Stand with Cambodian communities vs. Chinese company’s landgrabbing!

We, the undersigned, demand a stop to the massive landgrabbing and destruction of the lands of peasants and indigenous communities in Preah Vihear, Cambodia by Chinese conglomerate Guangdong Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co., Ltd.

Hengfu’s operations directly impact 25 villages inhabited by more than 200,000 people. It has razed local forests and farmland and caused the loss of livelihood, poisoning of waterways, destruction of ancient cultural sites, and irreparable damage to the Kuy people’s indigenous heritage. The operations have been associated with various repressive schemes aimed at restricting locals’ organized activities and resistance and forcefully displacing them. In some cases, this repression has been carried out directly by Chinese workers.

We call on the Kingdom of Cambodia to revoke the economic land concessions (ELCs) given to Hengfu’s subsidiaries – Heng Nong, Heng Rui, Lan Feng, Heng You, and Rui Feng – that are enabling the conversion of almost 40,000 hectares of land owned and used by local and indigenous communities into large-scale plantations for sugarcane for export. We demand that the Cambodian government, together with the provincial authorities of Preah Vihear, hold Hengfu accountable for its violations of domestic and international environmental and human rights guidelines and standards. They should also uphold and protect the interest of the Kuy people in recognition of their inherent rights as indigenous peoples.

We also urge the Government of the People’s Republic of China to remove Hengfu from Cambodia and remove all such exploitative Chinese corporations from Cambodia and the whole Mekong region. China should comply with its international commitments that will serve to protect the environment and uphold human and indigenous people’s rights.

We stand with the local and indigenous communities who are battling Hengfu and China’s landgrabbing, eviction, and destruction of the environment in Cambodia.






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On the Attacks on Indigenous Rights Defenders of Latin America

Scroll down for the Spanish translation / Desplácese hacia abajo para la traducción al Español

Indigenous Peoples Under Fire: Attacks on Indigenous Rights Defenders of Latin America

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) strongly condemns the continuing and heightening attacks on Indigenous rights defenders in Latin America. Throughout Latin America and across the globe, imperialist powers and their local cohorts have aggressively been exploiting the ancestral lands and territories of Indigenous Peoples (IP) which undermines and violates their very rights to self-determination and self-determined development. Consequently, those who defend land and Indigenous rights are targeted with constant harassment, intimidation, and prosecution by State apparatus – be it the government, the law, or the military.

Last January 5, Patricia Gualinga of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku received death threats from an unidentified individual while at home with her family in Puyo, Ecuador. The attacker also threw rocks at her house and other physical damage to her property.[i] Patricia and the Kichwa People have actively fought for their lands and livelihoods against Chinese oil extractive projects and the exploitation of the Bobonaza River. The illegal appropriation of ancestral lands without the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of the indigenous peoples have caused numerous cases of human rights violations.

The recent incident of harassment against Kichwa People is not an isolated case as it is also happening in other Indigenous communities in the continent. In Guatemala, Juan Eduardo Caal Suram of the indigenous Maya-Q’eqchi’ community, is currently on house arrest and facing trumped-up charges of “illicit association” and “unlawful assembly and demonstrations” among others because of his efforts to defend environmental and Indigenous rights.[ii]

A few months before Suram’s arrest, Carlos Maaz Coc, also from the Maya-Q’eqchi’ community, was shot dead while attending a peaceful demonstration calling on Guatemalan authorities to resolve the contamination of Lake Izabal due to Guatemalan Nickel Company’s operations.[iii]

The Indigenous Peoples of Argentina also faced numerous attempts to be dispossessed of their territories last year which led to repression, imprisonment, and deaths of IP.[iv] The Mapuche people have been demanding land rights for decades and received nothing but demonization by the State to delegitimize them as a people. Among the victims of this brutal repression are Rafael Nahuel and Santiago Maldonado. The 22-year-old Nahuel was shot during an operation of security forces against the Mapuche Ancestral Resistance in Villa Mascardi. On the other hand, Maldonado disappeared after he was arrested at a demonstration for the rights of the Mndigenous group in southern Argentina on August 1. Almost 3 months after his disappearance, he was found dead in a river.

Repression of IP are further enabled by inutile and deceptive government agencies. The Government of Argentina has appointed an individual from an NGO as head of the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI) which is well known to favor the private sector. The NGO, Cambio Democrático Foundation, held a lot of dialogues with the Mapuche community supposedly to get their consent but in the end, still promoted hydraulic fracturing to increase oil and gas production in Mapuche land, which brings risks of ground and surface water contamination, and air and noise pollution.

Capitalist accumulation sustains political persecution; national economic power and transnational power need the use of force to consolidate and reproduce. Alberto Acosta, Ecuadorian economist, says that, “All extractives, not only mining, are vertical processes that displace, uniform, dominate and colonize. In these visions, there are no collectives or plurinationalities.” Many Indigenous rights defenders, who have been victims of political prosecution and harassment in Latin America, have opposed natural resource exploitation in their territories. We urge governments in Latin America to stop development projects that only promote socio-economic injustices and environmental destruction for the benefit of the ruling elite at the expense of the people. IPMSDL demands justice to all Indigenous martyrs and heroes who selflessly served the interest of Indigenous communities.

IPMSDL calls on the indigenous Peoples’ organizations, communities, and advocates in Latin America to resist and defeat fascist offensives against our people and plunder of our territories. We must strengthen our international solidarity with all the oppressed peoples of the world in our struggle for self-determination and liberation! It has been proven since time immemorial that only through our collective struggle in asserting our Indigenous and democratic rights, victories are ours! ###

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator |









Pueblos indígenas bajo fuego: Ataques contra los defensores de los derechos indígenas de América Latina

El Movimiento Internacional de Pueblos Indígenas para la Autodeterminación y la Liberación (siglas en ingles IPMSDL) condena enérgicamente los continuos y crecientes ataques contra los defensores de los derechos indígenas en América Latina. En toda América Latina y en todo el mundo, las potencias imperialistas y sus cohortes locales han estado explotando agresivamente las tierras y territorios ancestrales de los Pueblos Indígenas (PI), que socavan y violan sus propios derechos a la autodeterminación y al desarrollo autodeterminado. En consecuencia, aquellos que defienden la tierra y los derechos indígenas son blanco de hostigamiento, intimidación y persecución constantes por parte del aparato del Estado, ya sea el gobierno, la ley o el ejército.

El pasado 5 de enero, Patricia Gualinga del Pueblo Kichwa de Sarayaku recibió amenazas de muerte de un individuo no identificado mientras estaba en casa con su familia en Puyo, Ecuador. El atacante también arrojó piedras a su casa y otros daños físicos a su propiedad. Patricia y el pueblo Kichwa han luchado activamente por sus tierras y sus medios de subsistencia contra los proyectos de extracción de petróleo de China y la explotación del río Bobonaza. La apropiación ilegal de tierras ancestrales sin el consentimiento libre, previo e informado (CLPI) de los pueblos indígenas ha causado numerosos casos de violaciones de derechos humanos.

El reciente incidente de hostigamiento contra el pueblo Kichwa no es un caso aislado, ya que también está sucediendo en otras comunidades indígenas del continente. En Guatemala, Juan Eduardo Caal Suram, de la comunidad indígena Maya-Q’eqchi ‘, se encuentra actualmente bajo arresto domiciliario y enfrenta acusaciones falsas de “asociación ilícita” y “asambleas y manifestaciones ilegales”, entre otros, debido a sus esfuerzos para defender el medio ambiente y derechos indígenas.

Unos meses antes del arresto de Suram, Carlos Maaz Coc, también de la comunidad Maya-Q’eqchi ‘, fue asesinado a tiros mientras asistía a una manifestación pacífica en la que pedía a las autoridades guatemaltecas que resolvieran la contaminación del lago Izabal debido a las operaciones de Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel.

Los Pueblos Indígenas de Argentina también se enfrentaron a numerosos intentos de ser desposeídos de sus territorios el año pasado, lo que llevó a la represión, el encarcelamiento y la muerte de la propiedad intelectual. El pueblo mapuche ha estado exigiendo derechos a la tierra durante décadas y no ha recibido nada más que la demonización por parte del Estado para deslegitimarlos como pueblo. Entre las víctimas de esta brutal represión están Rafael Nahuel y Santiago Maldonado. Nahuel, de 22 años, recibió un disparo durante una operación de las fuerzas de seguridad contra la Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche en Villa Mascardi. Por otro lado, Maldonado desapareció luego de ser arrestado en una manifestación por los derechos del grupo indígena mapuche en el sur de Argentina el 1 de agosto. Casi 3 meses después de su desaparición, fue encontrado muerto en un río.

Los organismos gubernamentales inútiles y engañosos permiten aún más la represión de la propiedad intelectual. El Gobierno de Argentina ha designado a un individuo de una ONG como jefe del Instituto Nacional de Asuntos Indígenas (INAI), que es conocido por favorecer al sector privado. La ONG, Fundación Cambio Democrático, sostuvo una gran cantidad de diálogos con la comunidad mapuche supuestamente para obtener su consentimiento, pero finalmente promovió la fracturación hidráulica para aumentar la producción de petróleo y gas en tierras mapuche, lo que genera riesgos de contaminación de aguas subterráneas y superficiales. y contaminación del aire y el ruido.

La acumulación capitalista sostiene la persecución política; el poder económico nacional y el poder transnacional necesitan el uso de la fuerza para consolidarse y reproducirse.  Alberto Acosta, economista ecuatoriano afirma que, “Todos los extractivismos, no solamente la minería, son procesos verticales, que desplazan, que uniforman, que dominan y colonizan.  En esas visiones no existen los colectivos o las plurinacionalidades”. Muchos defensores de los derechos indígenas, que han sido víctimas de persecución política y hostigamiento en América Latina, se han opuesto a la explotación de los recursos naturales en sus territorios. Instamos a los gobiernos de América Latina a detener los proyectos de desarrollo que solo promueven las injusticias socioeconómicas y la destrucción del medio ambiente en beneficio de la elite gobernante a expensas del pueblo. IPMSDL exige justicia a todos los mártires y héroes indígenas que sirvieron desinteresadamente el interés de las comunidades indígenas.

El IPMSDL hace un llamamiento a las organizaciones, comunidades y defensores de los pueblos indígenas de América Latina para que resistan y derroten las ofensivas fascistas contra nuestro pueblo y el saqueo de nuestros territorios. ¡Debemos fortalecer nuestra solidaridad internacional con todos los pueblos oprimidos del mundo en nuestra lucha por la autodeterminación y la liberación! ¡Desde tiempos inmemoriales se ha demostrado que solo a través de nuestra lucha colectiva para afirmar nuestros derechos indígenas y democráticos, las victorias son nuestras! ###

Referencia: Beverly Longid, Coordinadora Global |

On the 2017 International Human Rights Day: #FightTyranny

IPMSDL calls to uphold human rights in the Philippines amid US-Duterte regime’s “terrorist” crackdown in light of IHR Day commemoration

The International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) slams the US-Duterte’s fascist regime and its display of ruthless disrespect to the Filipino people’s rights and civil liberties. The Philippine government is acting as the major human rights violator, waging terroristic attacks against its people, and it is doing so under the auspices of the imperialist US.

The Movement raises grave alarm over Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s rising tyranny, which intensified militarization and human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples, rights defenders, and activists all over the Philippines. The state-perpetrated attacks peaked days before the International Human Rights Day, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) escalated its counter-insurgency efforts that included civilians and legal organizations critical of the US-Duterte regime as targets.

IPMSDL particularly condemns the recent massacre of indigenous Lumads by military elements last Dec. 3 in Sitio Datalbong, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines. The 27th and 33rd Infantry Batallion of the AFP killed eight and wounded two of T’boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers as they were about to harvest their crops from their farmland, which was formerly a 300-hectare coffee plantation for Nestle recently regained from the corporate giant David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI). Prior to the incident, the military accused on media one of the victims, Datu Victor Danyan, to be a commander of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Aside from that, military offensives caused Lumad communities in Sarangani province and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao to forcibly evacuate. Soldiers have even imposed food blockade to evacuees, alleging that they are supporters of the NPA. Lumad schools also continue to face harassment on ground and even online.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, rights defenders and activist leaders are experiencing harassments in various forms due to Duterte’s crackdown order against the militant mass movement. The number of cases documented are rising at the daily. These include the killing of two religious leaders in Luzon and the death threats received by countless activists in major cities.

All these took place less than a month ago since Duterte’s termination of the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) through Presidential Proclamation No. 360, and the branding of the belligerent Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing NPA as terrorists through Presidential Proclamation No. 367. As if these are not enough, the AFP recommended the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, which Duterte may expand to the whole country.

It is timely now, more than ever, to call for the upholding of human rights in observance of the International Human Rights Day. IPMSDL joins the Filipino people in the demand for land, livelihood, rights, justice, and accountability for all inhumane acts of the US-Duterte regime and the AFP.





On the 2017 ASEAN Summit

The imperialist powers are consolidating their control over Asia. This was proven by the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and East Asia Summit held November in Manila, Philippines.

Led by the imperialist US, world leaders discussed the promotion of neoliberal policies and programs to enable further state and private entities. In the face of the worsening global economic crisis, these imperialists attempt to preserve themselves through foreign intervention of underdeveloped and developing nations by having them open up their economies with the help of local puppets. ASEAN’s “development” agenda only favors corporations who only seek to maximize profits.

Under this neoliberal framework, the marginalized especially communities of Indigenous Peoples are being displaced from their ancestral lands and dispossessed of natural resources due to massive land grabbing. Their traditions and identities are degraded, their cultures commercialized, their rights especially to self-determination overstepped and violated. They face rampant discrimination and worsened poverty. The promised “growth” is only of imperialism’s benefit and never represent the peoples’ interests.

IPMSDL particularly decries the silence of these timely gatherings on numerous human rights issues in the region: the IP killings in the Philippines, Indonesian occupation of West Papua, Rohingya persecution in Myanmar, and Chinese land-grabbing and environmental plunder along the Mekong Region.

The Movement also criticizes the absurd misuse of public funds by the Philippine government to hosting a summit that is directed towards further exploitation of its people. A good portion of the PHP 15.5 billion-budget was squandered to quell the mobilizations in response to the event. Police used water cannons, truncheons, and the sonic weapon Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) to violently disperse protesters. Hundreds were injured from both sides.

IPMSDL, along with our allies from the workers, peasants, women, youth, and other marginalized sectors, resolve to continue the struggle against imperialism, state fascism, and all that leads to the oppression of Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia and all over the world.





Uphold the Native Customary Rights of IP of Sarawak!




The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) congratulates the Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Sarawak for a successful protest action calling on their government to uphold and respect the Native Customary Rights (NCR) of Sarawak and resisting all attempts of resource plunder perpetuated by state and corporate actors.

On November 13, 2017, over 3,000 people of Sarawak staged a rally to denounce the recent Federal Court decision that favors various private companies to exploit their land resources at the expense of peoples’ welfare. The rally aimed at raising public awareness and consciousness of IP of Sarawak about their struggle to stop development projects that will push them further to the margins. Moreover, it sought to put pressure on their government to comply with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Article 13 and 161E of the Federal Constitution that provide inalienable rights for the IP of Sarawak.

Malaysia, a hotspot for plantation and hydroelectric power projects in the region, has been a target for more investments on extractives and energy projects within the ancestral lands of Sarawak natives. However, the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of their right to self-determination is not guaranteed before any company enters their community. This has lead to conflict, displacement, and rights violations particularly to those who opposes the project. In fact, there were reports that companies hired private gangsters to attack Sarawak natives performing Iban rituals to summon the help of the gods to fight the companies.

Across the world, resource plunder and non-recognition of Indigenous rights have been becoming the norm. Many families in Indigenous communities in Cambodia were displaced due to systematic land grab scheme such as the economic land concession (ELC) and development projects like the Sesan II hydroelectric dam project. The Mapithel dam in Manipur has affected the livelihood of downstream and upstream communities as well as accessibility to water resource.

Amidst growing repression and exploitation, there is always a hope in peoples’ resistance. In Nigeria, the Ogoni community has risen against the attempt of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Shell, and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to resume its oil production in Ogoniland. The people of West Papua are advancing their struggle for self-determination and liberation.

Now more than ever, we shall continue to arouse, organize, and mobilize our ranks as we expand and broaden our fight for lands and resources among and between Indigenous Peoples. We must strengthen our international solidarity with all the oppressed peoples of the world.

The result of the protest of Sarawakians is a big step forward in building a stronger IP movement which shall be at the forefront of their struggle for lands, rights, and territories. Through collective struggle of Sarawakians, greater victories are possible! ###

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, 

On the Attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders in Cordillera

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) denounce the political assault against women activists of Cordillera in the Philippines.

Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Sherry Mae Soledad, Joanne Villanueva, Rachel Mariano, and Asia Isabella Gepte were alleged to be members of the New People’s Army along with 18 other individuals. They were filed with fabricated charges of frustrated murder and multiple counts of
attempted murder in relation with encounters of the revolutionary armed organization with the 7th Infantry Division units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Ilocos Sur last August.

Around the same time, Shirley Ann Angiwot as well as church workers supportive of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines were tagged as “enemies of the State,” which circulated in social media. Alikes, Soledad, Villanueva, Mariano, Gepte, and Alingot are leaders of the Cordillera people’s movement, whose organizations are actively involved in campaigns for the rights and welfare of the indigenous Cordillerans. Recently, they were in staunch support of a local anti-mining alliance in Kasibu town that has been continually harassed by the 7th ID for their resistance.

IPMSDL expresses its grave concern on the heightening repression against human rights defenders in the Philippines, especially leaders of Indigenous people’s groups. With militarization intensified, state forces have conveniently red-tagged activist-leaders and human rights
defenders to quell dissent of affected communities and indigenous peoples’ groups against government-backed development aggression projects, guised as counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts. This is how Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte exercised his tyrannical rule: empowering fascist forces instead of uplifting the marginalized.

The Movement stands with the women activists of Cordillera and the communities they defend.





On Nasako Besingi’s Arrest


The International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condemns the Cameroon government for the arbitrary arrest and detention of environmental activist and human rights defender Nasako Besingi of Cameroon, Central Africa.

On 25 September 2017, authorities arrested Besingi and raided his office in Mundemba, Ndian Division due to undisclosed charges. He was kept out of contact until the Buea Military Tribunal’s questioning on 28 September 2017. The court accused Besingi of insurrection and secession, and ruled his imprisonment at the Buea Central Prison while the preliminary investigation is still ongoing.

Besingi, the executive director of Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), is known for leading the fight against the land grabbing of Herakles Farms, an American agribusiness company. The company is developing a 20,000-hectare palm oil project that is situated in the Congo basin, the world’s second-largest rainforested area and where Mundemba lies.

Nasako Besingi is just one of many environmental and human rights activists unlawfully arrested in different parts of the world.

In Agusan del Sur, Philippines, rural missionaries staff Julito Otacan and five other Banwaon human rights defenders were arrested in the morning of 27 October 2017. Otacan is a field worker of the project, Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Human Rights in the Philippines, organizing and facilitating the training of community members as human rights defenders, while the other five are members of Tagdumahan – a Banwaon Peoples’ Organization that has long been targeted by the military because of their vocal assertion of their rights to the Banwaon’s ancestral domain targeted by logging and mining companies.

In Sabah, Malaysia, Atama Katama and SM Muthu are being demanded to pay 340,000 USD aside from facing possible detention for defamation against Dr. Herman James Luping, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah as a consequence of speaking out on Luping’s controversial appointment to the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

IPMSDL calls for the immediate release of Besingi and all other political prisoners all over the world. The Movement urges the Cameroon government to drop the unfounded charges against Nasako, and to recognize the rights and freedoms of its people more so of the marginalized. Let the English-speaking regions exercise their constitutionally granted independence and autonomy, in respect of their cultural origins and their right to self-determination, instead of wielding political repression that only worsens the social unrest.


On the Violent Dispersal of the August 15 rallies in Indonesia

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) denounces the violent dispersal of Papuans who rallied for their self-determination and liberation in Indonesia on the 55th year commemoration of the 1968 New York Agreement.

Indonesian police arrested and injured hundreds of rallyists on 15 August 2017 in several of the country’s cities where the protests took place. The demonstrations, which were also held in United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia, called for a legitimate UN-administered referendum that would decide West Papua’s independence from Indonesia.

Nonetheless, IPMSDL lauds the militant display of the Papuan peoples to assert for West Papua’s independence. The Movement also congratulates the participation and leadership of the Papuan youth and students in the Indonesia protests. Oppressive states would easily wield repression against peoples’ resistance, denying them their basic rights including freedom of expression and assembly – much like in Indonesia, in order for the government to maintain its hold over West Papua. In today’s trying times, such daring actions give hope to the marginalized and other Indigenous Peoples worldwide to advance their respective struggles brought about by imperialist greed and domination.

We believe the interest and welfare of the Papuan peoples will never be of precedence if West Papua remains its colonized status. Thus, the Movement commits its fervent support West Papua’s struggle and just assertion for self-determination and liberation versus Indonesia’s national oppression and colonization.


On the 55th Anniversary of the New York Agreement: MERDEKA FOR WEST PAPUA!

On the 55th year of the “Broken Promise,” the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and the Merdeka West Papua Support Network reiterate the call to free West Papua. We demand to allow the peoples of West Papua to vote for their independence, which was guaranteed by the New York Agreement of 15 August 1962.

The Papuans’ “act of free choice” never took place. We refuse to recognize the US imperialist-backed bogus referendum of 1969. The landmark agreement only officiated the turnover of West Papua’s colonization from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Indonesia.

This historical betrayal has led to the renewed national oppression and subjugation of West Papua. Its peoples only experienced extreme repression and genocide under the Indonesian colonial rule, whilst the riches of their ancestral lands are plundered. The government of Indonesia never fulfilled its “administrative responsibility” mandated by the agreement to advance the social, cultural, and economic development of West Papua.

The Papuans suffered from this grave injustice for more than half a century, and we say enough. It is time: Merdeka for West Papua!

We call the United Nations (UN) to fulfill its obligation to end colonialism and internationally facilitate a genuine referendum on independence among the peoples of West Papua. We also demand the UN to look into and act upon the widespread human rights violations in and territorial degradation of West Papua. The Indonesia government should be held accountable for its transgressions against the Papuan peoples.

Let us show our fervent support and solidarity to the global demonstration today, 15 August 2017, at London and in other parts of the world in commemoration of the “Day of Broken Promise.” Together, let us stand for West Papua’s self-determination and liberation.


#LetWestPapuaVote #BackTheSwim #FreeWestPapua

Let us also express our solidarity through this global petition addressed to the UN. These names will be delivered at the end of this month in Geneva after being swum 69 km across Lake Geneva by the Swim for West Papua team.

On the 2017 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Advance the Indigenous Peoples’ movement to greater heights!
Strengthen our solidarity for self-determination and liberation!

As we commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) challenges all Indigenous Peoples of the world to raise the ante of our campaigns and struggles for self-determination and liberation.

Discrimination, exclusion, poverty, and human rights violations plague our communities as governments and corporations cope with the global crisis through the seizure of our ancestral lands to plunder its riches.

Warring imperialist states have intensified foreign intervention especially of developing nations in order to preserve power amid worldwide economic depression. They make use of military offensives and deceptive political-economic arrangements sugarcoated as aid and development partnerships to impose their might over target territories. The United States, in particular, is using its “war on terror” to profit and get at par with rising superpowers China and Russia, whose international influence is gaining momentum.

This aggression has led to the heightening repression and militarism in marginalized communities including IP. We have witnessed the demolition of our homes, violations of rights, and erosion of identities as governments prioritize support of imperialist interests. Our children encounter threats and harassments more than the uplift of our well-being. Perpetrators point their guns at us; we live in tension and fear.

But that should not be the case. To claim this day as ours is to assert our distinct growth and freedom – in our terms, to our prosperity.

It is thus timely, more than ever, to expand our movement for self-determination and liberation in order to defeat all attempts to our marginalization and oppression. The difficult times attest the greater necessity of building the unity between and among Indigenous Peoples. We should arouse, organize, and mobilize our ranks as we consolidate our solidarity with non-IP allies to broaden our efforts and step up our battles for our lands and lives.

Let us take inspiration of the bravery and determination of fellow IP who scored feats in their respective historic disputes this year. In Africa, the Ogiek people in Kenya regained their legal rights over their ancestral Mau Forest after the continental Court on Human and People’s Rights ruled to their favor – a decade’s worth of arduous struggle (1). The same goes for the Júba Wajiín people of Mexico, with the federal court granting them judicial protection from government-conceded mining projects at the mountain region of Guerrero state (2).

We should also embody the same resolve of other IP groups who relentlessly carry on despite the odds. The people of West Papua are advancing their struggle for self-determination and liberation with a successfully concluded study conference in March. Meanwhile, Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines are embarking on another Lakbayan to the country’s capital to call the end of their communities’ militarization brought by Martial Law – notwithstanding the president’s threat to bomb their schools.

IPMSDL believes that through our collective struggle, greater victories are ours!




Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator,