Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of April 27 - May 3, 2011: Argentina, Peru, Russia, Panama, Bangladesh


Argentina: CELS Demands That The National Government Convene A Roundtable Concerning Qom Community "La Primavera"


The lack of response of political power and the threat of a violent eviction by the federal police led to the rise of the protest carried out by community members qom "La Primavera" on Avenida 9 de Julio. Given these facts, the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) asks that the Federal Government urgently convene a dialogue with the government of Formosa and the Indians, as demanded last week by the Human Rights Commission (IACHR).


The members of "La Primavera" have manifested from the beginning of the conflict, after the brutal repression suffered 23 and November 24, 2010 - they need to be heard by federal authorities to reach a peaceful solution. All community decisions are made collectively, through assemblies and therefore not valid to question the legitimacy of its representatives.


Today, however, they were evicted from the area of the 9 de Julio Avenue in the middle of an operation involving the presence of about 200 federal police officers, Guard units to infantry and a lorry fire hydrant. That was the only official reaction to their demands.


Notwithstanding the agreement signed with the State on 30 December, members of the community do not have minimum guarantees to return to Formosa safe or have they obtained a fundamental solution to the dispute over their traditional lands and which remain occupied by natives and by the provincial government. For this reason, last week the American Commission granted precautionary measures which had been requested by the community, sponsored by the Public Defender's Office and the CELS. Read more about the Toba Qom people of La Primavera and their land struggles in Argentina here....


Peru: CIPIACI Denounces Actions Of REPSOL YPF On Indigenous People In Voluntary Isolation Lands In Loreto - Peru


An international indigenous organization that oversees the isolated life of indigenous peoples in isolation claims that a Spanish-Argentine company is putting two of the last uncontacted tribes in the region in jepordy of impending genocide after its investment in Peru's northern Amazon.


The International Indigenous Committee for the Protection of Peoples in Isolation and Initial Contact in Amazonia, the Gran Chaco and eastern Paraguay (CIPIACI), accused the mega company REPSOL YPF to be putting on the brink of death "two of the last isolated indigenous peoples of the world," after the publication of an investigation of Survival International.


The report, called "39 things that Repsol would not want us to know," says the multinational Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF, which holds a concession for oil exploration in Block 39 in Peru's northern jungle, despite multiple evidence and testimony found at the site attesting to their existence, continues to ignore so far to the isolates.


Indigenous organizations AIDESEP and ORPIO, the Ministry of Health, Government Institute for Indigenous Peoples, INDEPA in Peru, the Government of Ecuador, a neighbor on the northern border, as well as REPSOL YPF itself in 2003, recognized the existence of tribes in Block 39. The latter, engaged in the act of August 13, develop a contingency plan in case the event of an unwanted contact between workers and the tribes. Read more about REPSOL YPF oil exploration in Peru and indigenous people in voluntary isolation here....


Russia: Union Of Fishermen Of Kamchatka And The Association Of Indigenous Peoples Sign A Cooperation Agreement


An agreement on the cooperation between the authorized representatives of the Kamchatka regional Association of Indigenous Peoples and Non-Profit Organization, Regional Trade Association of Employers' Union of Fishermen and businessmen of Kamchatka was signed in the government of the Kamchatka region.


According to the press service of the governor and the government of the Kamchatka region, in the framework of the Agreement, both parties will cooperate in various areas of social and public life. This means joint participation in the implementation of socio-economic development of indigenous peoples, land use and protection of traditional land use of indigenous peoples and other natural resources, protection of native habitat, traditional lifestyle, farming and crafts of indigenous peoples, conservation and rational use aquatic biological and other natural resources in traditional residence and traditional economic activities of indigenous peoples, protection of the environment within the boundaries of traditional subsistence territories of indigenous peoples.


The document was signed by the President of the Kamchatka regional Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Tatiana Romanova and Chairman of the Nonprofit Organization "Regional Trade Association of Employers' Union of Fishermen and businessmen of Kamchatka" Sergey Timoshenko. Read more about the agreement between fishermen, the government, and indigenous people in Kamchatka here....


Panama: Activists Confront AES Over Damaging Dam Project, Broken Promises In Panama


Corporation Admits to Shareholders It Must Comply With Commitments to Help Affected Communities


Human-rights, conservation and community activists confronted the AES Corporation at its annual shareholders’ meeting April 21 about a massive river-dam project in Panama and the company’s failure to negotiate with local families whose farms will be flooded and destroyed. Later, CEO Paul Hanrahan assured shareholders the company will build community centers for all communities, including Guayabal, affected by the Changuinola River dam project known as Chan 75.


The dam and reservoir project is one of three hydroelectric dam and reservoir projects planned for construction by Virginia-based AES Corporation on the pristine Changuinola River in western Panama near the Costa Rica border. The river is the lifeblood of La Amistad International Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The project will flood thousands of acres of land and destroy the homes of hundreds of Ngöbe indigenous people, creating insurmountable barriers for fish species that the tribes rely on.


At last Thursday’s annual shareholders’ meeting, affected community member Bernardino Morales, the Harvard International Human Rights Clinic at the Harvard Law School, and the Center for Biological Diversity challenged AES leaders about the company’s refusal to live up to its commitments to compensate affected community members and build community centers. Read more about the Changuinola River dam project and impacts to Ngobe people here....


Bangladesh: Indigenous Peoples Vow Mass Movement If They Are Not Recognised As Indigenous Peoples


Indigenous Peoples along with civic groups of mainstream population vowed to launch mass movement if indigenous peoples are not recognised as Indigenous Peoples. They refused to accept the term ‘small ethnic group’.


This declaration was made by Indigenous Peoples along with civic groups of mainstream population in the public gathering held on 29 April 2011 at 10.00 am – 01.00 pm at central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka by Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum demanding constitutional recognition as `indigenous peoples’, but not as small ethnic groups, with Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma (Santu Larma) in the chair. Around five thousand people among from indigenous peoples and mainstream population attended the gathering.


Leaders of national political parties, eminent citizens of the country including activists of national and international organisations working for human rights and development, women and student-youth organisations, cultural organisations, print and electronic media, indigenous communities and organisations spoke in the gathering. Mr. Sanjib Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples’ Forum delivered welcome speech while Mr. Dipayon Khisa, vice chairperson, Kapaeeng Foundation moderated the gathering.


Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, president of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, in his speech, said that the leader of indigenous peoples Manabendra Narayan Larma demanded to recognize the fundamental rights of IPs in the constitution, when the constitution was being formulated after the liberation of Bangladesh. But his demand was not fulfilled. If the demand was met, there is no necessity to make demand today. Read more about the indigenous peoples' demands to be recognized in the constitution here....


Last Weeks Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues can be found here.

Tags: Argentina  Peru  Russia  Panama  Bangladesh  

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