Beschwerde gegen die Andritz AG im Wirtschaftsministerium eingereicht

April 12th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

NGOs werfen dem Unternehmen Beteiligung am Xayaburi-Staudamm trotz Wissens über Menschenrechtlage und Umweltauswirkungen vor

Wien, 09.04.2014. Heute früh übermittelte ECA Watch Österreich eine Beschwerde gegen den österreichischen Anlagenbauer Andritz AG an den im Wirtschaftsministerium angesiedelten Nationalen Kontaktpunkt (NKP), der mit der Einhaltung der OECD-Leitsätze für multinationale Unternehmen befasst ist. Gemeinsam mit acht weiteren internationalen und lokalen zivilgesellschaftlichen Initiativen beschreibt ECA Watch, wie das Unternehmen im Rahmen des umstrittenen Xayaburi-Staudammprojekts am Mekong in Laos internationale Standards über ethische Unternehmensführung verletzt.

Seit dem Spatenstich im November 2012 sind in Laos die baulichen Vorbereitungen zum etwa drei Milliarden Euro teuren Xayaburi-Staudammprojekt im Gange. Andritz liefert im Rahmen eines Auftrags in der Höhe von 300 Millionen Euro wichtige Betriebstechnologien für das Projekt, ohne die der Staudamm nicht betrieben werden kann. Das Megaprojekt birgt massive Risken für die Umwelt und hunderttausende Menschen in Laos, Thailand, Kambodscha und Vietnam. So ist zu befürchten, dass durch Xayaburi und seine Folgeprojekte viele schon verarmte Familien entlang des Flusslaufs in noch verstärkte Armut und Mangelernährung getrieben würden.

Der Mekong Fluss ist unser Leben. Wir sind sehr besorgt darüber, dass der Xayaburi-Staudamm unsere Ländereien und Lebensgrundlagen zerstören wird”, meint Ormbun Thipsuna, Vertreter des Nordöstlichen Gemeinde-Netzwerks in sieben Provinzen des Mekong-Flussbeckens in Thailand. Wildtier- und UmweltexpertInnen gehen davon aus, dass der Staudamm die Wanderung der Fische extrem reduzieren wird. Dies hätte verheerende Folgen für Thailands und Kambodschas Fischergemeinden am Mekong und kann das Aussterben von ausschließlich im Mekong vorzufindenden Arten wie dem Mekong-Riesenwels zur Folge haben. „Der Xayaburi-Damm wird die Fischbestände zerstören, ohne die unsere Leute nicht überleben können”, so Om Savath, Direktor des Fischerei-Aktions-Koalitionsteams von Kambodscha.

Wie die Erfahrung mit anderen Großstaudämmen zeigt, wird Xayaburi den Durchfluss nährreicher Sedimente hin zum ökologisch sensiblen Mekong-Delta im Vietnam blockieren. „Der Xayaburi-Staudamm ist der erste von elf geplanten Wasserkraftprojekten am bisher noch nicht gestauten unteren Mekong. Die Dämme werden die Bodenfruchtbarkeit dramatisch verschlechtern, die für die Reis anbauenden Gemeinden im Delta lebensnotwendig ist”, erklärt Lam Thi Thu Suu vom Center for Social Research and Development (CSRD) in Vietnam. „Wir verlangen von Andritz, seinen Anteil zu leisten, um diese Bedrohung für unsere Ernährungssicherheit und Lebensgrundlagen abzuwenden,” so Lam Thi Thu Suu.

Als Lieferant spezialangefertigter Maschinen-Bauteile hat Andritz einen erheblichen Einfluss um die Gestaltung des Projekts zu verbessern. Dennoch ist laut Jonathan Kaufman, Anwaltskoordinator von EarthRights International, „kein Hinweis darauf zu finden, dass Andritz Schritte hinsichtlich der Auswirkungen seiner Aktivitäten eingeleitet hätte.” Die OECD-Leitsätze für multinationale Unternehmen – ein international anerkannter Verhaltenskodex, dem Österreich offiziell zugestimmt hat – legen fest, dass Unternehmen ihre Einflussmöglichkeiten verwenden sollen, um gravierende Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltschäden zu verhindern und anzusprechen. In der Beschwerde wird das Unternehmen aufgefordert, den Leitsätzen gerecht zu werden, indem es selbsttätig Studien über die sozialen und ökologischen Auswirkungen durchführt und seinen Einfluss als Lieferant von Schlüsseltechnologie auf die Projektentwickler und die Regierung von Laos nützt. Nur so können negative Auswirkungen verhindert oder abgeschwächt werden. Andritz sollte Maßnahmen ergreifen, um in zukünftigen Projekten Schäden zu vermeiden und sich an wirksamen Entschädigungen für die betroffene Bevölkerung zu beteiligen.

Laut den Beschwerdeführern beschränkt sich das Umwelt und Menschenrechte ignorierende Verhalten von Andritz nicht nur auf Xayaburi. Die Firma ist an zahlreichen weiteren höchst umstrittenen Projekten wie dem Ilisu-Staudamm in der Türkei oder dem Belo-Monte-Staudamm in Brasilien beteiligt. „Wir hoffen, dass diese Beschwerde und die Vermittlungsarbeit des Nationalen Kontaktpunkts dabei helfen werden, einen konstruktiven Dialog mit Andritz herzustellen und den durch das Projekt in ihrer Existenz gefährdeten Menschen Gehör zu schaffen”, so Thomas Wenidoppler von ECA Watch Österreich. „Andritz ist eines von nur wenigen Unternehmen, die diese Technologie für Megaprojekte wie Xayaburi liefern können. Dadurch hat Andritz die Möglichkeit Einfluss sowohl auf das Projekt als auch auf den gesamten Sektor durch die Entwicklung von eigenen Umwelt- und Menschenrechts-Standards zu nehmen.“

Weitere Informationen:

→ Link zur Beschwerde an den Nationalen Kontaktpunkt: http://www.ftwatch.at/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/9-April-2014-Andritz-OECD-Complaint-Press-Release-FINAL-in-English-for-international-release.pdf

→ Link zur internationalen Presseaussendung (englisch) inklusive internationalen Pressekontakten:http://www.ftwatch.at/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/9-April-2014-Andritz-OECD-Complaint-Press-Release-FINAL-in-English-for-international-release.pdf

Hintergrundinformation zum Xayaburi-Staudamm: http://www.ftwatch.at/dogdy-deals/xayaburi/

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Arnold Schwarzenegger – public face of TV campaign to save forests and climate – invests in companies causing deforestation and climate change

April 11th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the eve of the premiere of James Cameron’s Years of Living Dangerously, a Showtime documentary on the human impacts of climate change and forest loss, investigations by Global Witness and Friends of the Earth reveal that executive producer and co-star of the show – Arnold Schwarzenegger – has significant financial links to companies causing tropical deforestation and climate change.

“This is more than embarrassing,” said Tom Picken, Forest Campaign Leader at Global Witness, “it threatens to undermine the integrity of the most ambitious and accessible story about climate change ever aired. This is looking less like a star-studded journey into deforestation and climate change and more like a celebrity battle between two of Hollywood’s biggest characters – the Terminator versus Indiana Jones. While co-star Harrison Ford takes on the companies plundering rain forests in Indonesia, Schwarzenegger is lining his pockets from the proceeds of that destruction.”

The revelations brought to light by Global Witness and Friends of the Earth center upon Schwarzenegger’s stake in Dimensional Fund Advisors, a major U.S. investment firm which holds more than three-quarters of a billion dollars’ worth of shares in a range of logging and palm oil companies, including notorious firms implicated in destructive and illegal activities. According to a Statement of Economic Interests from 2011, Schwarzenegger has stock in DFA of ‘more than $1 million,’ the highest available category. Although these documents didn’t require his full holdings to be declared, press reports estimate Schwarzenegger’s ownership of the company to be five percent.*

Episode one of Years of Living Dangerously sees Harrison Ford trekking through Indonesia’s smoldering tropical forests, cleared for palm oil cultivation at the expense of local communities and the countries’ critically-endangered orangutans. Harrison makes a personal appeal to Indonesia’s President in episode two to stop putting his country’s forests up for sale. This episode also features Schwarzenegger fighting blazing forests in the U.S. state of Idaho, which is facing more wild fires as the effects of global warming intensify.

“Mr. Schwarzenegger must not play a terminator in real life by investing in palm oil, which causes massive forest destruction, peat fires, contributes to global carbon emissions, and has triggered serious human rights abuses,” said Zenzi Suhadi, Forest and Plantation Campaigner with Friends of the Earth Indonesia. “He must divest from deforestation and pressure his fund managers to screen their investments. Otherwise his hands are dirty from the palm oil business that earns profits at the expense of people and the planet.”

Deforestation accounts for close to fifteen percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – about the same as the transport sector worldwide. The fastest growing cause of deforestation in the tropics is the clear-cutting of forests to make way for plantations to grow palm oil and timber for pulp and paper.

Friends of the Earth’s new report “Years of Investing Dangerously: Dimensional Fund Advisors’ Ties to Palm Oil” reveals that DFA holds stock in dozens of palm oil companies, and shines a spotlight on the environmentally and socially destructive activities of several of these, including some that gain notoriety through the new Showtime TV series. DFA manages money for a wide range of public and private entities including Pepsi, Kellogg’s and Boeing; the J. Paul Getty Trust; the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the cities of Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, and Kalamazoo; and numerous universities and labor unions.

“Years of Living Dangerously brings a tremendous opportunity to understand and act on the root causes of the climate crisis,” said Jeff Conant, Senior Forest Campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.S. “One of those root causes is runaway financing for destructive commodities like palm oil. The show’s debut offers an unprecedented platform for former governor of California and environment advocate Schwarzenegger, and all of us, to follow the money and cut our support for ecologically devastating activities.”

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About NAIPC and the High Level Plenary Meeting, which is not a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

April 10th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES
What the US Is Likely to Contribute to the UN HLPM State-Outcome Document

In September 2014 a United Nations High Level Plenary Meeting of the U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to meet at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The High Level meeting, that is falsely being labeled a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, will focus on nations and peoples which the U.N. system typically calls “indigenous.” By the end of the High Level Plenary meeting, the state governments are scheduled to produce an entirely state-constructed outcome document about how they will implement the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Within the structure of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, there are seven caucus regions of the world for Peoples termed “indigenous.” On March 1-2, the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus met and reached a consensus position to call for a cancellation of the U.N. HLPM “to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.”

On March 10 the U.S. Department of State held a “scoping session” with a number of other Indian people, most of whom did not attend the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus gathering in the Secwépemc Nation Territory in Kamloops, British Columbia. Most of the “scoping session” crowd expressed strong support for the convening of the U.N. HLPM and requested U.S. government support for “tribal nations” to gain a “dignified” status somewhere within the U.N. system so that they can take their “issues and concerns” to the United Nations.

Ironically, the vast majority of issues and concerns that the “scoping session” Indian attendees want to take to the United Nation have to do with the various ways that their nations and peoples have been, and continue to be, abused by the laws and policies of the United States, the very same United States government whose support they are seeking to find a status other than Non-Governmental Organization, in the U.N. system.

Most troubling about the March 10 U.S. State Department “scoping session” was that not one person attending the 90 minute meeting mentioned the upcoming U.N. HLPM state-outcome document. The fact that no one was focused on this most important part of the HLPM is deeply troubling. It demonstrates that those Indian leaders and Indian organizations that are strongly supporting the U.N. HLPM, and who say they want to be participants, seem oblivious to the high stakes involved in a negative state-outcome document, the drafting of which they are likely to be excluded from. Only 30 or fewer Indigenous Peoples’ representatives, out of some 370 million indigenous people worldwide, are scheduled to be allowed in the room during the “informal” phase of the drafting.

Regarding the likely United States’ role in the drafting of the HLPM state-outcome document, it is instructional to take language from the U.S.’ 2010 statement “supporting” the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The U.S. is not going to contradict what it has previously and officially said regarding its interpretation of the U.N. Declaration. One lie by the United States is particularly egregious regarding the right of self-determination. As the U.S. State Department said in its 2010 statement:

The United States is therefore pleased to support the Declaration’s call to promote the development of a new and distinct international concept of self-determination specific to Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration’s call is to promote the development of a concept of self-determination for Indigenous Peoples that is different from the existing right of self-determination in international law.

The United States has falsely stated, as its official position, the view that the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples makes a “call” for developing “a new and distinct international concept of self-determination specific to Indigenous Peoples.” The document makes no such “call.” We must therefore assume that the U.S. will take every opportunity to advance this false position at any meetings it attends regarding the drafting of the HLPM state-outcome document. According to the United States, the U.N. Declaration calls for “the development” of “a concept of self-determination for Indigenous Peoples that is” not the same as the already “existing right of self-determination in international law.” The U.N. HLPM is a framework for working on “the development” of such a new concept of self-determination which the U.S. says does not yet exist in international law, but that it “supports.”

What will be the basis for the U.S.’ view of self-determination for those peoples the U.N. calls “indigenous?” It is the form of “self-determination” that the U.S. says is already existing in the context of U.S. federal Indian law and policy. The U.S. government said this in its December 2010 position: “For the United States, the Declaration’s concept of self-determination is consistent with the United States’ existing recognition of, and relationship with, federally recognized tribes as political entities that have inherent sovereign powers of self-governance.” The U.S. is saying that all the U.N. Declaration is ever going to provide you with is what has already been concocted by the U.S. in the context of its federal Indian law and policy.

In other words, the United States is using the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a means of having its U.S. domestic self-determination policy framework, i.e. 638 contracting for goods and services, and the existing framework of U.S. federal Indian law and policy, recognized internationally at the United Nations. For as the U.S. government further said in 2010:

This [federal] recognition of [federally recognized Indian tribes] is the basis for the special legal and political relationship, including the government-to-government relationship, established between the United States and federally recognized tribes, pursuant to which the United States supports, protects, and promotes tribal governmental authority over a broad range of internal and territorial affairs, including membership, culture, language, religion, education, information, social welfare, community and public safety, family relations, economic activities, lands and resource management, environment and entry by non-members, as well as ways and means for financing these autonomous governmental functions.

Whatever one’s opinion of 638 contracting under the U.S. Indian Self-Determination Act, one point is clear: it is not the same as, and is dramatically inferior to, the international legal right to self-determination.

Two years ago, at an Indian leadership gathering I was interrupted as I was explaining the U.S.’ interpretation of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This person said rather impatiently, “You know you can’t let the United States interpret the Declaration.” Sorry, but “news flash”: the U.S. has already begun interpreting the U.N. Declaration, and we’d better wake up and pay attention. To support the U.N. HLPM erroneously “to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples,” is to support the U.S.’ effort to advance its false and self-serving interpretation in the form of a negative U.N. General Assembly State-Outcome Document. The foreseeable negative potential at the hands of the U.S. and its allies, is why NAIPC has called for the cancellation of the HLPM.

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Watch and hear what the US was saying when the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted at the Human Rights Council: WATCH VIDEO

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Cameroon: Catholic Church (Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua) in cahoots with heavily armed government forces that violently evict Mbororo pastoralists from Banjah, Bamenda, North-West Cameroon.

April 9th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES
Demolition of homes and evictions of Banjah: How the Land Grab happened
Displaced Mbororo Indigenous peoples (Photo © Earth Peoples)

Displaced Mbororo Indigenous peoples (Photo © Earth Peoples)

By Sarli Sardou,  for Earth Peoples

Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada is the traditional ruler of the Mbororo indigenous minority cattle herders of Ndzah (also known as Banjah) village in Bamenda III Sub Division in the North West Region of Cameroon. The Ardo’s residence was situated on what is popularly called the “Mamada Hills” in Ndzah village just outside Bamenda.
Ardo Adamu’s late father in the person of Ardo Mamada Bi Sodhari settled on the Mamada Hills around 1904 during the German colonial rule. He was appointed Ardo at the same time with Ardo Sabga Bi Hoba who founded Sabga. He was one of the first Mbororo herders to arrive the North West Region and he was a very popular traditional ruler especially as he had many cattle. It was because of his popularity that where he settled was named “Mamada Hills” named after Ardo Mamada Bi Sodari. They were issued a Certificate of Occupancy of the land by the British colonial administration in 1933.
The present farming community of Ndzah (Banjah) arrived as hunters and settled in the area in 1933 from Baforchu. That was 29 years after the Mbororo settled there.
Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada succeeded his late father Ardo Mamada Bi Sodhari in 1964 at the age of 15 as the traditional ruler of the Mbororo indigenous herders of Banjah. He was subsequently recognized as such by the independent Cameroon sate. At the time of their violent eviction a total of about 300 people comprising 108 Mbororo herders live on the Mamada Hills with their families as well as over 1200 cattle, 300 sheep and 150 horses.
The Catholic Church started a process of illegally grabbing the land without the knowledge of the community around 2009. In 2011 they got a Temporary Grant from the Minister of Lands awarding them the land. Sometimes in 2012, the Archbishop of Bamenda, Cornelius Fontem Esua took unknown people to Mamada Hills and laid claim over all of the Mamada Hills said to belong to the Catholic University of Bamenda. When Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada tried to challenge the Archbishop’s claim over their ancestral land, he was arrested by elements of the Gendarmerie Brigade Research Unit in Mile 4 Nkwen, Bamenda, severely tortured and arbitrarily detained. He lost sight on one of his eyes, lost one tooth and developed permanent sight problems as a result of the torture inflicted on him during and after his arrest. He was eventually charged to court in the Court of First Instance of Bamenda in suit No CFIBA/798C/12. Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada was accused of having on or about the 3rd day of September 2012, at Ndzah village in the Mezam Judicial Division, without being so empowered, used land belonging to the Catholic University of Bamenda and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8(4) (5) of Ordinance No 74/1 of 6th July 1974 to establish rules governing land tenure in Cameroon.
On 31 December 2012, one other close adviser to the Ardo, Mallam GEBO was arrested, tortured and detained and was only released after payment of FCFA 30,000. He suffered 21 days Temporal Incapacity as a result of torture.
Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada having been ridiculed, feeling terribly embarrassed, confounded and frustrated with the treatment he received from the Archbishop, and could not understand how he could be charged to court for using land his family has occupied since 1904 and all of a sudden said to belong to the Catholic University, instituted suit No. CFIBA/15CM/2013 in the Court of First Instance of Bamenda against the Catholic Arch Diocese of Bamenda and the Catholic University of Bamenda. In the said suit, Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada prayed the court for an eviction order, evicting the Catholic Arch Dioceses of Bamenda from their ancestral land.
In reply to the suit referred to in the preceding paragraph, the Archbishop of Bamenda through his Counsel filed a Counter Affidavit on the 27/02/2013 wherein they attached Arrêté No. 000947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13 dated the 2nd day of September 2011 as Annex “A”, where the Honourable Minister of State Property and Land Tenure made a Grant of 46 hectares, 38 acres and 98m of land in Ndzah to the Catholic University of Bamenda, represented by Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua.
Despite the fact that the above Arrêté allocated 46 hectares of land in the Mamada Hills as a Grant to the Catholic University of Bamenda, the actual piece of land presently claimed by the Archbishop is about 300 hectares. The Land Tenure laws in Cameroon provides that the Minister in charge of lands can allocate a Grant only where the piece of land is below 50 hectares. A Grant above 50 hectares of land can only be made by the President of the Republic. It was for this reason that the Archbishop of Bamenda applied for 46 hectares of land which the Minister approved despite the fact that about 300 hectares of land is being claimed.
Ordinance No 74-1 of 6th July 1974 to establish rules governing land tenure in Cameroon defines national lands in its article 14. Article 14(1) provides that national lands shall as of right comprise lands which at the date on which the present ordinance enters into force, are not classed as public or private property of the state and other public bodies. Article 15 goes further to state that national lands shall be divided into two categories.
1. Lands occupied with houses, farms and plantations and grazing lands manifesting human presence and development;
2. Lands free of any effective occupation.
Decree No 76 – 166 of 27 April 1976 to establish the terms and conditions of management of National Lands in Cameroon makes provision on how a piece of land can be allocated to an individual or corporate body as a Grant. Article 1 of the above Decree provides that national lands which are unoccupied or unexploited shall be allocated by Temporary Grant of Right. Article 2 of the same Decree provides that temporary rights shall be granted for development projects in line with the economic, social or cultural policies of the state. Article 3 stipulates that the duration of the temporary grant may not exceed 5 years, and in exceptional cases, it may be extended on reasoned application by the grantee. From the above provision of the laws, a Temporary Grant in Cameroon can only be made over unoccupied or unexploited national land.
In paragraphs 7 and 8 of the counter affidavit filed by the lawyer of the Archbishop and Catholic University of Bamenda, it is stated that the crops and houses on the land given by the state to the Catholic University as a grant were properly evaluated by the competent administrative services and all those affected had been paid financial compensation except Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada who refused to take ‘compensation’. Annexes “C” and D to D1 were attached to the Counter Affidavit to justify that fact. That only buttresses the fact that the land allocated to the Catholic University as grant by the state is occupied and exploited national land. How then could the Archbishop and the competent administrative services of Mezam in violation of the law prepare the file of the Catholic University and misled the Minister in charge of lands to sign Arrêté No. 000947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13 on the 2nd day of September 2011 allocating 46 hectares of the Mamada Hills as a grant to the Catholic University?
While the court cases were going on, the Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam, Nguelle Nguelle Felix in May 2013 led a bulldozer to Bambili and demolished 13 house belonging to Bambili villagers who have land titles on their lands to create a resettlement site for the 300 Mbororo and their animals. The Bambili people have made it clear that anyone who comes to their land will be killed. Even if they went to the land there is no building, no facilities. So this is not secure, safe, appropriate or enough land to resettle the community.
Meanwhile the prosecution witnesses in suit No. CFIBA/798C/12 wherein Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada was charged for using land belonging to the Catholic University never attended any court session and after more than 10 adjournments, the matter was dismissed for want of diligent prosecution. On the other hand, on the 31st day of July 2013, the Court of First Instance of Bamenda delivered its ruling in suit No CFIBA/15CM/2013 instituted by Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada to evict the Archbishop and Catholic University from their land. While dismissing Ardo Adamu’s application, the presiding Magistrate, after a locus (court session on Mamada Hills), advised as follows.
“This court’s advice to the applicant is simple; having found that the land in question falls within the definition of occupied and exploited national land, he should seize the competent Minister of State Property and Land Tenure that made the grant or the competent Administrative Court”.
When Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada was served with a copy of the counter affidavit in suit No. CFIBA/15CM/2013 and he saw Arrêté No. 00947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13, his lawyer immediately challenged same with a petition to the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure in Yaounde. After three months, the Minister did not reply to the Petition and as required by law, the Minister’s non reaction was considered as rejection and Ardo Adamu instituted the matter in the Administrative Court of the North West Region in Bamenda in suit No NWAC/R/CF/004/2013. Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada also filed an application for stay of execution of the Minister’s Arrêté pending the determination of his suit challenging the legality of the said Arrêté. By filing the application for stay of execution in the Administrative Court, the Archbishop is legally estopped from enforcing the Minister’s Arrêté.
Contrary to the above legal provision, the Archbishop of Bamenda Cornelius Fontem Esua on the 7th of March 2014 served Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada and other Mbororo family heads of Ndzah village with a 2nd “Quit Notice”, requesting them to quit their lands on or before the 14th of March 2014 as any date thereafter, a caterpillar will destroy their houses and farms without further compensation. In the same vain, the Divisional Officer of Bamenda III Sub Division Ayuk Walters Tarkang served a letter on the Ardo and his subjects captioned “Occupation of your respective parcels on the resettlement site at Ndzah”. In his letter, the Divisional officer requested the Mbororo family heads of Ndzah village to immediately move to new resettlement site as their ancestral lands which they presently occupy have been allocated to the Arch diocese of Bamenda as a temporary grant.
Ardo Adamu’s lawyer replied to the Quit Notice of the Archbishop and the letter of the Divisional Officer of Bamenda III by reminding them that the legality of the Minister’s Arrêté is pending determination in the Administrative Court of the North West Region in Bamenda in suit No NWAC/R/CF/004/2013. He even attached a Certificate of filing the suit in the Administrative court signed by the Registrar-in-Chief of the court attesting to the fact that Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada has instituted suit No. NWAC/R/CF/004/2013 challenging Arrêté No. 00947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13.
On the 19th March 2014, the Archbishop of Bamenda sent a caterpillar to Ndzah village to destroy the houses of the Mbororo herders. Ardo Adamu’s lawyer called the Senior Divisional Officer of Mezam Nguelle Nguelle Felix by phone to find out whether his administration had sent a caterpillar to Ndzah to destroy the houses of the Mbororo and he insisted that he had given firm instructions to his subordinates not to interfere with the lands of the Mbororo in Ndzah till the matter is resolved by the Administrative Court of the North West Region and the administration was not aware of any caterpillar going to the Mamada Hills in Ndzah.
The Mbororo herders of Ndzah came out like one person and prevented the caterpillar from destroying their houses. It resulted in a squabble wherein the Archbishop’s representative Jobain Cosmas was seriously injured and the windscreen of a Toyota Hilux vehicle of the Arch Diocese of Bamenda was shattered. Fon Christopher Achobang who is a sympathizer of the plight of the Mbororo of Ndzah had an injury on the head. Abdulkarimu Shehu who is the organizer of the Mbororo of Ndzah took elements of the 4th Police District to the site after the incident was all over.
After this incident community reps met with Prime Minister Philemon Yang on March 22, 2014. They submitted a petition (which was not the first time). He assured them to stop any further activity on the land until the Administrative Court makes a decision. He obviously did not or his subordinates decided to ignore his instructions.
Representatives met the Minister Lands and all relevant government officials including North-West Regional Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique. All of them agreed that no action can be taken until the Administrative Court takes a decision. Yet it is these very officials who authorised and enforced the demolitions and eviction.
The indigenous Mbororo herders of Ndzah have seriously defended their ancestral land from Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua. If Cameroon is a state of law and if one were to consider who is mostly to be law abiding, it will obviously be the Archbishop and the clergy. We are witnessing the contrary where the Archbishop is violating the laws of the state with impurity in an attempt to illegally deprive the Mbororo minority indigenous herders of Ndzah village of their ancestral land. The Archbishop is obviously receiving the support of the local and wider government of Cameroon especially as the former Divisional Delegate of Lands in Mezam reminded the Ardo that the President of the Republic of Cameroon is himself a Catholic and will always protect the interest of the Catholic Church.
On the 20th day of March 2013, Abdulkarim Shehu was arrested by elements of the Judicial Police in Bamenda on the strength of a warrant signed by the State Counsel of Mezam Division. He signed four warrants with two in the names of Abdulkarim Shehu and Fon Christopher Achobang respectively with two having no names and the policemen are at liberty to fill the names of any Mbororo from Ndzah they deem necessary to arrest. Mallam Yunusa another community organiser was arrested on to join Abdulkarim. Both were released after 8 days in detention. Fon Christopher Achobang went into hiding and is yet to be arrested.
IDP Displaced Mbororo (Photo © Earth Peoples)

IDP Displaced Mbororo (Photo © Earth Peoples)

On 3rd April 2014, the Catholic Church backed by 50 gendarmes and North-West Administration hired 3 bulldozers that demolished all homes belonging the Mbororo of Mamada Hills. A Court Injunction served to the gendarmes by Court Bailiffs was ignored. They were supported by the Fon (Chief), Nkwenti Ndaka, Chairman of Ndzah Traditional Council. The community has now been rendered homeless and destitute in violation of the law.
No consideration was given to children, elderly and the sick in this process. Children’s school needs were ignored. Their emotional or welfare needs did not matter to the government or the Catholic Church.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in Bamenda ignored the plight of the Mbororo of Banjah despite several meetings with its head Laura Anyola Tufoin who is also a member of Cameroon’s National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms. She has received an Award from the US Government for her work on Child Trafficking. She works on conflict resolution in the North-West Region but for for 5 years since this conflict started inside Bamenda she has not raised a finger.
The Archbishop was offered alternative land and also financial compensation in Mankon (Bamenda) by a benefactor and Mbororo rights supporter. Fon Angwafor of Mankon confirmed he has land that he can offer was ignored by the Church. In fact it is better proposition from an business point of view given the proximity of Sacred Heart College, Mankon with possible multi-use facilities for the University.
On Saturday 5th April 2014, the destitute Mbororo of Banjah, marched peacefully to the Bamenda Cathedral, the residence of Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua where they are organising an indefinite sit-in. The Catholic authorities called in gendarmes to remove the protesters. Gendarmes removed them from the premises of the Catholic Church but they continued their protest on the road side entrance to the Big Mankon Catholic Cathedral.
This case demonstrates that Mbororo people in Cameroon do not have or enjoy any land rights. This is a case where the present land laws were violated with impunity. Court orders and ongoing due process were ignored. All the key government officials were on the side of the Catholic Church. A part of the Catholic Church which is a state (The Vatican) operating within and in connivance with another State have dispossessed people of their rights and made them destitute. It shows human rights campaigners are selective about whose rights they defend. The future looks very bleak indeed for all vulnerable and marginal groups in Cameroon.

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Conclave de los Pueblos indígenas de América del Norte (NAIPC) retirou-se em protesto de “Conferência Mundial das Nações Unidas sobre Questões Indígenas”, y se disputan y corrigem la sugerencia hecha por el presidente de la asamblea general de las Naciones Unidas “”Una posición unificada por los pueblos indígenas no se ha logrado” Lea la carta a la ONU (Originalmente en Inglés)

April 6th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

Conclave de los Pueblos indígenas de América del Norte (NAIPC) retirou-se em protesto de “Conferência Mundial das Nações Unidas sobre Questões Indígenas”, y se disputan y corrigem la sugerencia hecha por el presidente de la asamblea general de las Naciones Unidas “Una posición unificada por los pueblos indígenas no se ha logrado”. El conclave de los Pueblos indígenas de América del Norte  (NAIPC) se retiró da  “Conferência Mundial das Nações Unidas sobre Questões Indígenas” porque las modalidades adoptada por la ONU para la reunión no respetó la participación plena, igualitaria y efectiva de los pueblos indígenas con los estados miembros de la ONU.

Lea la carta a la ONU (Originalmente en Inglés)

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North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) withdrew in protest from “UN World Conference on Indigenous Issues”, disputing UN President of GA suggestion that an unified indigenous position has been achieved (read original NAIPC letter to United Nations)

April 6th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

The North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) letter was submitted to  Mr. Ashe’s (United Nations President of the General Assembly) on April 1, 2014,  correcting and disputing Mr. Ashe’s  suggestion in his recent UN document that an unified indigenous position has been achieved regarding the High Level Plenary Meeting on Indigenous Peoples (aka “World Conference on Indigenous Issues”), and that in fact the NAIPC withdrew from it and any further participation because the modalities that were adopted by the UN for the HLPM meeting did not respect the full, equal and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples with UN state members.

Click here to read the original letter(1 April 2014):

NAIPC Letter to the UN General Assembly’s President Mr. Ashe - disputing his suggestion that an unified indigenous position has been achieved

To read previous post North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus calls for immediate cancellation of the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples:

click here

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Guatemala: Towards practical application of international conventions

April 4th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

By Christin Sandberg

The Mayan Council of Sipakapa claimed their collective rights and demanded the cancelation of the mining license, the Chocoyos, in a public hearing in an appellate court in Guatemala City.

– We now demand, with all due respect to this court representing our country, Guatemala, that our rights as an indigenous community - Maya and Sipakapense - will be respected, declared Timoteo Vásquez from the Sipakapense Council.
– We now demand, with all due respect to this court representing our country, Guatemala, that our rights as an indigenous community - Maya and Sipakapense - will be respected, declared Timoteo Vásquez from the Sipakapense Council.

Photographer: J. Navarro

Sipakapa is a municipality in the northwestern highlands of San Marcos, counting with 18 000 inhabitants and a property title guaranteeing the collective ownership of their territory.

It was on the 30 of april, 2012, that the General Director of the Ministry of Energy and Mines granted the mining company Entre Mares S.A. a prospecting permit without prior information and consultation with the people of Sipakapa. Since then, Entre Mares has the permission to study, analyze and evaluate any metals such as, gold, silver, nickel, cobalt, lead and zinc within the region.

– We have sought legal ways because we want to avoid other regrettable actions, like what happened a while ago when a peaceful demonstration was conducted, and one of the workers from the mining company reached out for his weapon and hurt one of our friends, recounted Vásquez from the Maya Sipakapense Council.

No representative from the Ministry of Energy and Mines was present in court, whereas the mining company, Entre Mares S.A., was represented by the lawyer Ignacio Andrade, who declared:

– The party that filed the appeal does not fulfill two mandatory requirements, there is no direct injury, meaning that the appealing party is not affected as individuals, and there is lack of finality, which means that there were mistakes made in the administrative procedures prior to filing the appeal.

The attorney, Judith Rodas Morales from the Public Ministry, stated:

– We consider violations of article 66 of the Constitution, regulating the recognition of the indigenous people, the respect for their rights and the ILO Convention 169, regulation the right to be consulted. More specifically, the government made an administrative decision that harmed the interests of the indigenous communities. It was also a decision violating the right to prior consultation.

In 2005, the Sipakapense people organized one of the first community consultations on mining in Guatemala. In this  99 per cent of the population agreed not to accept any mining prospecting or exploitation in their territory.

Photographer: J. Navarro

Photographer: J. Navarro

– The people of our community is waiting for this resolution. In the meantime, we will have to continue struggling, because this is about our home, where we eat and from where we get our food in order to survive. For us, Montana (the mining company) does not represent development, said Timoteo Vásquez from the Sipakapense Council.

Vásquez concluded:

– We rely on you (the judges) and that you will give a verdict based on the values of justice, truth and equality.

The appeal filed by the Sipakapense community is one of seven appeals filed by different Mayan groups articulated through the Mayan People Council (CPO), all claiming violations of the indigenous communities’ collective rights. More specifically the right to participation, consent and consultation on any issues regarding mining activities in their ancestral collective territory.

Photographer: J. Navarro

Photographer: J. Navarro

The first appeal was filed in October 2012, and so far five of seven have reached a sentence in the first court, three in favor. All sentences have been appealed. The Ministry of Energy and Mines allege that they obey the law that declare as national urgency to attract investments to the country. The corporations in their turn allege that they have fulfilled all legal requirements to obtain the licenses and therefore must not loose them.

There has been a halt in approval of licenses and since June, 2013 the Ministry of Energy and Mining has not approved one license.

– There are 390 licenses awaiting approval. The country counts with 107 prospecting permissions and 21 licenses for exploitation up to date, says Teresa Fuentes, from the legal commission of CPO, who keeps track on the licenses registered at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, demanding statistics on a monthly basis.

The number of licenses accounts for those concerned with chemical extraction of metals.

Fuentes continues:

– On one hand there is no movement, but on the other hand we know that the mining companies complete their environmental studies and other procedures in order to fulfill all requirements in the process, continues Fuentes.

– So there is no doubt the permissions will be granted at some point, we just do not know when.

Apart from the appeals filed in national courts, the CPO filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in September 2013, alleging that the country’s mining law was approved without their prior consultation as required under both national constitution and international law.

– In 2012 we filed a petition to the Constitutional Court (CC) arguing that the mining law is unconstitutional. The CC did not agree and therefore the IACHR is our last resort to halt violations of our rights as a result of current mining legislation, says Udiel Miranda, legal coordinator for CPO.

CPO states that the legal actions taken over the past two years are aimed at ensuring that the state laws comply with international conventions.

– We have identified that many of our rights as indigenous communities, that have been violated, actually are protected both by our constitution and by international conventions. Now we want to ensure they are put into practice too, and if not, we have to change the rules of the game in order to make sure our rights are respected, says Nim Sanik, member of the coordination of CPO.

Facts

CPO is the political articulation of the Mayan people, based on the legitimate and organized Mayan authorities and institutions. CPO articulates the decisions and the direction for political actions in defense of the Mayan people’s territory and in defense of their rights. Priority is given to make sure that international conventions, such as ILO Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, are applied in Guatemala.

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Hidrelétricas, crime e tragédia no Rio Madeira: quem é que vai pagar por isso?

April 4th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

Por Elder Andrade de Paula

Camponeses arriscam suas vidas na tentativa de colher bananas em uma plantação  inundada em Puerto Yumani, departamento de Beni-Bolívia (Fevereiro de 2014) Fonte: http://www.elcomercio.com/mundo/invierno-lluvias-Bolivia-carreteras-muertos-desaparecidos_0_1083491800.html

Camponeses arriscam suas vidas na tentativa de colher bananas em uma plantação inundada em Puerto Yumani, departamento de Beni-Bolívia (Fevereiro de 2014) Fonte: http://www.elcomercio.com/mundo/invierno-lluvias-Bolivia-carreteras-muertos-desaparecidos_0_1083491800.html

Entre as centenas de imagens que vi até o momento, essa é a que mais impressionou-me nessa mega e inconclusa tragédia no rio Madeira e seu entorno. O olhar e expressão dessa mulher campesina parece-me sintetizar toda a dor e desespero de milhares de pessoas que perderam tudo: moradias, plantações, familiares (só na Bolívia foram registrados mais de 60 pessoas mortas até o momento).

Por essa razão, ao mesmo tempo em que felicito a iniciativa do MPF e MPE de Rondônia em conjunto com OAB-RO, por impetrar ação civil pública solicitando a suspensão das atividades nas usinas hidrelétricas de Jirau e Santo Antônio – até que se refaçam os Estudos de Impactos Ambientais – considero-a insuficiente diante da magnitude desse crime. Isto é, as obras do complexo madeira iniciadas com as construções das usinas de Sto Antônio e Jirau foram executadas a ferro e fogo, transgrediram acintosamente a Constituição e sua regulamentação no que diz respeito aos procedimentos para licenciamento ambiental.

Existe uma vasta documentação destacadamente o PARECER TÉCNICO Nº 014/2007 – COHID/CGENE/DILIC/IBAMA de 21 de março de 2007. Esse documento se tornou mais conhecido pelo seu conteúdo e repercussões políticas: demissão do diretor de Licenciamento do Ibama, Luiz Felippe Kunz Jr e desmonte do IBAMA a partir daquele momento. Ao analisar o conjunto da documentação “Estudo de Impacto Ambiental (EIA), Relatório de Impacto Ambiental (RIMA), Audiências Publicas, vistorias técnicas, reuniões técnicas, documentação apensada ao processo” a equipe técnica do IBAMA expôs em 220 paginas, as insuficiências e omissões dos mesmos.

De acordo com o Parecer, a área a ser alagada poderá ser o dobro daquela projetada nos estudos apresentados. “Em síntese”, conclui o referido Parecer:

i) há notória insuficiência dos estudos e complementações apresentados, fato atestado pelas contribuições de demais órgãos e entidades ao processo, notadamente o Relatório de Análise do Conteúdo dos Estudos de Impacto Ambiental proporcionado pelo Ministerio Publico do Estado de Rondônia;

(ii) as áreas diretamente afetadas e as áreas de influencia direta e indireta são maiores do que as diagnosticadas;

(iii) as vistorias, Audiências Publicas e reuniões realizadas trouxeram maiores subsídios a analise do EIA, demonstrando que os estudos subdimensionam, ou negam, impactos potenciais. Mesmo para assumir um impacto, e preciso conhecê-lo, e a sua magnitude;

(iv) as analises dos impactos identificados demonstraram a fragilidade dos mecanismos e propostas de mitiga coes;

(v) a extensão dos impactos (diretos e indiretos) abrange outras regiões brasileiras e países vizinhos, comprometendo ambiental e economicamente territórios não contemplados no EIA, sendo, desta forma, impossível mensurá-los;

(vi) a nova configuração da área de influencia dos empreendimentos demanda do licenciamento, segundo a determinação presente na Resolução no 237/1997, o estudo dos significativos impactos ambientais de âmbitos regionais. Neste sentido, considerando a real área de abrangência dos projetos e o envolvimento do Peru e da Bolívia, a magnitude desses novos estudos remete a reelaboração do Estudo de Impacto Ambiental e instrumento apropriado a ser definido conjuntamente com esses países impactados. De qualquer forma, e necessária consulta a Procuradoria Geral do IBAMA para o adequado procedimento.

Dado o elevado grau de incerteza envolvido no processo; a identificação de áreas afetadas não contempladas no Estudo; o não dimensionamento de vários impactos com ausência de medidas mitigadoras e de controle ambiental necessárias a garantia do bem-estar das populações e uso sustentável dos recursos naturais; e a necessária observância do Principio da Precaução, a equipe técnica concluiu não ser possível atestar a viabilidade ambiental dos aproveitamentos Hidrelétricos Santo Antônio e Jirau, sendo imperiosa a realização de novo Estudo de Impacto Ambiental, mais abrangente, tanto em território nacional como em territórios transfronteiriços, incluindo a realização de novas audiências publicas. Portanto, recomenda-se a não emissão da Licença Previa (http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/ibama_parecer_032007.pdf pg 220-221, grifos nossos).

ESSA TRAGÉDIA PODERIA TER SIDO EVITADA.

Ao jogar no lixo esse Parecer Técnico e todas as criticas e advertências emanadas de movimentos sociais como MAB, especialistas e intelectuais comprometidos com a justiça e defesa dos direitos dos povos, o governo Lula praticou conscientemente um duplo crime: de responsabilidade administrativa e ambiental. Por essa razão, tanto o chefe do executivo na época (Lula) quanto os que tiveram responsabilidades diretas no licenciamento das hidrelétricas do rio Madeira tem que ser processados.

Mais ainda, devemos exigir a suspensão imediata da construção de hidrelétricas, de Belo Monte e daquelas projetadas na bacia do rio Tapajós. Está coberto de razão o povo Munduruku ao travar uma luta sem tréguas contra as barragens no Tapajós e precisam mais do que nunca contar com todo nosso apoio, especialmente o de “nosotros”, aproximadamente 2 milhões de pessoas atingidas pela tragédia das hidrelétricas do rio Madeira na Amazônia brasileira, boliviana e peruana. As hidrelétricas, juntamente com mineração, agronegócio, exploração florestal madeireira e financeirização da natureza via Pagamentos por Serviços Ambientais -PSA, formam o eixo básico desse repertório macabro da destruição posta em marcha pelo capital na Amazônia. Ou desobedecemos e lutamos ou seremos tragados por esse “moinho satânico”.

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Manifiesto del CONAMAQ ante la flagrante vulneración de sus derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales

April 3rd, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

Para escuchar lo que los líderes de CONAMAQ orgánica tienen que decir:
haga clic aquí para ver entrevistas
en video

El Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas del Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ), ante la violenta ocupación y toma de su Casa de Gobierno ocurrida en la mañana del 14 de enero de 2014 por una turba contratada y apoyada por el gobierno del señor Evo Morales Ayma que viola de la manera más flagrante los derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales de los pueblos indígenas,manifiesta DENUNCIA PÚBLICA NACIONAL e INTERNACIONAL para conocimiento de los organismos pertinentes sobre los derechos humanos y derechos de los pueblos indígenas del sistema interamericano y las Naciones Unidas.

CONAMAQ es el gobierno originario de los pueblos y nacionalidades indígenas constituida el 22 de marzo de 1997 con personalidad jurídica No 0342 que cumple con las tareas de sus competencias fundadas en su milenaria cultura política reconocidas en la normativa internacional y la Constitución Política vigente. La elección, consagración y actos administrativos del conjunto de las autoridades indígenas está amparada en el artículo 30 de la Constitución Política del Estado Plurinacional, el Convenio 169 de la OIT y la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los pueblos Indígenas.

En el marco del artículo 3ro de la Declaración (UNDRIP) los pueblos indígenas del Qullasuyu tienen por norma de elección y renovación de sus consejos al thakhi (camino) y muyu (turno), siendo sus instancias máximas de decisión Mara Tantachawi y Jach’a Tantachawi (Congreso anual y Gran Congreso). En Jach’a Tantachawi se elige y consagra al Consejo de Gobierno cuya gestión dura 2 años. Así ha ocurrido desde el año de 1977 hasta el presente.

Este sistema de gobierno originario viene desde el tiempo de los inkas, resistió a la colonia española y a la república. Ha sido el resguardo del territorio y la vida de millones de indígenas qullas hablantes del aymara, quechua y uru. Siendo autoridades originarias los consejos de gobiernos preservan la autonomía e independencia política en relación a ideologías, partidos políticos y regímenes de gobierno. Ante la imposibilidad de uncir al CONAMAQ a los lineamientos del Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), el partido de gobierno, Evo Morales y sus ministros en persona se dieron a la tarea de intervenir en los asuntos del gobierno originario, armando grupos de choque y asaltando con la policía la Casa del CONAMAQ, donde fue instalado un supuesto directorio de autoridades indígenas que usurpa el nombre CONAMAQ y hace pública su adhesión al gobierno de Morales Ayma.

La relación sucinta de los actos de violación es como sigue:

La noche del 10 de diciembre un grupo de individuos vestidos de ponchos, para hacerse pasar por autoridades originarias, asaltó la Casa de Gobierno del CONAMAQ. Era el quinto intento de ocupación violenta que el gobierno propiciaba a través de dos supuestos mallkus: Hilarión Mamani y Gregorio Choque. No pudieron hacerlo a pesar de las sombras de la noche y la complicidad de la policía boliviana, que desde esa noche mantuvo secuestrada la casa, echando a la calle a las autoridades indígenas, quienes instalaron una vigilia de resguardo y también una oficina desde donde despachaban todos sus asuntos administrativos y orgánicos. Estos hechos fueron puestos en conocimiento del representante de la Alta Comisionada de Derechos Humanos, señor Dennis Racicot y el Defensor del Pueblos señor Rolando Villena.

La vigilia fue mantenida hasta éste día 14 de enero por autoridades de los 16 suyus (naciones), mujeres y jóvenes líderes de los ayllus con el acompañamiento de activistas de derechos humanos, ecologistas, universitarios y simpatizantes de la ciudades de La Paz y El Alto.

En el VIII Jach’a Tantachawi (Congreso), realizado en el Coliseo de la Universidad Mayor de San Andrés los días 12 y 13 de diciembre de 2013, renovó el Consejo de Gobierno a la cabeza de los Tata Apus Freddy Bernabé del suyu Sura y Cancio Rojas de Charka-Qhara Qhara con sus respectivos mama t’allas. Siguiendo el camino de sus normas de gobierno. Los Consejos de Gobierno saliente y entrante acordaron llevar el día 14 de enero un Consejo de Consejos, para la transición en las actividades orgánicas y administrativas; el Consejo de Consejos tiene como mandato revisar y adoptar la agenda propuesta por el Consejo de Gobierno.

En la mañana del 14 de enero cuando las autoridades del Consejo de Gobierno se aprestaban a dar la protocolar bienvenida a las autoridades electas y de suyu (nación), fueron sorprendidos por la violenta irrupción de una turba disfrazada con ponchos bajo la identidad de “Capac Omasuyos”, quienes a vista de la policía, que supuestamente resguardaba la casa del CONAMAQ, procedieron a agredir a las autoridades con palos y látigos, destrozando las carpas y bienes de la vigilia. Acto seguido dos policías de alta graduación procedieron a abrir las puertas de la casa a los agresores, quienes estaban acompañados de fiscales y notarios; la policía actuó como parte interesada.

Lo ocurrido en la tradición política boliviana no tiene otro nombre que el de Golpe de Estado, el gobierno de Evo Morales ante la imposibilidad de doblegar al CONAMAQ y a sus 16 suyus, no tuvo mejor elección que echar mano de ese infame método de toma de poder, siendo que el Presidente y sus ministros se quejan todos los días de supuestos golpes de estado, de subversión, cual fue la acusación para la expulsión de la organización no gubernamental Ibis Dinamarca. No hay duda alguna que es el afán de control absoluto de los pueblos y organizaciones indígenas que ha llevado al gobierno atentar a la democracia del ayllu, buscar dividir el consejo de gobierno de un pueblo como es el Qullasuyu.

¿Cuáles son las causales, los pecados cometidos por el CONAMAQ?

Desde el VII Jach’a Tantachawi de diciembre 2011, el Qullasuyu en pleno con todas sus autoridades decidió ejercer su derecho a la libre determinación dejando el Pacto de Unidad para exigir desde su autonomía la efectiva implementación de la Constitución y los derechos de los pueblos indígenas consagrados en el artículo 30 de la CPEP, la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y el Convenio 169 de la OIT. En cumplimiento de los mandatos del VII Jach’a Tantachawi, el Consejo de Gobierno a la cabeza del Apu Félix Becerra concentró sus esfuerzos por la efectiva realización de:

- El derecho a la libre determinación a través de la consulta para el consentimiento libre previo e informado en todos actos legislativos y administrativos del Estado concernientes a los pueblos indígenas.

- La defensa de la integridad de los territorios de pueblos indígenas de los proyectos de colonización a través de megaproyectos (represas, carreteras), megamineria y plantaciones de agrocombustibles. La participación solidaria del CONAMAQ en las VIII y IX marcha indígenas por la defensa del TIPNIS fue calificado como delito en contra de Evo Morales y su entorno. Situación extrema fue la vivida por los ayllus afectados por el proyecto minero Mallku Quta, por cuya causa fue secuestrado, torturado y encarcelado el curaca Cancio Rojas.

- La participación política como derecho humano fundamental. Esta decisión desató la furia del gobierno que busca mantener en calidad de rebaño a las organizaciones campesinas y de pueblos indígenas. Así fue como desde el gobierno autoridades y líderes del CONAMAQ fueron señalizados y criminalizados por supuestas alianzas con el “imperialismo”, “derecha”, etc.

La intervención del gobierno de Bolivia en los asuntos internos de los pueblos indígenas del Qullasuyu contraviene y viola los siguientes derechos:

- La violación del art. 4 del C 169 de la OIT, de salvaguarda de “las personas, las instituciones, los bienes, el trabajo, las culturas”; del art. 5, b de mismo convenio 169 que protege “la integridad de los valores, prácticas e instituciones” de los pueblos indígenas.

- El derecho a la consulta art. 6.1a. del Convenio 169 de la OIT.

- El Derecho a la participación, artículos 6 y 7.1 del convenio 169 de la OIT y el artículo 18 de la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los pueblos indígenas.

- Desconocimiento y violación del derecho consuetudinario artículos 8.1 y 8.2, referido a las estructuras institucionales, ya sean de carácter judicial o administrativo.

- Atenta contra el espíritu de la Declaración de Naciones Unidas que en su preámbulo expresa: “Consciente de la urgente necesidad de respetar y promover los derechos intrínsecos de los pueblos indígenas, que derivan de sus estructuras políticas, económicas y sociales y de sus culturas, de sus tradiciones espirituales, de su historia y de su filosofía, especialmente los derechos a sus tierras, territorios y recursos”.

- Viola el artículo 3ro de la Declaración que expresa: “Los pueblos indígenas tienen derecho a la libre determinación. En virtud de ese derecho determinan libremente su condición política y persiguen libremente su desarrollo económico, social y cultural”.

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Our solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of North America(NAIPC) call for the cancellation of the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly 2014 of the UN

April 2nd, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

Nations of Mother Earth, not just Ethnic Groups of the States

Maya Vision, Techantit Cultural Center and TONATIERRA reaffirm our common front of struggle engaged in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery and express our solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of North America(NAIPC), as we also adopt the position of theContinental Caucus of Abya Yala articulated by brother Aucan Huilcaman the Mapuche Nation [Chile] and join in the call of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus for the cancellation of the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly 2014 of the UN due to the fact that there is no possibility of legitimate representation of Indigenous Peoples.

Having reviewed and analyzed Article 18 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which reads:

“Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision- making institutions.”

We consider wise the decision by the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus to withdraw from the Global Coordinating Group and here reaffirm our solidarity and support. To continue with the drafting of an informal document, which does not carry the consensus of the Alta Outcome Document, and does not convey the true thoughts and feelings of representatives of Indigenous Peoples would show lack of respect for the rights established by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The resignation of Debra Harry and Kenneth Deer as members of the Global Coordinating Group is an example to follow and a demonstration that we Indigenous Peoples are fed up with being subjugated under the colonialism of the states.

The UNGA High Level Plenary Meeting 2014 is being directed by proceedings which are inherently unequal, exclusive of a real participatory mechanism that would allow the full, equal and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, as Peoples equal to all other peoples. We see no legitimacy in these proceedings. That Indigenous Peoples do not have full, effective and equal participation in a High Level Plenary of the member states has never been in debate, but NEVER could such a High Level Plenary beTITLED a Conference on Indigenous Peoples without a recognition of theMandate of the Indigenous Peoples for full, equal and effective participation in deliberations, in the elaboration of policies for the UN which will be adopted and institutionalized in the final UNGA resolution that will officialize the final outcome document of the UNGA HLPM 2014.  This is a crime of international travesty with global import into the future generations, and also a violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 8:

“Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.”

Indigenous peoples have rights to choose our representatives in our own assemblies, as well as discussing and analyzing what is suitable for our communities. To accepting the rules of the President of the General Assembly(PAG) John Ashe is to accept that we are to be deprived of our integrity as Indigenous Peoples, deprived of the right to exercise our cultural values and identity as Indigenous Peoples, with rights with all other peoples in the arena of the UN system.

We wish to point out that Article 41 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states:

“The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration through the mobilization, inter alia, of financial cooperation and technical assistance.”

Article 42 establishes means of ensuring participation of indigenous peoples on issues affecting them:

“The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.”

Considering the above we conclude that the UN agencies should provide support to indigenous peoples and were designed to ensure the active and equitable participation of people in decisions that affect their daily lives and development of their communities, at the time that these agencies do not allow the media and promote participation of indigenous peoples in decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their communities and ensure their full participation as people with equal rights to all other peoples , in the wording of any document that brings consequences for indigenous peoples are being violated articles by UN member states and this is also a flagrant violation of the rights of indigenous peoples.

Therefore:

As Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala we work, live, and celebrate the struggle to defend our collective right of continental self-determination with the Indigenous Nations of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of North America, the Great Turtle Island, and with base communities in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador that are considered in the region of the Latin America and the Caribbean Caucus by the UN System, we ask the indigenous peoples of the world DENY CONSENT and not participate in a process that is not only in obvious disregard for our rights but also exemplifies a lack of respect for our ancestors and those who have given their lives to make the UN resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples a reality.

We call upon indigenous peoples to continue this struggle in defense of our own. The right to free, prior and informed consent is our right, do not let that light of hope for future generations disappear, it is our duty not to consent to something that is not in the interests of indigenous peoples. “Our ways of life will never die.”

We appeal to all indigenous peoples to not meekly participate in a meeting where the agenda is not indigenous, and favors the interests of the states. We demand our right to participate with full, equal and effective recognition of our rights as Peoples - Equal to all other peoples, in meetings and consultations on matters that affect us whenever indigenous peoples issues are discussed.

Finally we ask of the President of the UN General Assembly Mr. John Ashe that in the performance of his duties as president he respect the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in particular the articles listed herein, and thus give a positive example to the member states of the UN system.

NAHUACALLI

Embassy of Indigenous Peoples

www.nahuacalli.org

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