UNHCR (United Nations High Commission For Refugees) Promo, Case study IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION by Saatchi & Saatchi Bogota

IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION

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Industry Human Rights
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Colombia
Agency Saatchi & Saatchi Bogota
Executive Creative Director Juan Pablo Navas
Creative Director Margarita Olivar, Juan Carlos Gonzalez
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Affairs
Advertiser: UNHCR
Product/Service: THE UN REGUGEE AGENCY
Agency: SAATCHI & SAATCHI COLOMBIA
Chief Executive Officer: Esteban Guerrero Carvajal (Saatchi & Saatchi Colombia)
Executive Creative Director: Juan Pablo Navas (Saatchi & Saatchi Colombia)
Creative Director: Juan Carlos González (Saatchi & Saatchi Colombia)
Creative Director: Margarita Olivar (Saatchi & Saatchi Colombia)
Account Director: Maria Cecilia Arciniegas (Saatchi & Saatchi Colombia)
Planner: Camila Vargas (Saatchi & Saatchi Colombia)
Media placement: Event - Plaza De Bolívar - 18 November 2011

Summary of the Campaign
The day of his inauguration as president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos travelled to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to meet with indigenous communities and promised them protection against the acts of violence that have forced their displacement.

According to the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), 1,600 Indians have been killed between 2005 and 2010, 52,521 people belonging to indigenous cultures have been displaced. 35 indigenous communities in Colombia were in danger of extinction.

Given the failure of the government and the silence of the media to this genocide, our challenge was to grab attention from the government, congress and courts to create laws that protect and prevent the extinction of these indigenous cultures.

The strategy began with the visit of the indigenous communities to President Santos, offering him a sculpture representing the last pregnant woman belonging to one of 35 indigenous communities in extinction.

Given the media attention, the government faced enormous pressure and in less than a month the bill NG1 633 of 2011 was released, "introducing measures to assist, care, repair and return land rights to victims belonging to indigenous people and communities."

The Constitutional Court declared the protection of these communities from the armed conflict pronouncing them in danger of extinction. Exclusive villages were built for communities to return to their hometown.

The Situation
The UNHCR is the United Nations agency responsible for indigenous communities who were forced to suffer displacement by the internal armed conflict in Colombia. Given the displacement avalanche of 52,521 indigenous refugees between 2005 and 2010, 35 communities are in danger of physical and cultural extinction. Due to the silence, the low coverage and the indifference of the media, the public were not aware of this situation. It needed a PR campaign that would make the media make noise around the issue and pressure the government to create laws that would protect these indigenous communities and prevent their extinction.

The Goal

The silence of the media needed to end, and their interest towards the problem was indispensable in order to pressure the government, the congress and the courts into the creation and adoption of stronger laws that would definitively protect the indigenous communities in danger of extinction.

The Strategy
On August 7th, the day of his inauguration, President Juan Manuel Santos travelled to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. There he met with indigenous communities and made a commitment to protect them against the recent and repeated acts of violence made by armed forces that have caused their displacement: thousands of Indians killed, threats made, disputes over their land and the destruction of their habitat and the armed forces' plantation of illegal crops.

Despite the good intentions of the president, 122 indigenous people were killed in the following months after the president's possession, aggravating the displacement of these communities.

The strategy began with the visit of the indigenous communities to the President while they offered him a sculpture representing the last pregnant woman belonging to one of 35 indigenous communities in extinction.

Execution
To get the attention of the media and the public opinion, first, a sculpture representing a pregnant Indian woman belonging to one of 35 indigenous communities close to extinction was made and designed to be placed in front of the president's home at Bolivar Square.

This sculpture was made by master Carlos Jacanamijoy and, as intended, was placed on November 18 of 2011 at an event with thousands of indigenous people in Bolivar Square, centre of the executive, legislative and judicial branch. At the same time a campaign to generate opinion on social networks www.mipresente.org, was launched.

Given the immense media attention and international debates on the various forums, universities, social networks and the public opinion around the risk of extinction of 35 indigenous communities, the government gave a quick and effective solution.

Documented Results
In less than a month, this initiative successfully made the President of the Republic of Colombia and the Ministry of Interior approve the law NG1 633 of 2011, "introducing measures to assist, care, repair and return land rights to victims belonging to indigenous people and communities"

The Constitutional Court ordered the Colombian government to protect the 35 indigenous communities of extermination by the armed conflict and declared them in danger of physical and cultural extinction.

In addition, exclusive villages were built for communities to return to their hometown. The first to do so were 84 families of the Embera-Katio Jaijerazabi tribe. Currently other indigenous communities are entering these shelters.

It is important to note that with these laws all the Colombian government and people agreed to defend, protect, monitor and preserve the ancient communities and save the cultural heritage of Colombia and the world.