Archive for the ‘Mining resource extraction’ Category

GOVERNO VAI MEXER NO PROJETO DE CÓDIGO DA MINERAÇÃO

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Em 2013, o governo mandou para o Congresso um projeto de lei redefinindo o Código de Mineração. O texto havia sido quase que inteiramente elaborado pelas empresas mineradoras e abrangia alterava aspectos do licenciamento ambiental, mexia no tamanho e na repartição dos royalties e redefinia a duração de concessões e os processos de obtenção e renovação. Um mimo para as grandes mineradoras. Na semana passada apareceu a notícia de que, pelas dificuldades encontradas para aprovar o texto, o governo vai retirar o projeto de lei, dividi-lo em três partes e mandar outra vez. Assim espera que o trambolho passe mais fácil.

É bom ficar de olho no que vem por aí.

http://economia.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,uniao-vai-refazer-codigo-de-mineracao,70001643479

Statement from the family of Arthur Manuel on his passing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Arthur_ManuelOn Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 11:00 PM, Arthur Manuel, our beloved father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, warrior, and teacher passed away. Arthur was one of our most determined and outspoken Secwepemc leaders and activists—a pillar in the resistance, known globally for his tireless advocacy for Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination. He passed on into the spirit world surrounded by many generations of his loving family.

Arthur was the son of Marceline Paul of the Ktuanaxa Nation and George Manuel of the Secwepemc Nation. George was a political leader and visionary who served as president of the National Indian Brotherhood and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.

Arthur was born into the struggle and groomed to be a leader and defender of Indigenous rights and title. Coming up as a young leader in the 1970s, he served as president of the National Native Youth Association, leading the occupation of Indian Affairs. He attended Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) and Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto, Ontario).

He returned to his community and was elected Chief of Neskonlith Indian Band, Chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, and Chair of the Assembly of First Nations Delgamuukw Implementation Strategic Committee. He was a long-time co-chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and former co-chair of the Global caucus. He was active in the Defenders of the Land and Idle No More movement and as a board member of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. He was one of the main strategic thinkers of the decolonization movement in Canada. As the spokesman for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, he convinced the World Trade Organization to recognize that Indigenous peoples are subsidizing the BC lumber industry through the non-recognition of Aboriginal title. He was co-author, along with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, of the award-winning Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call, with a foreword by his friend and fellow activist Naomi Klein.

He worked selflessly in defence of Indigenous territorial authority and he fiercely opposed any termination of Indigenous land rights. He rejected provincial and federal authority over unceded Indigenous land, and challenged the extinguishment of Indigenous title through the BC treaty process. He fought climate change, battling the imminent threat of pipelines across Secwepemc territory.

He was a world traveller who connected Indigenous nations across the globe to unite in a common vision and defend their rights. He was gifted a button blanket by the Nuxalk nation and has received countless honours for his work around the world.

Arthur was also a teacher and a mentor to many. He was a source of knowledge for youth and young leaders. Through his fierce love for his people, he shone a light on the path to justice for a new generation of activists.

He’s a residential school survivor, having attended the Kamloops (Kamloops BC), St Eugene’s (Cranbrook BC) and St. Mary’s (Mission BC) residential schools.

Arthur is survived by his life partner, Nicole Schabus, by his sisters Emaline, Martha, Doreen, and Ida, his brothers George, Richard, and Ara, and by his children, Kanahus, Mayuk, Ska7cis and Snutetkwe. He is predeceased by his parents, sister Vera, brother Bobby, beloved son Neskie and his grandchildren Napika Amak and Megenetkwe.

In his most recent article on Canada’s 150th celebration, published only a week before his death, Arthur insisted again that Canada was built entirely on the theft of Indigenous lands.

“Our Indian reserves are only .02% of Canada’s land and yet Indigenous peoples are expected to survive on them. This has led to the systematic impoverishment of Indigenous people and the crippling oppression that indigenous peoples suffer under the current colonial system.

The .02 land based is used to keep us too poor and too weak to fight back. It is used to bribe and co-opt the Indigenous leadership into becoming neocolonial partners to treat the symptom of poverty on Indian reserves without addressing the root cause of the problem, which is the dispossession of all of the Indigenous territory by Canada and the provinces.” – First Nations Strategic Bulletin, August-December 2016 Issue

Wake: Friday, January 13th 5:00 PM and Saturday, January 14th, Adams Lake Indian Band Gymnasium, 6349 Chief Jules Drive, Chase, BC

Funeral Services: Sunday, January 15th 10:00 AM, Adams Lake Indian Band Gymnasium

Media contact: Russell Diabo at 613-296-0110 or rdiabo@rogers.com
Donations to support Arthur’s service can be sent to jacksoncrick7@yahoo.ca
Condolences to the family and photos of Arthur can be sent to erfeltes@gmail.com

Earth Peoples co-founder Arthur Manuel passed away, 66-years-old.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Dear Earth Peoples.
Arthur Manuel was always working hard.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse brought me to collaborate with Rebecca Sommer, one of my best friends… and this is where I met Arthur. I was very glad to from the start. I was in line with him in the cafeteria at the UN during the indigenous peoples caucus for the Earth Peoples partners event. I got some coffee and was going to sit down at the table he was at. Arthur said with warning…you might not want to sit there. I said oh is this seat taken? He said no its just that you might not want to be associated with me. A lot of people do not like me.
I looked around over my shoulders and said.. jokingly I said….want me to beat them up for you? He laughed a lot. That was the comical and genuine relationship that I had with him from the start. He is someone I am honored to say has changed my life and i can call him my favorite person and a best friend. I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to know Arthur.
Arthur was my Earth Peoples brother, a child of our mother Earth and I loved him very much. I always looked up to him for saving the world. I remember saying to Arthur that I hope that I can somehow make a difference in the world like he does. I would like to make my life meaningful. He said Elaine, You don’t want to do what i do. He said… I am not complaining but Elaine, you have the creative arts and you can work in that medium and be effective. As you do…. and it seems more fun. That meant a lot to me. I appreciate that with all of my heart. I hope that i can send that message through my art so that I can make him proud and maybe send some laughs too.
He lives forever in our hearts. He lived. I only hope that I can too live a life that makes the ancestors proud  as was well.

Book Arhur ManualHis last writing to me was when he signed his book
Unsettling Canada
for me with the words “May the world be good to you my friend.
-Arthur”

He will be greatly missed!!!

Elaine+Arthur

Indigenous Peoples: REPORT CONCERNING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
In regard to the
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW CONCERNING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Second Cycle-22nd Session
April-May 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Submitted by Indigenous World Association (IWA) an ECOSOC NGO and the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment
This Report is submitted by the Indigenous World Association (IWA), an ECOSOC accredited NGO, together with the Laguna-Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment (LACSE). LACSE, an organization of Laguna Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo residents, in New Mexico, USA, is committed to addressing uranium mining legacy issues, including protection of sacred areas, affecting both indigenous nations, and is a member of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE, masecoalition.org)., which addresses issues of environmental justice related to uranium mining in the Grants uranium belt in Northwestern New Mexico.

Summary

Despite the 2010 statement in support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the United States, the United States has failed to provide meaningful implementation of the rights contained in the UNDRIP. Perhaps in response to the calls by this body in the last UPR cycle in March 2010, as well as that of other UN Human bodies, the United States issued a statement in support of the UNDRIP in December 2010. However the United States continues to insist that the UNDRIP is “a non-binding, aspirational document” and renders the UNDRIP ineffective through federal, state and local actions that deny indigenous peoples the exercise of rights contained in the ICCPR, the ICERD, and the UNDRIP.

This report addresses the United States’ failure to provide substantive protection for sacred areas and landscapes, in the face of recommendations by the Human Rights Committee in the 2014 ICCPR review, by the CERD committee in the 2014 CERD Review, and by several UN special rapporteurs. Related to these rights are those impacted by extractive activities that impact sacred areas and discriminatorily deprive indigenous communities of essential human rights such as the right to free prior and informed consent and rights related to religion and culture.

1. Mt. Taylor (“Kaaweesthiimaa” in the Acoma language, “Tsibiinaa” in the Laguna language), a sacred landscape and area to Acoma, Laguna, and other Indigenous Nations in the region, is under threat of irreparable harm should proposed uranium mining by Roca Honda Resources, LLC, and others proceed in the area. Despite the recognition of this area as a traditional cultural property under federal and state law, the United States Forest Service, an agency of the United States government, has taken actions which substantively disregard United States obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), especially rights with regard to property, health, and participation in cultural activities provided in Article 5 of the ICERD. Despite the Recommendation of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (hereinafter “CERD”) in 2008, to ensure that activities carried out in areas of spiritual and cultural significance to Native Americans do not have a negative impact on the enjoyment of their rights under the Convention, the United States has failed to observe its human rights obligations in this situation.

2. Current federal law purporting to provide protection for cultural rights, and policy on consultation in cases affecting protection of cultural rights, including Executive Orders, have provided no substantive protection for cultural rights. Both the federal and state governments are responsible permitting agencies for mining activities. However, the United States has not taken sufficient steps to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure a coordinated approach towards the implementation of the Convention at the federal, state and local levels, which are all implicated in the case of Mt. Taylor.

3. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department have failed to clean up 97 abandoned uranium mines and 5 former mills in the Grants Mining District in New Mexico after 30 plus years. This includes the Homestake-Barrick Gold mill site now a U.S. Superfund site.

4. The United States Department of Agriculture, and its subsidiary the United States Forest Service, is seeking to permit new uranium mining which will irreparably impact the Mt. Taylor Traditional Cultural Property. The free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples impacted, including Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Zuni Tribe and Navajo Nation has not been fully obtained for new proposed uranium mining at Mt. Taylor, which is within the aboriginal lands of these indigenous peoples in New Mexico. obtained.

5. Human rights violations of affected indigenous people in New Mexico have been presented in reports to the Human Rights Committee in the United States Review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and to the CERD Committee as part of the United States review under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) during 2014. In both reviews, the United Nations monitoring committees issued conclusions and recommendations regarding protection of sacred places and the need to provide free, prior and informed consent especially in cases regarding extractive activities.

6. The United States has failed to implement existing laws in a manner that fully implements the rights contained in the UNDRIP, including access to sacred sites and cultural rights. These laws include the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. 1996), the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000 bbl), and the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) It also violates Executive Order 13007, which directs federal agencies to “accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practioners.”

7. The United is ignoring established federal laws and policies protecting indigenous sacred sites when it permits new extractive mining. Specifically it ignores Cite: See Shadow Reports referenced herein and submitted to ICCPR and CERD. See also, Letter of Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, dated June 13, 2013, pp. 5-7.

8. The United States continues to apply discriminatory laws, such as the General Mining Act of 1872, the 1897 Organic Act, and the 1955 Multiple Use Mining Act, all of which preference mining activities over cultural practices on public land.

9. The United States has so far failed to educate federal agencies, state agencies, and local governments on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The UPR Working Group, in the first UPR cycle for the United States, urged the United States to incorporate human rights training and education in their public policies.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. That the United States follow the recommendation of several human rights bodies and establish a National Human Rights institution.
2. That the United States fully implement the UNDRIP.
3. That the United States undertake a comprehensive review of domestic laws and policies, which some U.S. and state agencies interpret to privilege extractive activities over the rights of indigenous peoples, and bring them into compliance with international human rights standards.
4. That the United States adopt effective measures to protect cultural landscapes and sacred areas of indigenous peoples against desecration, contamination and destruction and ensure that consultations are held with the communities that might be adversely affected by State party’s development projects and exploitation of natural resources with a view to obtaining their free, prior and informed consent for the potential project activities.
5. Recommend that the United States take steps to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure a coordinated approach towards the implementation of the Convention at the federal, state and local levels.”

Panel finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty of violating nature’s rights

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

By Indigenous Environmental Network.

Lima, Peru (Dec. 7, 2014)– The International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature judged twelve international and domestic cases; examining the violation of the rights of peoples and nature committed by corporations, The United Nations, and governmental entities. The judgments reference the legal framework of the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. The cases were reviewed on Dec. 5th and 6th in Lima’s Gran Hotel Bolivar.

According to Alberto Acosta, president of the Tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, the rights of nature must have a universal validity. “This ethical tribunal arises when States fail to fulfill their obligation to preserve the lives of living beings,” said Acosta. “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature.”

Acosta led the 13 judges through 12 cases

The Tribunal was dedicated to Shuar leader, José Tendentza, who was found murdered just days before the Tribunal. Tendentza of Southern Ecuador was scheduled to present the Condor Mine case. Acosta led the 13 judges through 12 cases that were determined by the judges to demonstrate egregious violations to rights of nature and human rights. Cases included:

-False Solutions related to Climate Change and REDD+;
-Peruvian cases: Conga Mine, Bagua Massacre – Defenders of Earth, 4 River Basins of Peru;
-Ecuadorian cases: Condor Mine, Chevron/Texaco, and Yasuni ITT
Brazil: Belo Monte Dam
-USA and Bolivia: Hydraulic fracturing “fracking”
-Oceans: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, coal mine and other threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Of the cases, the oil exploitation of the Yasuni territory of Ecuador was condemned in addition to the relentless persecution Yasunidos are facing for their dissent. Since 2013, the Ecuadorian government green-lighted oil drilling in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world and home to two indigenous nations in voluntary isolation.

In protest, a group of young Yasunidos joined together to claim the rights of nature, which are guaranteed in the Constitution of Ecuador. They collected more than 800,000 signatures to call for a referendum on the oil exploitation, but their request was rejected by electoral institutions. The Yasunidos are now suing the Ecuadorian government, led by President Rafael Correa, and are waiting for their complaint to be reviewed by the tribunal of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

Additionally, the Tribunal for the Rights of Nature found Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador to be guilty of using inappropriate technology and causing irreversible damage to the environment. They determined that the corporation must fully compensate those affected by the environmental impact.

The Peruvian cases of Conga and Bagua were accepted as threats of violation to the rights of nature. An international special commission was appointed to visit the impacted Amazonian basins to collect more information on the contamination.

The case of the mining project in the Cordillera del Condor was found by the Tribunal to be in direct violation of the rights of nature. They determined that mining must be suspended and those affected must be compensated. They urge the state to investigate and punish those responsible for the death of José Tendentza, the prominent social activist that was in opposition to the mining.

A widow of one of the four murdered activists shares her testimony

The Peruvian cases of Conga and Bagua were accepted as threats of violation to the rights of nature. An international special commission was appointed to visit the impacted Amazonian basins to collect more information on the contamination.

Shannon Biggs, director of Movement Rights, shared testimony on the impacts of fracking , a process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. “You cannot do safe fracking,” said Biggs. “This technique should have never been invented. It is one of the most destructive activities against the environment ever seen.”

According to Biggs, 800,000 active oil and gas wells are being fracked in the United States, producing roughly 300,000 natural gas barrels per day. Severe water pollution and earthquakes have been linked with fracking. “We die from fracking. The population is suffering from cancer; my sister has died,” said Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca) of Oklahoma in her testimony. “The water is contaminated; we cannot fish. We are in danger of extinction.”

Plans to develop large-scale hydraulic fracking in Bolivia were reported by Martin Vilela of Platform Climate Reaction. In recent years the country has increased the production and export of natural gas. 82.4% of its production is exported, generating more than six billion dollars a year. Bolivia has 8.23 trillion cubic feet of gas, and YPFB plans to invest over 40 million dollars between 2013 and 2015. Vilela explained that in 2013 this corporation signed an agreement for fracking in the Chaco area, a region with water scarcity to extract 48 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. Estimates determine that this would consume between 112 and 335 billion liters of water.

Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian architect, environmental activist presented on the contamination and temperature rise affecting Nigeria. According to Bassey, oil fields and pipelines have caused deep environmental degradation, deforestation, and countless oil spills. Life expectancy in these impacted areas is 44 years.

Bassey warned that climate change will have catastrophic consequences. “For every degree the temperature rises globally, in Africa it will rise an additional 50%.” In 2012 floods in Nigeria led to the relocation of 6 million inhabitants. Bassey speculates that in 2030 Africa violent conflicts will increase by 54% due to the lack of access to natural resources.

At the hearing on “false climate solutions,” geoengineering techniques that seek to manipulate climate without changing the conditions that cause climate change were reviewed.

REDD+ was also put on trial. President of the Huni Kui people of Acre, Brazil, Ninawa Kaxinawá (Hunikui) testified that “REDD is a lie. We do not accept putting nature on market because it is our soul and spirit; it is priceless, it is our voice.”

According to Ruth Nyambura, of the Biodiversity Network Africa, says that in Kenya, evictions are occurring as a result of REDD. “Four indigenous people were arrested,” said Nyambura. “A woman was hit by the forest service because she was outside of her land.”

The Tribunal is calling for a special hearing in Paris in 2015 to coincide with the upcoming UN COP 21 summit.

Carbon Trade Watch Newsletter 2014/1

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

While governmental leaders in Lima meet to trade away the climate, we would like to share some publications and multimedia work published in 2014 by CTW. Some key highlights include: Support for resistance in Brazil against pre-salt offshore oil drilling, research into natural gas and other energy conflicts in Europe, and uncovering further financialisation of nature plans such as biodiversity offsetting, and the new Natural Capital Finance Facility.

Publications:

The Natural Capital Finance Facility: A window into the green economy
This new publication aims to break down the complexities of emerging “nature” financing by exploring a new pilot facility put forward by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, called the Natural Capital Finance Facility. The authors discover the lack of transparency and power relations behind the NCFF and outline in clear language how natural capital financing functions, where the money comes from, how profits are made and how public funds are leveraged. In addition, the publication explores how funding mechanisms emerge before policy has been decided and links this to REDD+ and the carbon markets. This paper outlines the dangers to this approach and explores what is lost when financial mechanisms are given priority over grant-based projects.
To order

A Tree for a Fish: The (il)logic behind selling biodiversity
Putting a price on ecological systems has been around for several decades, although it was especially heightened during the UN climate negotiations with the introduction of the carbon market, a system which places a monetary value on the carbon-cycle capacity of nature for trade in financial markets. The carbon market quickly became “the only game in town” that policy-makers and multilateral agencies would discuss and implement regarding climate change policy. Following this logic, the 2010 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) called for “innovative financial mechanisms’” to deal with biodiversity loss, making biodiversity offsets the standard buzzword within conservation debates. At the same time, people have been resisting projects that claim to compensate for biodiversity destruction and continue to demonstrate how this concept fails to address the drivers of environmental and social damage.
To order
En español

Like a Dull Knife: The People’s Climate “Farce” (Quincy Saul, Truthout)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

By Quincy Saul, Truthout

In the lead-up to any large-scale protest, it is useful to bear in mind the potential dangers and drawbacks of such an endeavor. On the eve of what is being advertised as “the biggest climate march in history,” we might reflect on Malcolm X’s experience of the March on Washington, as recounted in the Autobiography of Malcolm X:

“Farce in Washington”, I call it. . . . It was like a movie. . . . For the status-seeker, it was a status symbol. “Were you there?”. . . . It had become an outing, a picnic. . . . What originally was planned to be an angry riptide, one English newspaper aptly described now as “the gentle flood”. . . . there wasn’t a single logistics aspect uncontrolled. . . . They had been told how to arrive, when, where to arrive, where to assemble, when to start marching, the route to march. . . . Yes, I was there. I observed that circus.

Of course, not everyone present concurred with Malcolm X about the March on Washington – and even in a top-down format, one hopes the upcoming march could draw much-needed attention to the climate movement. The question is: At what cost? In this vein, what follows are a few reflections on the buildup to the September 21 People’s Climate March in New York City, to provide some concrete analysis of concrete conditions, and propose some solutions.

Deadline

The climate justice movement has an expiration date. If the tipping points in the earth system are passed, and the feedback loops begin their vicious cycle, human attempts at mitigation will be futile, and climate justice will become an anachronism – or at worst a slogan for geo-engineering lobbies. Thousands of scientists have come to consensus on this point, and many years ago gave us a deadline: A carbon emissions peak in 2015 followed by rapid and permanent decline.

In other words, we have roughly four months to work for climate justice. The world is literally at stake; all life on earth is at risk. Never has there been a more urgent or comprehensive mandate.

Even the guardians and gatekeepers of the ruling class, from politicians to scientists, are forthcoming on this point. Listen to Al Gore: “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers, and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” He said that in 2007. It is in this context that we must seek to better understand and analyze the People’s Climate March.

“An Invitation to Change Everything”

The People’s Climate March has a powerful slogan. It has world-class publicity. But the desire to bring the biggest possible number of people to the march has trumped all other considerations. The results are devastating:

No Target: The march is a U-turn through Times Square, beginning at a monument to genocide (Columbus Circle) and ending . . . in the middle of nowhere. Here in New York City where the ruling class of the whole world has made their diverse headquarters, the march will target none of them. The march will not even go near the United Nations, its ostensible symbolic target.

No Timing: The United Nations will convene leading figures from all over the world – several days after the march. The march does not coincide with anything, contemporary or historic.

No Demands: Again, to attract the largest number of people, the march has rallied around the lowest common denominator – in this case, nothing. Not only are there no demands, but there is in fact no content at all to the politics of the march, other than vague concern and nebulous urgency about “the climate,” which is itself undefined.

No Unity: While a large number of people are sure to converge on Columbus Circle on September 21, the only thing they will have in common is the same street. The revolutionary communists will link arms with the Green Zionist Alliance and the Democratic Party, and compete with Times Square billboards for the attention of tourists and the corporate media.What is the binding agent for this sudden and unprecedented unity? Fifty-one years later, the words of Malcolm X still ring true: “the white man’s money.”

No History: Instead of building on the momentum of a decades-old climate justice movement, this march appears to be taking us backwards. Here’s what Ricken Patel of Avaaz, one of the main funders of the march, said to The Guardian: “We in the movement, activists, have failed up until this point to put up a banner and say if you care about this, now is the time, here is the place, let’s come together, to show politicians the political power that is out there on there.”

It is as if the massive mobilizations outside the United Nations meeting in Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010) and Durban (2011) never took place, let alone the literally thousands of smaller, more localized actions and gatherings for climate justice. At all of these gatherings, activists convoked the world to demonstrate the power of the people, under banners which were far more radical and transformative than anything we have seen so far for this march.

No Integrity: The invitation to change everything has been permitted and approved by the New York City Police Department. This permit betrays a lack of respect for the people who will be making sacrifices to come all the way to New York City to change the world, and a lack of integrity among those who want to change everything, but seek permission for this change from one of the more obviously brutal guardians of business as usual. This lack of integrity sets up thousands of earnest souls for an onset of depression and cynicism when this march doesn’t change the world. This will in turn be fertile soil for everyone and anyone hawking false solutions.

No target, no demands, no timing, no unity, no history and no integrity amounts to one thing: No politics. The whole will be far less than the sum of its parts. The biggest climate march in history will amount to something less than Al Gore.

In discussions over the past month with a wide range of people – UN diplomats, radical Vermonters, unionists, professors, liberal Democrats, etc. – the same thing has been repeated to me by everyone: “If we get a huge number of people, no one will be able to ignore us.” “The mainstream media will be forced to cover it.”

So what is being billed and organized as The People’s Climate March, and An Invitation to Change Everything, turns out to be a massive photo op. The spectacle of thousands of First World citizens marching for climate justice, while they continue to generate the vast majority of carbon emissions, brings to mind the spectacle of George W. Bush visiting New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

So what are we left with? James Brown knew, when he said: “You’re like a dull knife; Just ain’t cutting. You’re just talking loud; And saying nothing. Just saying nothing. Good luck to you; Just allow you’re wrong. Then keep on singing that; Same old money song . . .”

So What Are We Going to Do About It?

This is not the place to complain, but to propose solutions. If we are unsatisfied with this march and its leadership, we have to provide an alternative. As James Brown knew, we “have to pay the cost to be the boss.” Here are some suggestions for starters:

We are going to stop lying to the people. This is the primary and cardinal rule of revolutionary politics. To invite people to change the world and corral them into cattle pens on a police-escorted parade through the heart of consumer society is astoundingly dishonest. From now on, we will stop lying to people. Climate justice requires nothing less than a global revolution in politics and production; it requires a historic transition to a new model of civilization, which will demand great sacrifice and creativity from everyone.
We are going to stop making demands of anyone or anything but ourselves and each other. The powers that be are deaf, dumb and deadly, and we will waste no further time trying to pressure or persuade them. We are going to stop speaking truth to power and start speaking truth to powerlessness. Either we are going to become the leaders we have been waiting for, starting now, or we are going to resign ourselves to the inevitability of catastrophic climate change and the sixth mass extinction.
We are going to return to the source. This means three things: (A) Return to the common people from the delirious heights of symbolic protest politics, with dedication to concrete local work, to divorce food, water, shelter and energy systems from capital. (B) Return to the livelihood and wisdom of our ancestors, the indigenous peoples of every continent, who have lived for thousands of years in harmony with nature, and who still possess the knowledge and skills to restore balance. (C) Return to the sun – a second Copernican revolution and a heliocentric energy policy. Either we return to a subsistence perspective that has prevailed for the majority of human history, or all future development of productive forces must be based exclusively on solar energy.
We are going to get arrested! The only thing that we can do to meet the deadline for climate justice is to engage in a massive and permanent campaign to shut down the fossil fuel economy. But we have to do this strategically, not in the symbolic cuff-and-stuffs that are a perversion and prostitution of the noble ideals of civil disobedience and revolutionary nonviolence. So we are going to shut down coal plants; we are going to block ports, distribution centers and railway hubs where fossil fuels are transported; whatever it takes to keep the oil in the soil. We’re going to put our bodies between the soil and the sky.So let’s make sure that the call to “Flood Wall Street” on September 22 is the “angry riptide” it should be, and not “the gentle flood.”
We are going to join the rest of the human race. For 200 years too long, citizens of the United States have been parasites and predators on the rest of the world. To prevent climate catastrophe, we are going to leave our imperial hubris behind, and join with the revolutionary ecosocialist uprisings that are sweeping the global South.

Berlin: Aufruf zur gemeinsamen Teilnahme an der Klimademo am Sonntag, 21.9.2014

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Liebe Mitstreiter,
gemeinsam mit Tausenden von Demonstranten in New York, London, Paris und weiteren Städten auf allen Kontinenten wollen wir die Politiker, die am Klimagipfel 2 Tage später teilnehmen, an ihre Verantwortung für diese Welt erinnern! Die Filmaufnahmen dieser Demos werden auf der Konferenz gezeigt werden.

TREFFPUNKTE am 21.9. um 14:30 Uhr
14 Uhr – Alexanderplatz – Fußgänger Demo mit Silent Climate Parade.
14.30 Uhr – Mariannenplatz Kreuzberg – Fahrrad-Demo
16.30 Uhr – Potsdamer Platz/Ebertstraße (Vor ‘Vapiano’) – Kinder- und Familiendemo

All drei Demozüge führen zum MAL SCHNELL DIE WELT RETTEN am Brandenburger Tor.

In Richtung Straße des 17. Juni wird es eine eine Schnippeldisko-Vokü geben, Upcycling-Events und Workshops sowie Infos und Diskussionen mit Umwelt- und Klimagruppen.

ABLAUF:
Wir sammeln uns an den angegebenen Treffpunkten. Abmarsch Richtung Brandenburger Tor – Ankunft Brandenburger Tor: ca 17 Uhr. Dort beginnt dann eine große Kundgebung mit vielfältigem Programm bis in die späten Abendstunden. Wir sollten dort noch eine Weile beieinander bleiben. Zwischen 17:30 und 18:00 Uhr werden Luftballons auf den Weg nach New York geschickt.

Die Demos sind als Silent Climate Parade konzipiert: das heißt für die Fußgänger TANZEND zum Brandenburger Tor zu ziehen. Die Musik dazu kommt über Kopfhörer, die man sich individuell am Neptunbrunnen bei den Hauptveranstaltern ausleihen kann (Ausgabe ab 13 Uhr, Personalausweis dabei haben!). Abgabe der Kopfhörer ab 17 Uhr am Brandenburger Tor.

Weitere Informationen:
Alle Aktionen auf dieser Demo sind umweltfreundlich, Musik wird über Kopfhörer gehört, auch die Luftballons, die zwischen 17.30 Uhr und 18.00 Uhr am Brandenburger Tor auf den Weg nach New York geschickt werden, sind biologisch abbaubar.

Bitte auch Information in Englisch lesen: Like a Dull Knife: The People’s Climate “Farce” (Quincy Saul, Truthout)Klick hier

AN ENVIRONMENT INJUSTICE IN THE GRANTS URANIUM DISTRICT, NEW MEXICO, USA

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

My name is Petuuche Gilbert. I am from Acoma Pueblo, an indigenous community here in New Mexico. I live in the Grants Uranium District of which I will talk about. I am a member of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environmental Alliance which is an organization meant to express concerns about the health and welfare of people and environment within the uranium district.
This statement is being given on behalf of the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment which is a core group of the Multi-Cultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and Indigenous World Association, a UN ECOSOC NGO.
MASE is a consortium of environmental justice communities that have been adversely impacted by historic uranium mining and milling in the Grants Uranium District. In the district HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS HAVE BEEN SANCTIONED AND ARE IMPLEMENTED BY THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO AND THE US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESULTING FROM URANIU MINING AND MILLING.
I will talk about environmental racism perpetrated by governments to satisfy the energy needs of the country. My view is that a rich country goes into under developed countries and into rural communities where useful natural resources are located and mine them while advocating prosperity via economic development. Such actions occur where minority populations are powerless to overcome the majority richer populace. As a result rural areas are devastated and attempts made to try and reclaim the land. At one time these actions meant to satisfy the energy needs of America while ruining land for generations of people was called national sacrifice areas. This, in my mind, is environmental racism. The government’s response to cleaning up historic uranium mining and milling waste and permitting new uranium mines violates Articles 1, 2 and 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination’s (CERD).
The charges I will make address environmental injustice and environmental racism as a result of uranium mining activities. I will provide examples of environmental degradation being caused in this region. This type of discriminatory actions taken by mining companies with the permission of state and federal governments occur in rural and economically depressed communities. As an ensuing result land, water, and air, all becomes contaminated and people are sick and dying from cancer and numerous health problems.
This region has had 50 years of uranium mining which has left a legacy of numerous abandoned uranium mines and mills which has severely damaged the environment, contaminated land and water of all people living here. It is an environmental injustice being perpetrated upon rural people and almost not within their control. The area I will talk about is the Grants Uranium District which is sometimes referred to as the uranium belt. The Grants Uranium District covers an area of approximately 25 miles wide and 100 miles long inside Cibola County and in the northwestern region of New Mexico. There are numerous small communities within the mining district but I will highlight Milan and Grants because those places are at the heart of the Grants Uranium District. The City of Grants once called itself the “Uranium Capitol of the World.” Currently the City of Grants has a population of 9,253 and the Village of Milan has approximately 3,000 people living there. The rural county has lower per capita income than New Mexico and even more lower for the United States. Even though the unemployment rate in Cibola County was 6.9 percent in 2012 there is constant clamor for more jobs. Hence local leaders and politicians demand uranium mining which would bring in revenues and job. After the uranium era went bust the Grants and Milan opted for prison industry business and the two communities now host three prison complexes. The point here is uranium mining companies promise employment and revenues for business and local governments. When local people raise health and environmental problems caused from past mining and milling the companies state there are now better state and federal regulations which better protect land and people. Further, the legislators and mining companies promise to clean up old abandoned mine sites and state they will clean them up with new revenues.
The Grants Uranium District has seen land and people’s health harmed by several decades of uranium mining and milling. Even though there has been 50 years of uranium ore operations there have been no serious long-term health studies performed by the state and federal government. Only recently has the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begun 5 Year Assessments of Health and Environmental Impacts of Uranium Mining and Milling for the Grants Uranium District. People’s health has been affected but there are no health studies to prove the numbers of cancer related deaths is the result of radioactive contamination of land and people. Health impacts are unknown and neglected when jobs and income from uranium industry are being promoted.
The mining district hosts 97 legacy uranium mines and there are 5 legacy uranium mill sites in the Grants mining district. This district includes what was once the largest open pit uranium mine in the world called the Jackpile Mine. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to oversee reclamation efforts at two former mill sites – the Homestake Mill-Barrick Gold superfund site and the Rio Algom Mill site. At another mill site the Department of Energy oversees the old Anaconda Bluewater Mill Site.
I especially want to emphasize the environmental injustice being done upon 5 residential communities living near the Homestake/Barrick Gold mill reclamation project. This area is located approximately 5 miles north of the Village of Milan, New Mexico. Tailings, or ore waste, were discharged from the uranium recovery mill to two unlined tailings impoundments from 1958 to 1990. Milling operations ceased in 1990 and milling facilities were decommissioned. In this Bluewate Valley communities the Homestake mill tailings pile continues to leak radioactive contaminates into ground water and exposes community members to radon emissions. Landowners have seen the value of their land and homes plummet due to the nearby tailings pile. Some people are unable to sell their property and thus essentially unable to move.
These five residential neighborhoods live within a two mile radius of the Homestake Superfnd Site with the closest one being less than one half mile away. To publicly emphasize their contaminated situation the Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance (BVDA) created a “death map” of victims who they feel died from radiation health related impacts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Human Health Risk Assessment for the site and they determined Homestake site faced excess cancer risks 18 times higher than EPA’s “generally acceptable risk” range for radionuclides in outdoor air . In this agriculture community where people have farmed, ranched, and lived, in the area for decades before the mill site was closed now are told they can no longer use their well water. The state of New Mexico has issued a health advisory to prevent well water being used for domestic and agriculture purposes so water has to be piped in.
Uranium milling has left radioactive mill tailings waste which are dangerous to humans. The Homestake mill site consists of 24 million tons of ore tailings on an area of 180 acres which includes large and small tailings and evaporation ponds. Homestake Mining Company (HMC), now owned by Barrick Gold Corporation , is still working and trying to clean up their old milling operations radioactive waste pile. Groundwater contamination from HMC’s prior milling operation was first discovered in 1974. Since 1977 the state of New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have attempted to reclaim the site. Very little progress has been made. Millions of dollars has been expended and millions of gallons of water has been used, wasted and polluted. After 35 years of cleanup work Homestake Barrick Gold has put into action another Corrective Action Plan and the New Mexico Environment Department is preparing to renewal an on-going discharge permit to continue cleanup. Failed and/or inadequate remediation of radioactive contamination thus continues under the guidance of state and federal governments.
Another form of ongoing environmental injustice is the absolute wasting of precious ground water. Underground water use in the Homestake mill reclamation project is immense. Within a 7 square mile there are 839 wells into four aquifers. Fresh water from the area’s major aquifer is being utilized. The San Andres Glorieta (SAGA) aquifer supplies drinking water for the Village of Milan, the City of Grants, and other nearby communities. The SAGA also provides recharge for nearby springs and for the Rio San Jose stream. These aquifers are the water resources underneath the residences surrounding the old mill site. Homestake uses water from these sources to abate ground water contamination and for injection into subsurface so as to create a hydraulic barrier and prevent movement of contaminated ground water downstream and away from the polluted site. The renewed discharge permit from NMED, DP 200, authorizes treatment operations to utilize 5,500 gallons per minute for cleanup operation. Too, after years of failed attempts to clean contaminated ground water and in NMED’s word “abatement” they are still searching for alternative treatment methods. NMED is authorizing HMC to continue ongoing pilot testing of alternate ground water treatment technology with applying biological methods.
Compounding this groundwater contamination problem for the heavily used aquifer, the San Andres Glorieta, is another legacy mill site 2 miles west of the old Homestake Mill site. It is the old Anaconda Bluewater uranium mill tailings disposal site which is now owned by the federal government under management by the Department of Energy (DOE). It was found by the DOE in 2012 that elevated uranium concentrations in the alluvial and San Andres Glorieta Aquifer had been detected in nearby monitoring wells. This has led to the belief that uranium contamination is leaving the disposal site and a contamination plume is moving toward the Homestake mill site. The surrounding communities of Bluewater Village, Milan and Grants all rely on the San Andres Glorieta Aquifer for domestic and municipal use.
In further state government action to allow for groundwater contamination at mill tailings sites Alternate Concentration Limits (ACLs) were established. This allows site groundwater standards to be set at higher concentration levels than the NRC and the EPA standards. These government permitted limits are established simply because contaminated ground water cannot be returned to original background conditions.
Environmental damage in the region has been immense. As another example, one such environmental disaster occurred thirty-five years ago, when an unlined earthen dam at the United Nuclear Corporation mill tailings facility near Churchrock, New Mexico, collapsed and released 1,100 tons of radioactive tailings and 94 million gallons of toxic wastewater to the Puerco River. This remains on the ground. All the legacy mine sites are sources for hazardous releases to the air, soil and water.
On top this is another situation of environmental injustice being permitted by the federal government upon a community within the Churchrock Uranium District is the granting of an aquifer exemption permit. The Uranium Resource Incorporated (URI) plans to develop an in situ leach (ISL) mining near the area known as Churchrock. ISL mining involves extracting uranium ore from underground ore bodies by pouring chemically treated water down pipes subsurface and often into aquifer zones. URI obtained an aquifer exemption permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the location of their mine by asserting the aquifer was not being used by people. An exemption permit is granted by EPA if it is shown the water is not being used domestically. The surrounding people insist the underground water is being used and needed for future growth. In a rural area where there is no piped water and treatment plants well water is used for agriculture and domestic purposes. EPA is currently reviewing the old aquifer exemption permit and this has even gone into federal courts.
To further exacerbate environmental injustice upon people within the Grants Uranium District a new wave of applications for uranium development is presently underway in the area. The URI plans for in-situ uranium mining by Hydro Resources, Inc. are being finalized even as indigenous people are protesting it in U.S. and international courts. The prospect of new contamination to regional water supplies and the wholesale wasting of millions of gallons of water may prove to be disastrous for communities and the landscape.
New uranium mining is being proposed near San Mateo in the Grants Mining District where some of it is in the Cibola National Forest. Roca Honda, LLC, a Canadian company and its Japanese partner, are proposing to operate a conventional mining operation near San Mateo, New Mexico. A draft Environmental Impact Statement has been completed and a decision is forthcoming in 2015. The State of New Mexico and the US Forest Service have to permit the mine. The New Mexico State Land Office and the Governor of the state want the mine to open because of its supposed economic prosperity. The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) has studied the economic analysis reported by Roca Honda and has offered a opposing perspective. A major concern of a new mine and the proposed re-opening of an existing mine is the dewatering and wasting of ground water. Roca Honda plans to dewater at the rate of 8 million gallons per day. Another mining company just 3 miles east is the Rio Grande Resources Corporation, which is an old mine on standby status, has requested the State of New Mexico to go back into active status. It has requested a mine dewatering permit to discharge 17 million gallons of water per day. This amount of water withdrawn from underground at over 20 million gallons of water in one day is a grave environmental injustice to land and people where the average rainfall in this dry area of the southwest is only 10 to 12 inches per year. In spite of the enormous amount of harmful environmental and human consequences described in the Forest Service’s Draft Environmental Statement the governmental agency insists it must issue a permit to mine because of federal statutory law—the General Mining Act of 1872. This is environmental racism and another discriminatory action meant to satisfy the mining industry.
What has been done to address uranium legacy issues?
Yes. There have been years of work done by Homestake Mining Company, the New Mexico Environment Department, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Several decades of work has passed in attempting to address legacy mines and mills. Millions of dollars has been expended. Yet, the environmental contamination remains. The soil, water, and air, all are still contaminated daily. People are sick and dying. Environmentalists, like the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, have demanded for abandoned uranium mines clean up. US EPA has a second Five Year Plan in place but no money for implementation. There is a renewed Corrective Action Plan in place. As stated the NMED is renewing its discharge permit and they insist progress is being made. Meanwhile after all this with three decades of reclamation efforts and out of frustration and desperation the Bluewater Valley Downstream residents now insist. Move the tailings pile or move us. Thus, this environmental injustice remains and continues.
What must be done?
1. New Mexico and the federal government have to permanently clean up abandoned uranium mines and old mill sites and remediate soil, air, and water to standards consistent with the CERD’s guaranteed right to health. Article 5 (e)(iv).
2. New Mexico and the federal government have to do health risks and health studies in the Grants Uranium District. These governments must adhere to CERD’S right to public health to perform comprehensive studies on public health impacts resulting from uranium mining and milling, according to Article 5 (e)(iv).
3. Educate the public at large about the problems associated with uranium mining and milling.
4. The Homestake/Barrick Gold Mining Company, the State and Federal Governments all need to spend even more money at the Homestake Mill site and prevent further contamination, or, move the pile.
5. The U.S. Congress must demand a General Accounting Office (GAO) study to investigate the amount of federal money spent at the Homestake Mill reclamation site and demand to know if cleanup is doable or unachievable.
6. The State of New Mexico and local units of governments must be educated on the United States obligation under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

Guatemala: Towards practical application of international conventions

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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.