Archive for March, 2015

DECLARACION DE V CUMBRE ABYA YALA: “DEFENDIENDO EL FUTURO DE NUESTRAS NACIONES”

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

“Del 9 al 11 de abril las organizaciones indigenas realizaran una cumbre indigena paralela a la de los Estados. Adjunto borrador de la declaracion para sus contribuciones” Hector Huertas, coordinador de redacción de la declaracion

 

DECLARACION DE V CUMBRE ABYA YALA: “DEFENDIENDO EL FUTURO DE NUESTRAS NACIONES”

 

Nosotros, los representantes de los Pueblos y Naciones indígenas de Abya Yala de las regiones de Sudamérica, Centroamérica, Norteamérica y el Caribe, en el ejercicio del derecho a la libre determinación y en defensa de la Madre Tierra, hacemos de conocimiento de los Estados nuestra posición frente a la VII cumbre de Jefes de Estados y Gobierno de las Américas a celebrarse en Panamá del 9 al 10 de abril de 2015.

 

 

CONSIDERANDO

 

Que nosotros los Pueblos y Naciones indígenas originarias de Abya Yala, teniendo como base la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (2007), La resolución 1514 (XV) de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas el 14 de diciembre de 1960 (Numeral 1 de la Declaración sobre la Concesión de la Independencia a los Países y Pueblos Coloniales); el convenio 169 de la OIT (1989); La Declaración de Viena 2003, la Convención sobre la Eliminación de todas las formas de Discriminación Racial y el Documento final de la reunión plenaria de alto nivel de la Asamblea General de la ONU, Conferencia Mundial sobre los Pueblos Indígenas y otros instrumentos Internacionales relacionados a pueblos indígenas y el ambiente.

 

Que a través de estos instrumentos internacionales, los Estados de las Américas, se han obligado adoptar decisiones de carácter legislativo, administrativo y judicial, para la erradicación de la desigualdad, no discriminación, y la exclusión histórica de los Pueblos Indígenas reconociendo la dignidad inherente y nuestra contribución desarrollo, en especial de la mujer indígena.

Que en las Seis Cumbres de las Américas y sus sesiones extraordinarias los jefes de Estado y de los gobiernos de la región han aprobado compromisos a través de la adopción de declaraciones y planes de acciones, para igualmente erradicar la exclusión, desigualdad, el respeto a los derechos humanos, la consolidación de la democracia, libre comercio, la adopción de la carta democrática, empleo, prosperidad humana, seguridad energética, sostenibilidad ambiental, integración de las Américas, pobreza, desigualdad y seguridad ciudadana que alcanza la situación de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Que a pesar de la existencia de todos los instrumentos y legislaciones internacionales existentes prevalece y recrudece la pobreza, marginación y exclusión de los Pueblos Indígenas en las Américas.

Los Pueblos y Naciones Indígenas llamamos, la atención a los Estados a establecer compromisos serios de corto plazo a fin de cumplir con el mandato internacional por lo que proponen las siguientes Acciones y Compromisos ante los Jefes de Estados y de gobiernos:

Que en las actuales negociaciones de la Declaración Americana sobre los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas existe un marcado desinterés de parte de los Estados de no contribuir con el fondo de contribuciones voluntarias para apoyar la participación plena y efectiva de los representantes indígenas de las Américas, y los obstáculos a no querer aprobar una declaración fuerte por arriba de los estándares de la declaración de la ONU.

COMPROMISOS

1.     Que los Jefes de Estado y Ministros de Estados se comprometan a financiar el fondo de contribuciones voluntarias para permitir la participación indígenas en el Grupo de Trabajo que prepara la Declaración Americana sobre los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y su compromiso a adoptar una declaración fuerte y no por debajo de los estándares de la DNUDPI.

2.     Los pueblos y naciones indígenas pedimos a todos los Estados, se hagan las reformas constitucionales para desmantelar la doctrina del Res Nullius del sistema jurídico, la propiedad del Estado sobre los recursos del suelo y subsuelo en detrimento de los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, implementar con carácter de prioridad los derechos establecidos en la declaración de los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas adoptado por la Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas.   Solicitamos se establezca un comité de expertos independientes designados por la Asamblea General cuyo mandato es la verificación de la implementación de la Declaración sobre los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de la ONU.

3.     Se impulse el derecho a la libre determinación de los Pueblos Indígenas, en ese sentido se desarrollen los regímenes autónomos necesarios que le permitan a los Pueblos Indígenas, ser los sujetos del desarrollo, la democracia y la gobernanza sobre sus tierras, territorios y recursos naturales.

4.     Se implemente, el Buen Vivir como derecho humano y principio rector de las políticas públicas de los Estados en los proyectos y planes de desarrollo económico y social que impulsen.

5.     Se implemente los derechos colectivos sobre las tierras, territorios y recursos de los Pueblos Indígenas, el carácter colectivo, inalienable e inadjudicable de los mismos a fin de garantizar la pervivencia de los Pueblos Indígenas en los Estados y en particular a los Pueblos Indígenas no contactados.

6.     Que el derecho al consentimiento previo libre e informado sea desarrollado en la mayoría de los Estados no como un mero trámite para obligar a los Pueblos Indígenas a dar su consentimiento, si no para garantizar el respeto a nuestros derechos humanos, desarrollando los mandatos de la declaración de la ONU en esta materia.

7.     Los Estados deben insertar en todos sus procesos educativos el aporte de los Pueblos Indígenas en la historia, ciencias, artes, filosofía e identidad de Abya Yala e impulsando la educación intercultural en todos los niveles a fin de reflejar la identidad cultural de las naciones, garantizando su participación activa en el proceso, acorde a su cultura, tradiciones e identidad, mediante acciones afirmativas. La Comisión Interamericana de Educación observar el cumplimiento de este mandato hasta que se elimine el racismo, en los textos escolares y en los sistemas de educación. La educación intercultural será una prioridad de los programas de educación.

  1. Los Estados deben en sus programas de salud insertar la visión colectiva holística de la salud indígena, evitar proyectos que comprometan la salud colectiva de los indígenas, reconociendo su medicina tradicional y protegiendo sus recursos y conocimientos de la piratería. Los programas de salud de carácter universal deben insertar la visión holística tanto como colectiva como individual de los Pueblos Indígenas de modo que no se pueden aprobar proyectos de desarrollo en territorios indígenas que afectan la salud indígena de modo que se genere equidad. Por otro lado, en ejercicio a la libre determinación los sistemas de salud tradicional de los Pueblos Indígenas deben formar parte de la estrategia de desarrollo.

 

  1. Se debe adoptar en corto plazo el desarrollo energético propio de los Pueblos Indígenas a través del financiamiento de estas iniciativas a fin de que la energía alternativa llegue a nuestras comunidades. Las instituciones financieras deben condicionar el financiamiento de proyectos energéticos al respeto de los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y la participación de los beneficios se deben adecuar antes los marcos legales de carácter nacional y regional.

 

  1. Reconociendo las graves consecuencias del cambio climático y que dicho fenómeno es producto de la utilización indiscriminada de los recursos de la madre tierra por los países industrializados los Estados deben exigir a los países responsables a reducir sus emisiones y no pretender usar los recursos de los Pueblos Indígenas como excusas para no cumplir con sus obligaciones internacionales. Rechazamos, los proyectos que tiene como justificación atacar el cambio climático que afectan las tierras, territorios y recursos de los Pueblos Indígenas.

 

ACCIONES

 

  1. Solicitar a la reunión de Ministros y Altas Autoridades de Desarrollo Sostenible de la OEA que exija el cumplimiento e implementación de la DNUDPI a los Estados miembros de la Conferencia de las Partes de la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático (COP 20) en todas las medidas que afecten a los Pueblos Indígenas.

 

  1. Que los Estados se obligan a financiar las medidas de adaptación al cambio climático para los sectores más vulnerables, en especial los Pueblos Indígenas y cuantificar los impactos económicos del cambio climático de manera desagregada sobre sectores clave para los países de la región, como las tierras y territorios indígenas, la agricultura, los recursos hídricos, los asentamientos humanos, las zonas costeras, la biodiversidad, la salud entre otros. En este contexto, prestar especial atención a las políticas y acciones relacionadas con la mitigación y la adaptación del cambio climático presentadas o realizadas por los Pueblos Indígenas.

 

  1. Apoyar los procesos de planificación, ordenamiento territorial y titulación de los territorios indígenas que se realizan a nivel nacional y sub nacional incorporen de manera prioritaria la prevención y mitigación de riesgos ambientales. Asimismo, a través de inversiones y políticas promover un desarrollo sostenible. Encomendar a las instituciones financieras y a la OEA que apoyen este esfuerzo.

 

  1. En el marco de la declaración de la naciones unidas sobre los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y el Convenio sobre los derechos de los trabajadores migrantes y sus familias aprobado por la Asamblea General en su resolución 45/158, de 18 de diciembre de 1990, y entró en vigor el 1º de julio de 2003, se debe tomar en consideración la situación de los indígenas migrantes. El Grupo de Trabajo migrantes en Conjunto de las Cumbres (GTCC), particularmente a los representantes de los Pueblos Indígenas e Instituciones Financieras, que continúen apoyando los esfuerzos de los países para crear las condiciones económicas y sociales para generar más y mejores oportunidades que permitan el desarrollo y el arraigo de la población en sus países. En particular, los desarrollar programas en las regiones de fronteras a fin de regularizar la situación de indígenas migrantes y transfronterizos y el desarrollo de las capacidades propias del territorio de modo que puedan satisfacer sus derechos humanos.

 

  1. Reconociendo que el desarrollo integral y equitativo contribuye a crear condiciones de seguridad y que a su vez mejores condiciones de seguridad propician mayor prosperidad, solicitamos las siguientes acciones:
  • Se deben reconocer los mecanismos propios de seguridad de los Pueblos Indígenas
  • Se debe prohibir la militarización de los territorios indígenas
  • Se debe apoyar a los Pueblos Indígenas en la lucha contra el tráfico de drogas.

 

  1. Desarrollar esfuerzos especiales dirigidos a reducir la violencia en contra de la mujer, particularmente a través de implementación de políticas públicas eficaces, de capacitación de funcionarios y la recolección de datos e información estadística, particularmente en el marco de la Convención Interamericana para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia Contra la Mujer (Convención de Belem do Para). Encomendamos a la OEA, a través de la Comisión Interamericana de Mujeres que continúe sus esfuerzos en este ámbito, especialmente a través del fortalecimiento del mecanismo de seguimiento de la Convención.

 

  1. Crear, sin restricciones ni limitaciones de participación, el Foro Interamericano de los Pueblos Indígenas, de tal forma que haya un proceso continuo de participación y consulta con los representantes de los Pueblos Indígenas y no solamente en la época previa a la celebración de una Cumbre de las Américas. Encomendamos a la OEA que establezca y gestione el Foro.

 

  1. Implementar la participación plena y efectiva de los Pueblos Indígenas, particularmente a través del uso de la tecnología y soluciones digitales. En función de ello, promover el gobierno abierto y el derecho a la información como herramientas claves para lograr mayor transparencia e inclusión.

 

  1. Fortalecer el Estado de Derecho Democrático, la separación e independencia entre los Poderes del Estado, la libre determinación y autonomías de los Pueblos Indígenas, el respeto a los derechos humanos, la transparencia, integridad y eficiencia de la gestión pública, así como la creación de condiciones que hagan posible la implementación de la declaración de la ONU en la participación plena y efectiva en todo el ciclo de las políticas públicas, principalmente mediante la democratización del acceso a las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación. Encomendamos a la OEA que le dé seguimiento a este tema.

 

  1. Promover el derecho a la participación plena y efectiva de los Pueblos Indígenas de acuerdo a sus formas de representación en las contiendas electorales.  Financiar las autonomías indígenas como una forma de fortalecer la democracia.

 

  1. La situación de las mujeres indígenas y los niños indígenas es alarmante en las Américas, se propone realizar acciones urgentes con la participación de los pueblos indígenas para promover el respeto de los derechos de las mujeres, jóvenes y niños, niñas indigenas.

 

  1. Promover y visibilizar la participación de las mujeres indígenas en la agenda política nacional de género, en los programas de salud y educación como protagonistas generadoras de cultura.   Promover acciones educativas concretas dirigidas insertar a la mujer indígena en el ámbito laboral acorde con su realidad sociocultural.

 

  1. Fortalecer los programas nacionales en donde los haya y donde no crearlas para atender la seguridad alimentaria, y la atención primaria de los niños y juventud indígena en su integridad física, como psicológica. Promover el empleo de la juventud indígena.

 

  1. Los Pueblos Indígenas son los más marginados en el derecho de acceso a la información y comunicación, muchos proyectos de desarrollos o decisiones administrativas se toman sin la debida información a las comunidades indígenas, la participación es uno de los pilares para la democracia , no se puede participar si no se sabe o estaba debidamente informado: Proponemos

 

  • El desarrollo urgente de programas de acceso a la información y comunicación en el idioma de los Estados y los idiomas indígenas

 

  • Se debe fortalecer en los programas de desarrollo de redes comunitarias en lengua indígena que permitan el acceso a la información

 

  • Se deben desarrollar programas que permitan a los Pueblos indígenas a tener acceso a tecnología de la información.

 

Dado el 10 y 11 de abril de 2015, en la ciudad de Panamá.

 

Celebrate Earth Hour on 28 March 2015

Friday, March 6th, 2015

If you celebrate Earth Hour on 28 March 2015, please don’t do this in the name of WWF. ( Be aware it is a non traditional day) This organization is responsible for massive human rights violations against indigenous peoples, and it cooperates with corporations that actually have policies directed against nature.

Info here

Indigenous Peoples Statement to UNPFII Expert Group Meeting: Dialogue on an optional protocol

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

“We cannot allow procedures that will allow for states to move disputes regarding our rights to our lands, territories and resources from international processes to domestic judicial and political forums.” *Tonya Gonella Frischner, Onondaga Nation*

Statement to the UNPFII Expert Group Meeting:
Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
28-29 January 2015, UN Headquarters
Presented by the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA)

*Current and Historical Context*

1. We recall that Indigenous Nations and Peoples came to the United Nations in 1977, in part to have our nation-to-nation treaties upheld by UN bodies. We note that some of those courageous leaders are still with us today and still fully engaged in the fight to have our treaties upheld. At the time, Indigenous Nations and Peoples felt that this international forum would be one place to ensure enforcement of treaties between our Indigenous Nations and other governments such as the United States and Canada.

2. We further recall the statement of Ms. Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking at the time in her official position, on the central importance of treaties on August 7, 2013: “Even when signed or otherwise agreed more than a century ago, many treaties remain the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs
of indigenous peoples, determining the relationship they have with the State.” The statement marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2013.1

3. With that current and historical context, we take note of the “Study on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples focusing on a voluntary mechanism” (E/C.19/2014/7)2 which was prepared by Permanent Forum members Professor Dalee S. Dorough and Professor Megan Davis for the Thirteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) with the Special
Theme: “Principles of Good Governance consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, articles 3 to 6 and 46,” held May 12-23, 2014 at UN Headquarters.

4. The Haudenosaunee intervention on ‘Principles of Good
Governance,’ delivered by Chief Oren Lyons (Onondaga Nation), under Agenda Item 3 at the Thirteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) delivered on May 14, 2014 in paragraph 21, expressed the concern that a proposed optional protocol “*may allow procedures for states to move disputes regarding lands, territories and resources from
international processes to domestic judicial and political forums*.

5. We take note that the upcoming Fourteenth Session of the UNPFII to take place April 20- May 1, 2015 at UN Headquarters lists as its proposed Agenda Item 5: Half-day discussion on the expert group meeting on the theme “Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People”. We encourage this to be an
open dialogue on the various proposals and drawbacks for an optional protocol, considering these proposals from all angles, and including the “full, equal, and effective participation” of Indigenous Peoples.

*Full, Equal, and Effective Participation*

6. A separate but related issue under consideration at this Expert Group Meeting is the proposal to revise EMRIP’s mandate, which emerged from the negotiations of the HLPM/WCIP Outcome Document. Paragraph 28 of the Outcome Document of the HLPM/WCIP states: “We invite the Human Rights Council, taking into account the views of indigenous peoples, to review the
mandates of its existing mechanisms, in particular the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, during the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, with a view to modifying and improving the Expert Mechanism so that it can more effectively promote respect and the enforcement of the Declaration, including by better assisting Member States
to monitor, evaluate and improve the achievement of the ends of the Declaration.”

7. We note the HLPM/WCIP process arose between the annual sessions of the UNPFII. As a result, the proposed revision of EMRIP has not had the benefit of the full, equal, and effective participation by Indigenous Peoples. We are concerned that an essential Indigenous mechanism within the
UN system is being revised without the full participation of Indigenous Peoples. *We are concerned that a lack of full, equal, and effective participation is the new norm within the UN system*.

8. This lack of full, equal and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples contradicts the Modalities Resolution of the HLPM/WCIP and UNDRIP Articles 3, 18, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38 42 43 and 46. The full, equal, and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples is a clearly established requirement.

*Areas of Concern*

9. We acknowledge and appreciate all the papers submitted to this Expert Group Meeting by each expert and we have carefully reviewed each paper. We share the view as was laid out in the initial “Study on an optional protocol” and in some of the subsequent expert papers submitted for this Expert Group Meeting, that an implementation gap exists for the
UNDRIP. We also share the view that there is a lack of adequate knowledge and understanding of the UNDRIP. Part of AILA’s work since the adoption of the UNDRIP in 2007 has been to continually educate on its content and advocate for its implementation on local, continental and global levels.

10. We continue to be concerned about the desire for UN Member States to ‘domesticate’ our rights, rather than maintain relations with Indigenous Nations and Peoples in the international arena, on a nation-to-nation basis, which was the original purpose of Indigenous Nations and Peoples in coming to the UN. It should be duly noted that international law supersedes domestic law. We are concerned about moving disputes regarding our rights to our lands, territories and resources to an optional protocol, which would rely on governments to do the right thing and ratify this optional protocol.

11. We find a few proposals, presented in the expert paper submitted by Professor Mattias Åhrén to the Expert Group Meeting, relating to a possible new role for EMRIP to be particularly troubling.

12. The suggestion that only Indigenous Peoples recognized by states would be eligible to submit complaints to a new optional protocol body, is
in direct violation of the UNDRIP, our right to full, effective and equal
participation, and violates the right to self-determination. This is non-negotiable. We have been fighting against the perception that states
decide who is or is not Indigenous for hundreds of years.

13. A six month time limitation to raise human rights issues in international fora after exhausting domestic options is damaging and overly burdensome for our Peoples. We are unclear who determines what rights could be deemed principally important.

14. As we all know, UNDRIP was the result of an over twenty year negotiation process and sets the minimum standards for the “survival,dignity and well-being” of Indigenous Peoples around the world. Article 43 of the UNDRIP states: “The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of
the world.” It has been established that the UNDRIP, along with the UN Charter, the human rights covenants and other applicable international human rights laws must be the basis for discussing the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. UNDRIP has a strong norm setting role in international law, and member states cannot pick and choose when and which Articles they comply with of UNDRIP. Additionally, for Indigenous Nations
and Peoples, our treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements are the basis for the protection of our lands, territories and resources.

15. This proposed new role for EMRIP could lead to a claim of a ‘duplication of work within the UN system.’ We were happy to see that the original “Study on an optional protocol” stressed that “a voluntary mechanism cannot serve as a way for States to avoid being monitored by existing international or regional human rights bodies and mechanisms” (paragraph 40).

16. The work of the UNPFII is of paramount importance within the UN system. The American Indian Law Alliance, and the Nations and communities we serve, have always supported and continue to support the work of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Our Founder and President, Tonya
Gonnella Frichner, Esq. (Onondaga Nation), served as the North American Regional Representative to the UNPFII for a three year term from 2008-2011, brought forward by Indigenous Peoples. As a result of that role, she has direct experience and participated first-hand in the indispensable work of the Forum.

17. Indigenous Peoples have a voice and we must be recognized as our own experts in any forum concerning us.

*Recommendations:*

1. We cannot allow procedures that will allow for states to move disputes regarding our rights to our lands, territories and resources from international processes to domestic judicial and political forums.

2. In line with established international law, the UNDRIP, the UN Charter, and all other applicable international law must be the framework for the realization of the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, including Article 37 of the UNDRIP:

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition,
observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

*3. All deliberations* concerning a proposed optional protocol for the UNDRIP, including any proposed overhaul of the mandate of EMRIP *must include the full, effective, equal participation of all Indigenous Peoples in line with the UNDRIP*.

4. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is an integral, international human rights instrument that recognizes the individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right of self-determination, must be continually implemented on all levels. Further education on the content of UNDRIP is needed for
Indigenous Nations and Peoples, UN member states, UN agencies, civil society, governments at all levels and society at large. Adequate financial resources must be made available to further these goals.

Suruí leaders confirm in meeting with president of Funai that they no longer want the carbon project on their land

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

By Patrícia Bonilha, 25/02/2015

Twelve leaders of the Paiter Suruí whose Indigenous Territory (IT) Sete de Setembro is located in the state of Rondônia, confirmed at a meeting held in the morning of the 24th of February with the president of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), Flávio Chiarelli, that they want the Suruí Forest Carbon project to be suspended. The main arguments made by leaders were: serious divisions that have occurred among their peoples; non-fulfillment of promises that life in the communities would improve (while at the same time, they noted, a few families have benefited significantly); the removal of leaders and the centralization of representation of their peoples; and the threats made to several among their peoples who have recently voiced their opposition to the project.

The project signed [a contract] with Brazil’s largest cosmetics company, Natura, in September 2013, which includes carbon credits equivalent to 120,000 tons * [1] of carbon sequestered [in the forests] on the Sete de Setembro indigenous territory. The contract is from 2009 to 2012, for a reported value of R$ 1.2 million, according to press reports [2]. As the first REDD project on indigenous territory, and with international certification, the project won acclaim around the world, in addition to being “sold” as a model project by companies that promote the “green” economy.

However, when the current general chief of the Paiter Suruí, Henrique Iabaday Surui, gave an interview to the September 2014 issue of Porantim newspaper about the severe impacts of this project, another reality was revealed. “The promises were very good: Better quality of life, health, education. Everybody contributed. But soon the conflict started and there was a lack of respect. We are all guilty of accepting this, of signing. But we were deceived and now, we are experiencing the consequences. The suffering is increasing. We regret. This project is not working for us”, explained Jonaton Surui, second chief of the village Linha 14. Then, he said that “if this project continues, there will be deaths, fights, jail. Not only among the Suruí, but among other peoples who are also getting involved with these projects, such as the Arara.”

Speaking in the Suruí language, the elder Joaquim, deputy general chief, reinforced the concerns expressed by his kin, Jonaton and Henrique. “We fell into the trap of a misleading proposal. We’re here to call for the suspension of this project which was also approved by Funai. We are here in front of the president of Funai to call for him to also take responsibility towards us. We do not want this project for our peoples any longer”, he stated emphatically.

In a document delivered to Funai, indigenous peoples from 10 peoples in Rondônia state:
“We demand with urgency the suspension and subsequent cancellation of the carbon project on the Suruí and Cinta Larga indigenous territories and the halting of implementation of any project that involves this kind of exploitation in all indigenous territories in the state of Rondônia and in Brazil. We emphasize the responsibility of FUNAI for the implementation of the Carbon Project on Suruí territory, in the absence of legislation providing for such an initiative.”

After explaining that FUNAI gave approval to the project because they had concluded that the project would benefit the community, and at the insistence of one of the leaders of the peoples, Flávio Chiarelli said that the facts reported by the Suruí leaders present at the meeting were serious and that the agency first needed to better understand what was happening. “This is the first time that the community says that this project is a problem. Once we have heard more [detail], we can refer the case to the attorney to review and, if necessary, bring a lawsuit against it, “he said.
The ongoing struggle for land

After a debate on the need for strengthening of regional Funai coordination and of the agency as a whole, another topic discussed during the morning meeting was the situation regarding the demarcation processes of indigenous territories in the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso.

The director of ‘Territorial Protection’ at Funai, Aluísio Azanha, after presenting a brief analysis of the difficult political context in which the Funai has been working due to a lack of staff and the curtailment and reduction of financial resources, in addition to the offensive against indigenous rights, provided information on some of these processes. He said that, for example, the Karitiana and Kaxarari indigenous territories were facing legal problems and that in relation to the territories of the Cujubim, Migueleno and Wajoro, it would not be possible to set up working groups this year. Regarding the study in relation to the land of the Puruburá peoples, Azanha confirmed that field work in the area claimed as indigenous territory was expected to take place still in 2015.

In response, representatives of the Puruburá peoples, Antônio and Hosana, urged swift action from Funai in relation to the demarcation of the land and respect for their peoples. “Funai pulled us away from our original territory. We would never have left. The dream of our Elders is to have our land demarcated, but they are dying without seeing this dream come true, having to live in hiding because of the threats that we suffer,” said Hosana Puruburá.

Discussions about the demarcation processes on indigenous territories of the indigenous peoples in Rondônia were held in a meeting in the afternoon. However, already during the meeting in the morning, several leaders expressed their concern about the grave, and unfortunately quite common, invasion of indigenous territories in that state by loggers. A complaint shared by all of the 10 peoples present was related to the feeling of having been abandoned by Funai and a need for the strengthening of this agency in order to be able to provide the support that indigenous peoples need, for example in relation to surveillance and punishment of those who steal wood.

[1] http://g1.globo.com/natureza/noticia/2013/09/indios-surui-concluem-1-venda-de-creditos-de-carbono-indigenas-do-pais.html
[2] http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/ambiente/2013/09/1340114-indios-de-ro-fecham-primeira-venda-de-carbono-certificado.shtml

The Suruí and the Carbon Project: For the world to know
24/02/2015. By Egon Heck, Cimi

“We request the immediate suspension of this carbon project, which is killing the Suruí.” This was the call from all chiefs and leaders of the Suruí at a hearing in the auditorium of the Federal Public Ministry that lasted for more than three hours. Deborah Duprat, coordinator of the 6th Chamber, listened carefully and discussed with the delegation of Indigenous Peoples from Rondônia, in an atmosphere of great trust and openness. After a brief presentation, Dr. Deborah expressed her bewilderment about the presence of some security guards in the auditorium. After having enquired who had sent them, she commented: “We never need such presence at our meetings with indigenous people. So I ask you to withdraw.” Despite claiming ‘higher orders’, they withdrew from the room.

“For me, this is perhaps one of the most important activities of our coming to Brasília,” said Antenor Karitiana. In fact, the Federal Public Ministry has become one of the important areas of struggle and guarantor of the rights of indigenous peoples. Even though the operating structure imposes limitations, it is undeniable that indigenous peoples have an important ally in their struggle for constitutional rights in the Federal Public Ministry.

Controversial project, abhorred by the Suruí
Most of the meeting time at the Federal Public Ministry revolved around the controversial Surui Forest Carbon Project which started in 2007. It is considered the first of its kind implemented on indigenous territory in our country. And in the view of the Suruí and the delegation of indigenous peoples from Rondônia, it should be the last. That is at least what they are fighting for, so that a similar deception is not repeated on any other indigenous territory. The general chief of the Suruí, Henrique Iabaday, who was part of the delegation, said the following about the project in an interview published in the September 2014 issue of Porantim: “The Carbon Project on our land is to take the life out of the Suruí Peoples, it will take the happiness from our life, take the right to live off the territory … It’s a bomb to the life of any human being … What happened to the Suruí Peoples is a story for life, and for the world .. . So that no other indigenous [peoples] engage in this type of project on their land … There is no way of expressing what happened to the Suruí. Our peoples are without life. We want the project to be suspended.”

After testimonies from Suruí leaders, Dr. Deborah Duprat shared her reflection: “I want to be very honest with you. We have a very serious problem with the Surui carbon sequestration project. The 6th Chamber advised not to accept the project. The contract was signed, and therefore, continues to be valid. For advancing a legal case, proof is required that what was agreed is not complied with. I can assure you that the Federal Public Ministry will press for a rigorous and thorough evaluation of the project and its consequences in terms of the violence that resulted, the serious conflicts that can lead to deaths and misappropriation of resources, and about who benefits from them. I’ll ask that Funai conduct a detailed assessment on which to base future decisions. What is needed is to analyze and discuss with all of the communities the terms of the contract. We will investigate, and you do your part.” And she made it very clear that: “The Public Ministry will not interfere with the internal matter of the peoples, because those in the best position to prevent this project are you.”

It was evident, after the more than two hours of debate and clarification that the perverse consequences of this type of project should serve as a lesson and strong reminder to prevent the same happening to other indigenous peoples. The important thing is to understand such a project as part of ‘green capitalism’ policies and as neocolonialism. In February 2012, Cimi issued a statement strongly condemning the insistence of implementation of REDD projects on indigenous territories. From the perspective of the rights and vision of these peoples “those projects transform nature into a commodity, gratitude in obligation, the mythical in terms of contracts and well-being in alleged ‘benefits of capital’. It is the commercialization of the sacred and the changing of human relations at the interface with the environment”, and therefore, we “join those who say NO to the financialization of nature, NO to the green economy and NO to the carbon market “(Porantim , September 2014).

War over land and health

The serious situation in relation to [indigenous] land, because of the invasion by large projects and various economic interests, as well as the paralyzed state of advance in recognition of indigenous territories, coupled with initiatives, such as the PEC 215, against indigenous peoples’ rights as enshrined in the Constitution, amounts to a declaration of war by the Brazilian State against indigenous peoples.

Regarding the paralysis [of the demarcation processes], Dr. Deborah pointed out that the Public Prosecution has urged Funai to take steps regarding the demarcation procedures under way and they have been considering adjustments to the process to enable the continuition of the cases. As for the PEC 215, she reported that steps had already been taken in relation to the unconstitutionality of the initiative.

The document submitted to the coordinator of the 6th Chamber further emphasized: “Another major problem we, indigenous peoples of Rondônia and Mato Grosso, face, is the use of pesticides in the surrounding of our territories. This is seriously affecting the health of our people and compromises biodiversity, reducing the fish in our rivers, the hunting in our forests, and it contaminates the water we consume.”

Regarding the health issues raised, the delegation denounced the overall lack of assistance and expressed their opposition to the creation of the INSI (National Institute for Indigenous Health.). Dr. Deborah added: “If the indigenous health is bad already, it will get worse.”