Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of May 11 - 17, 2011: Peru, Colombia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Guatemala


Peru: ConocoPhillips Withdraws From Controversial Oil Block 39 In Peru


Amazon Watch hails decision for isolated peoples' rights at Annual General Meeting


ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva announced today at its Annual General Meeting of shareholders that the company has withdrawn from its controversial co-venture with Repsol-YPF in Oil Block 39 of the remote northern Peruvian Amazon. Oil drilling in Block 39 and neighboring Block 67 has come under fire from human rights groups due to the presence of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation in this region, and the risk of forced displacement and deadly epidemics. "Oil operations in regions inhabited by isolated indigenous peoples presents an unavoidable and unacceptable risk to their continued survival," said Mitch Anderson, Corporate Campaigns Director at Amazon Watch. "It is crucial now that remaining operators in the region, Perenco and Repsol, follow ConocoPhillips' lead and withdraw from these controversial oil blocks."


This affected region of the northern Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biodiverse in the world and is home to at least two uncontacted indigenous tribes. The extreme vulnerability of peoples living in voluntary isolation due to their lack of immunity to outside diseases has been well documented and they face the very real threat of extinction if they are contacted. Read more about ConocoPhillips withdrawl from Oil Block 39 in Peru here....


Colombia: Constitutional Court Rules In Favor Of Indigenous Peoples Consultation


Landmark ruling of the Constitutional Court of Colombia for territorial rights to prior consultation and autonomy


Judgement ordered the arrest of three projects carried out pending the consultation with affected indigenous peoples.


Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of indigenous peoples. In its ruling No. T-129, issued on March 3, 2011, ordered to perform properly in the search query to obtain the free, prior and informed consent around three projects: the construction of a highway, electrical interconnection Colombia-Panama binational and a mining concession. The court also ordered to stop the execution of such projects until consultation with the affected indigenous peoples is undertaken.


The lawsuit filed by the indigenous Embera Katio, seated in two shelters with a population of over 110 people, cancels the decision at first instance by the Superior Court of Chocó, which considers inappropriate the consultation, and on appeal by the Court Supreme Court ruled that confirmed what the Court of Chocó. Read more about the landmark ruling in Colombia concerning indigenous peoples' free, prior, and informed consent here....


Bangladesh: Indigenous Peoples Demand Stop To Land Acquisition For Setting Up Military Garrison


The indigenous peoples of Ruma upaziila (sub-district) of Bandarban hill district led by Land Rights Protection Committee demanded to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to bring to a halt the land grabbing in the name of military formations. The demand took place in a public gathering held in front of Bandarban Press Club on after a long march of 37 km from Ruma to Bandarban town. More than 700 demonstrators took part in the long march and the public gathering.


Mr. Luprue Marma, the convenor of Land Rights Protection Committee and also a local leader of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS); Mr. Mong Saching Marma, member secretary of Land Rights Protection Committee; headman Nunglai Mro, Mr. Jumlian Amlai, indigenous activist; Mr. Uchasing Marma, indigenous activist and also a leader of PCJSS; Mr. Swehla Prue Marma, indigenous activist; Mr. Ongsaching Marma, indigenous activist spoke at the protest gathering. The speakers of the meeting urged the prime minister to stop acquisition process of 9,560 acres of land for expansion of the Ruma garrison and 25 acres of land for setting up Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) camp.


The speakers of the protest meeting said, the indigenous peoples have been living there for hundreds years. They have been living for ages with our distinct culture, language and religion including humanistic values. Read more about indigenous people in Bangladesh and their demands to stop land acquisition here....


Malaysia: Kelantan Temiar-Orang Asli To Stage Protest In Gua Musang Against Ladang Rakyat Project


Temiar members of the Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) will stage a peaceful demonstration in front of the District Office in Gua Musang, Kelantan on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 at 10am.


The target of their protest is the lack of action on the part of the state authority to keep its promise to stop all work with regard to the Ladang Rakyat (Peoples’ Estate) project on their traditional lands.


Despite assurances by the Kelantan Government that clearing and planting work for the Ladang Rakyat Project in Orang Asli areas will be stopped pending a discussion between all parties, such activities have continued unabated. Read more about Temiar-Orang Asli and their protest against the Ladang Rakyat Project here....


Guatemala: Q'eqchi Families Are Victims Of Armed Attacks And Bombing From Helicopters


The people of the community of Agua Caliente, Panzós municipality, department of Alta Verapaz are being attacked and shot by private security guards of the Chabil Utzaj company, as they were recognized by community leaders. The attack began at eight o'clock, on Friday May 13, 2011.


Hours later, three private helicopters white, black and red flying over the community and threw grenades over the rest of cornfield that had not been destroyed after the evictions. In this area community are therefore unknown whereabouts and physical condition of two of the fellow farmers. Read more about the attacks on Maya Q'eqchi families in Guatemala here....


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

Tags: Guatemala  Peru  Colombia  Bangladesh  Malaysia  

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