdo, Judge of the Higher Council of the Judiciary, to help establish a dialogue for an intercultural understanding of Justices, ordinary, and ancient.

The project will work with “mamos,” the spiritual leaders of the Sierra Nevada indigenous communities, known as “sagas” in the Wiwa community.

Indigenous communities have a natural appreciation for every living being with which they coexist; the conception of life is sacred, and Western society still has much to learn, said one of the participants.

Also, it was announced that on October 2, 3, and 4, 2017, the project will be presented at the Latin American and the European Network of the Unesco Chair.