The Trump effect on the lives of Native Americans and other Indigenous Peoples

Mark Ambay III

Trump is a racist and a bigot, and his statements and actions against Native Americans in the US show it.

The US president-elect has portrayed Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists, accused a US judge of Latino ancestry of racial bias, and opined that most American Muslims are harboring, or are themselves, terrorists. In a political rally, he derisively called US Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas Warren” and insulted her Cherokee heritage. In a Senate hearing, Trump called out a Native American tribe for not looking like “real Indians.” Furthermore, he has been pushing for taxing of Native American reservations and has been pushing for the construction of more pipelines that will pass through Native American territories.

But it isn’t only Native Americans who are in danger from Trump’s presidency. His slogan of Putting America First should worry Indigenous Peoples the world over. Because Trump does not believe in climate change, he will disregard America’s commitment to reduce global emissions and protect the environment (on a side note, however, the US failed to fulfill it’s environmental commitments even under Obama’s presidency). American companies from the extractives and energy industries will probably have a heyday.

Already billions of dollars worth worth of minerals, oil and gas are being extracted from ancestral lands, and Indigenous Peoples are being harassed, displaced and killed by these companies in collaboration with local governments. Environmental disasters have followed in their wake. If Trump pushes for more income from American companies from their extractive and energy businesses and disregards the effects these industries have on the environment and the lives of Indigenous Peoples, the consequences will be staggering.

Trump’s statements before winning the presidency have also proven his fascist bent, and now he has control of the world’s most powerful military (read: bully). Throughout history the US has used its military to intimidate, dominate and invade other countries, although in recent years this has been in the guise of bringing democracy to supposedly undemocratic countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. But we all know that the US has used its military to protect its own interests, couching it in a very diplomatic language.

Trump will likely use the American military much the same way, except more brazenly. He won’t say he’s doing it for democracy, he’s going to say he’s doing it because he’s Putting America First. Indigenous resistance to American companies that operate on ancestral lands will meet with violence from the US military or its local military counterparts. Trump will make the recent government security actions on the violent Dakota Access Pipeline dispersal of Water Protectors look like a tea party.

But hey, having Trump as president does not mean the world’s about to end (well, I’m hoping). Donald Trump just won the US presidential elections, and his term will start on January 2017, yet his victory has already united many people in America in opposition against him, and this trend will continue. Trump will push for more global plunder and militarization, and this will galvanize Indigenous Peoples’ resistance on a world scale against US neoliberal economic policies that destroy indigenous lives. As global exploitation and oppression of peoples the world over continue under Trump, greater unity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples will be forged in the fight for self determination against US imperialism.

And therein lies the beauty in all this.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and may not necessarily reflect the views of IPMSDL.

Mark Ambay III is Research and Information Officer of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL). He is also associated with Katribu National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines and the Assert Socio-Economic Initiatives Network in the Philippines. Read more of his work on www.markambay.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @markambay.

 

 

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Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples

Algiers, 4 July 1976

Preamble

We live at a time of great hopes and deep despair; a time of conflicts and contradictions; a time when liberation struggle have succeeded in arousing the peoples of the world against the domestic and international structures of imperialism and in overturning colonial systems; a time of struggle and victory in which new ideals of justice among and within nations have been adopted; a time when the General Assembly of the United Nations has given increasing expression, from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the Charter on the Economic and Social Rights and Duties of States, to the quest for a new international, political and economic order.

But this is also a time of frustration and defeat, as new forms of imperialism evolve to oppress and exploit the peoples of the world. Imperialism, using vicious methods, with the complicity of governments that it has itself often installed, continues to dominate a part of the world. Through direct or indirect intervention, through multinational enterprises, through manipulation of corrupt local politicians, with the assistance of military regimes based on police repression, torture and physical extermination of opponents, through a set of practices that has become known as neo-colonialism, imperialism extends its stranglehold over many peoples.

Aware of expressing the aspirations of our era, we met in Algiers to proclaim that all the peoples of the world have an equal right to liberty, the right to free themselves from any foreign interference and to choose their own government, the right if they are under subjection, to fight for their liberation and the right to benefit from other peoples’ assistance in their struggle.

Convinced that the effective respect for human rights necessarily implies respect for the rights of the peoples, we have adopted the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Peoples.

May all those who, throughout the world, are fighting the great battle, at times through armed struggle, for the freedom of all peoples, find in this Declaration the assurance of the legitimacy of their struggle.

Section I. Right to Existence

Article 1
Every people has the right to existence.

Article 2
Every people has the right to the respect of its national and cultural identity.

Article 3
Every people has the right to retain peaceful possession of its territory and to return to it if it is expelled.

Article 4
None shall be subjected, because of his national or cultural identity, to massacre, torture, persecution, deportation, expulsion or living conditions such as may compromise the identity or integrity of the people to which belongs.

Section II. Right to Political Self-determination

Article 5
Every people has an imprescriptible and unalienable right to self-determination. It shall determine its political status freely and without any foreign interference.

Article 6
Every people has the right to break free from any colonial or foreign domination, whether direct or indirect, and from any racist regime.

Article 7
Every people has the right to have democratic government representing all the citizens without distinction as race, sex, belief or colour, and capable of ensuring effective respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

Section III: Economic Rights of Peoples

Article 8
Every people has an exclusive right over its natural wealth and resources. It has the right to recover them if they have been despoiled, as well as any unjustly paid indemnities.

Article 9
Scientific and technical progress being part of the common heritage of mankind, every people has the right to participate in it.

Article 10
Every people has the right to a fair evaluation of its labour and to equal and just terms in international trade.

Article 11
Every people has the right to choose its own economic and social system and pursue its own path to economic development freely and without any foreign interference.

Article 12
The economic rights set forth shall be exercised in a spirit of solidarity amongst the peoples of the world and with due regard for their respective interests.

Section IV. Right to Culture

Article 13
Every people has the right to speak its own language and preserve and develop its own culture, thereby contributing to the enrichment of the culture of mankind.

Article 14
Every people has the right to its artistic, historical and cultural wealth.

Article 15
Every people has the right not to have an alien culture imposed upon it.

Section V. Right to Environment and Common Resources

Article 16
Every people has the right to the conservation, protection and improvement of its environment.

Article 17
Every people has the right to make use of the common heritage of mankind, such as the high seas, the sea-bed, and outer space.

Article 18
In the exercise of the preceding rights every people shall take account of the necessity for coordinating the requirements of its economic development with solidarity amongst all the peoples of the world.

Section VI. Rights of Minorities

Article 19
When a people constitutes a minority within a State it has the right to respect for its identity, traditions, language and cultural heritage.

Article 20
The members of a minority shall enjoy without discrimination the same rights as the other citizens of the State and shall participate on an equal footing with them in public life.

Article 21
These rights shall be exercised with due respect for the legitimate interests of the community as a whole and cannot authorise impairing the territorial integrity and political unity of State, provided the State acts in accordance with all the principles set forth in this Declaration.

Section VII. Guarantees and Sanctions

Article 22
Any disregard for the provisions of this Declaration constitutes a breach of obligations towards the international community as a whole.

Article 23
Any prejudice resulting from disregard for this Declaration must be totally compensated by whoever caused it.

Article 24
Any enrichment to the detriment of the people in violation of the provision of this Declaration shall give rise to the restitution of profits thus obtained. The same shall be applied to all excessive profits on investments of foreign origin.

Article 25
Any equal treaties, agreements or contracts concluded in disregard of the fundamental rights of peoples shall have no effect.

Article 26
External financial charges which become excessive and unbearable for people shall cease to be due.

Article 27
The gravest violations of the fundamental rights of the peoples, especially of their right to existence, constitute international crimes for which their perpetrators shall carry personal penal liberty.

Article 28
Any people whose fundamental rights are seriously disregarded has the right to enforce them, specially by political or trade union struggle and even, in the last resort by the use the force.

Article 29
Liberation movements shall have access to international organisations and their combatants are entitled to the protection of the humanitarian law of war.

Article 30
The re-establishment of the fundamental rights of peoples, when they are seriously disregarded, is a duty incumbent upon all members of the international community.

The Kari-Oka II Declaration (in English and Espanol)

Photo Courtesy of IPMSDL

We, the Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth assembled at the site of Kari-Oka I, sacred Kari-Oka Púku, Rio de Janeiro to participate in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, thank the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil for welcoming us to their territories. We reaffirm our responsibility to speak for the protection and enhancement of the well-being of Mother Earth, nature and future generations of our Indigenous Peoples and all humanity and life. We recognize the significance of this second convening of Indigenous Peoples of the world and reaffirm the historic 1992 meeting of the Kari-Oca I, where Indigenous Peoples issued The Kari-Oca Declaration and the Indigenous Peoples Earth Charter. The Kari-Oca conference, and the  mobilization of Indigenous Peoples around the first UN Earth Summit, marked a big step forward for an international movement for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the important role that Indigenous Peoples play in conservation and sustainable development.  We also reaffirm the Manaus Declaration on the convening of Kari-Oca 2 as the international gathering of Indigenous Peoples for Rio+20.

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Stop the Attacks Against The Borok People!

Scenes of the bloody dispersal in Tripura (Photo by Anthony Debbarma)

The IPMSDL strongly condemns the violent and bloody dispersal of the peaceful protest held by indigenous Borok and other peoples in Agartala, Tripura, India on August 23, 2016. A minimum of 40 people were hurt in the said incident, all of them Indigenous Peoples.

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Statement Condemning The Murder of Lesbia Yaneth Urquia of Honduras

An outpouring of grief at the wake of Lesbia Yaneth Urquia (Photo courtesy of la tribuna)

The IPMSDL condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of woman indigenous peoples and environmental rights activist Lesbia Yaneth Urquia in Honduras. Urquia’s body was found in a garbage dump the town of Marcala, 160 km west of Honduras’ capital Tegucigalpa on July 7, 2016.

Urquia joins the long list of activists who became victims of extrajudicial killings in Honduras. In March 3, armed men entered the home of Goldman Prize winner Berta Caceres and shot her to death. Less than two weeks later, her fellow activist Nelson Garcia was shot in the face by unidentified men while walking home. The three are all active members of the Honduras-based Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (Copinh). Copinh has been actively campaigning against the construction of one of the largest hydro-electric dams in Latin America, which will affect the ancestral lands of the Lencan peoples of Honduras. Urquia and the other two are members of the Lencan people.

Honduras is considered one of the deadliest countries for indigenous peoples and environmental rights activists in the world. It is common knowledge in Honduras that most, if not all, of these extrajudicial killings were done by State military agents in cooperation, sometimes at the prodding and funding of, large corporations determined to encroach on indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands.

We are saddened by the loss of a fellow indigenous peoples rights activist, and promise to continue her and other indigenous peoples rights activists’ legacy of militant struggle against anyone, may they be mammoth corporations or murderous State security agents, who threatens our ancestral lands and who choose to take away our right to self determination and our right to our lands.

We strongly urge the Honduran government to:

1. Immediately investigate and prosecute those responsible for the deaths of Urquia, Caceres, Garcia and other victims of extrajudicial killings;
2. Cease all harassment and killings of indigenous peoples rights activists;
3. Respect the right to self determination of the Lencan and other indigenous peoples.

We recommend to the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to:

1. Increase pressure on governments who continue to violate the rights of indigenous peoples to self determination;
2. Launch an investigation on multi-national companies and governments involved in violations of indigenous peoples rights.

Stop the Killings! End Militarization! Fight Back!

Reference:
Ms. Beverly Longid
IPMSDL Global Coordinator

/ref# s1613/
/mark/

Statement on Extrajudicial Killings and Illegal Detentions of Palaung and Shan peoples of Myanmar

A corpse lies in a shallow grave in Long Mon village in Shan State, Myanmar, 30 June 2016. (Photo courtesy of http://www.iphrdefenders.net)

The IPMSDL strongly condemns the extrajudicial killings of seven indigenous peoples from the Palaung and Shan peoples of Shan State in Myanmar.

The Palaung and Shan peoples are two of the several indigenous peoples fighting for their right to self determination in Myanmar. For decades the Palaung and Shan peoples have faced encroachment of their lands by the Myanmar government. Heavy militarization has led to increasing number of indigenous rights violations and extrajudicial killings. Many of the Palaung and Shan people were forced to leave their homes for fear of further violations by the Myanmar military. The Palaung and Shan peoples have been fighting for their right to self determination for several years now, with many of them joining the armed liberation movements.

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Joint Intervention of CISA and Yamasi People in the 15th session of the UNPFII

*Spanish Translation follows by Google Translate/Traducción Español seguido por Google Translate

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

15th Session – Theme: “Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution

New York, 9 – 20 May 2016.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Members of the Permanent Forum,

Indigenous Brothers and Sisters, may the Great Spirit guide us in this session.

Free, prior and informed consent is indispensable for world peace and security.

 

Therefore, in the name of the Consultancy of Indigenous Peoples in the North of Mexico, the International Community of Andean Wisdom (CISA) of Ecuador and the Yamasi People (USA), we respectfully present the following recommendations to the Permanent Forum:

 

  1. That the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues urge UN Member States in general and Mexico in particular to set out urgent actions and establish legal mechanisms for the implementation of their Constitutions on the right to prior consultation and the obtaining of the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples, according to ILO Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

With reference to the Mexican State, we ask: As a signatory to ILO Convention 169, to what extent has the Mexican State ethically fulfilled its commitments with reference to the prior consultation with Indigenous Peoples in all matters that concern them, such as legislative, political, administrative and development matters? To date, the mechanism used, the advisory services of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples’ Development, has been inefficient, with inappropriate measures to achieve the aim of prior consultation. Good faith is lacking and the measures only serve to manipulate Indigenous Peoples, by working with particular groups in the communities who accept all of their demands.

 

  1. That the Permanent Forum request that Member States provide specific reports on the legal framework and procedures that exist for the granting of permits and concessions to national and international companies when they wish to develop projects on indigenous territories.

 

There are thousands of Indigenous Peoples who survive under an institutional colonial control that is aided by criminal transnational organizations (CTOs) through the colonial institutions of rape, prostitution, imprisonment and slavery, and under the protection of colonial laws. Therefore, we request that the Permanent Forum work together with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in order to analyse the legal and economic aspects of the colonial institutions of rape, prostitution, imprisonment and slavery, their impact and possible solutions. EMRIP should report on the opportunities for implementing financial monitoring of Transnational Crime activities by Indigenous Peoples proscribed in UNTOC, which will reduce human rights abuses of Indigenous Peoples and neighbors.

 

  1. Our organizations are speaking out to request that this UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues urge the Mexican State to explain the disappearance of the 43 youths in Ayotzinapa, since it is a crime against Mexico and the world. Those youths are also our youths; those sons are also our sons.

 

Mr. Chairman:

When we speak of indigenous issues, we touch upon magic, beliefs, imagination, vision and the legitimate rights of original populations, the most ancient residents of the world, whose historical memory is found in each inhabitant of this planet, if we know it or not.

 

The patriarch and traditional singer, Don Juan Albañez Higuera (may he rest in peace), of the Pai Pai native indigenous community of the Santa Catarina Mission, in the Municipality of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, spoke about the relationship with the earth, the air, the clouds, water, and the sacred hills, dressed like women in white, which gave their people water, honey, deer, pine nuts and acorns, and to whom they gave thanks with their songs and ancestral dances.

 

We understand by this that indigenous territory has a spiritual conception with a sacred significance, that Indigenous Peoples see their territory as something essential to their existence and for which they consider they have been the guardians from time immemorial. Land, territory and Indigenous Peoples – the perfect ancestral trinomial – past, present and future seen through a special optical lens, difficult to understand for those who see these lands as goods, with a commercial and economic value. The habitat of these peoples is rich in natural resources and therefore attracts the attention of private interests and governments, who often receive the support of international agencies such as the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank, who are conscious of the acts and consequences that will harm Indigenous Peoples.

 

It is possible to cite many examples of destruction and the eviction of Indigenous Peoples and communities from their lands across the length and breadth of all continents, from Asia to America, including in the Sierra Tarahumara in the State of Chihuahua or in the native communities of Pai Pai, Cucapá, Kumiai, Kiliwa and Cochimí in the State of Baja California, Mexico.

 

Their demands stem from the decision to defend their natural resources, which constitute their livelihoods and their future as peoples; but this does not suffice for transnational companies to desist from their idea of taking control of these resources in order to convert them into goods that can be traded, with the support of national governments, who provide them with the necessary facilities.

 

On behalf of the Yamasi People, in North America we state:

 

UN Member States unilaterally decide to designate ‘sacrifice’ areas – areas to defoliate or poison with toxic substances for the good of “security”. The military solution is often the least productive response to tension or conflict. Indigenous Peoples propose solutions that allow opportunities for opposing sides to achieve their goals in good measure.  We propose a sharing approach, not an all-or-nothing approach.  Yamasi People, neighboring Indigenous Peoples, and our increasing number of colonial neighbors suffer from perpetual poisoning from nuclear radiation in the area of the Savannah River site, the largest nuclear weapons processing facility in the world.

 

The US has decreased security in the area of Savannah River site (SRS) by forcibly imposing on Indigenous and non-indigenous Peoples unwanted and unnecessary US-subsidized nuclear reactors in this same ‘sacrifice’ area. The US has decreased security in the area of SRS by soliciting nuclear waste from all over the world to traffick to original nations with SRS, with whom the US has no agreement for such activities.  World security is threatened by this concentration of nuclear material in a US-occupied area where the US continues to promote violence and refuses to negotiate peace with Indigenous Peoples.

 

Further, Yamasi People in particular are violently targeted by US-paid unsustainable developers. Yamasi are assaulted, raped, incarcerated, torture, trafficked, enslaved, and murdered by the US because we offer a more productive approach to peace and security planning. Because Yamasi People do not consent to the US unsustainable development agenda of building money-laundering facilities for transnational crime organizations, the US gives US federal tax money to the entities that the US has created to appropriate our identity. The US violates the reproductive rights of Yamasi women and girls instead of facilitating education and leadership development. Instead of negotiating with Yamasi leaders, the US generation after generation consciously and deliberately rapes Yamasi leaders.  This violence could end if the UN sanctioned Members practicing discrimination under the color of apartheid law, as the US does with US ‘Indian Law’.

 

Colonial authorities apply apartheid laws to authorize criminal transnational organizations to appropriate our indigenous identity for development purposes. When Indigenous Peoples oppose unsustainable development, the colonials—without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples—create shell companies that are often criminal transnational organizations posing as Indigenous Peoples in order to assign them rights to the development of Indigenous Peoples. The international community has for too many generations supported these activities, with the explicit support of the progenitors of the European Union and its system of slavery based on the appropriation of the rights to development of Indigenous Peoples.

 

This system of granting the development rights of Indigenous Peoples to shell corporations that are criminal transnational organizations (TCOs) threatens world security because this type of development that lacks free, prior and informed consent has consequences such as conflict and climate change.

 

Free prior and informed consent is essential for world peace and security.

 

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

·         Consultoría de los Pueblos Indígenas en el norte de México, A.C. (CPINM)  MEXICO
[Consultancy of Indigenous Peoples in the North of Mexico]

EDIFICIO TORRE ESTRELLA, Calle Luis Cabrera # 2071 – Despacho 206

Zona Urbana Río, Tijuana, Baja California, México. C.P. 22010

Tel. +52 (664) 6340371 Cel. +52 (664) 1968079

consultoria_indigena@yahoo.com.mx

 

  • Comunidad del Saber Andino (CISA) ECUADOR
    [Community of Andean Wisdom]

Almendros s/n planta alta

Quito, Ecuador.

Tel. + (593) 999298117

manpujarksisa@gmail.com

 

  • Yamasi People

Box 60033 Savannah MGeorgia a 31420  North America

Ph. + (912) 376 9786

international@yamasi.org

********************

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

15th Session – Theme: “Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution

New York, 9 – 20 May 2016.

 

 

Mr. Chairman,

Members of the Permanent Forum,

Indigenous Brothers and Sisters, may the Great Spirit guide us in this session.

 

Free, prior and informed consent is indispensable for world peace and security.

 

Therefore, in the name of the Consultancy of Indigenous Peoples in the North of Mexico, the International Community of Andean Wisdom (CISA) of Ecuador and the Yamasi People (USA), we respectfully present the following recommendations to the Permanent Forum:

 

  1. That the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues urge UN Member States in general and Mexico in particular to set out urgent actions and establish legal mechanisms for the implementation of their Constitutions on the right to prior consultation and the obtaining of the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples, according to ILO Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

With reference to the Mexican State, we ask: As a signatory to ILO Convention 169, to what extent has the Mexican State ethically fulfilled its commitments with reference to the prior consultation with Indigenous Peoples in all matters that concern them, such as legislative, political, administrative and development matters? To date, the mechanism used, the advisory services of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples’ Development, has been inefficient, with inappropriate measures to achieve the aim of prior consultation. Good faith is lacking and the measures only serve to manipulate Indigenous Peoples, by working with particular groups in the communities who accept all of their demands.

 

  1. That the Permanent Forum request that Member States provide specific reports on the legal framework and procedures that exist for the granting of permits and concessions to national and international companies when they wish to develop projects on indigenous territories.

 

There are thousands of Indigenous Peoples who survive under an institutional colonial control that is aided by criminal transnational organizations (CTOs) through the colonial institutions of rape, prostitution, imprisonment and slavery, and under the protection of colonial laws. Therefore, we request that the Permanent Forum work together with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in order to analyse the legal and economic aspects of the colonial institutions of rape, prostitution, imprisonment and slavery, their impact and possible solutions. EMRIP should report on the opportunities for implementing financial monitoring of Transnational Crime activities by Indigenous Peoples proscribed in UNTOC, which will reduce human rights abuses of Indigenous Peoples and neighbors.

 

  1. Our organizations are speaking out to request that this UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues urge the Mexican State to explain the disappearance of the 43 youths in Ayotzinapa, since it is a crime against Mexico and the world. Those youths are also our youths; those sons are also our sons.

 

Mr. Chairman:

When we speak of indigenous issues, we touch upon magic, beliefs, imagination, vision and the legitimate rights of original populations, the most ancient residents of the world, whose historical memory is found in each inhabitant of this planet, if we know it or not.

 

The patriarch and traditional singer, Don Juan Albañez Higuera (may he rest in peace), of the Pai Pai native indigenous community of the Santa Catarina Mission, in the Municipality of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, spoke about the relationship with the earth, the air, the clouds, water, and the sacred hills, dressed like women in white, which gave their people water, honey, deer, pine nuts and acorns, and to whom they gave thanks with their songs and ancestral dances.

 

We understand by this that indigenous territory has a spiritual conception with a sacred significance, that Indigenous Peoples see their territory as something essential to their existence and for which they consider they have been the guardians from time immemorial. Land, territory and Indigenous Peoples – the perfect ancestral trinomial – past, present and future seen through a special optical lens, difficult to understand for those who see these lands as goods, with a commercial and economic value. The habitat of these peoples is rich in natural resources and therefore attracts the attention of private interests and governments, who often receive the support of international agencies such as the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank, who are conscious of the acts and consequences that will harm Indigenous Peoples.

 

It is possible to cite many examples of destruction and the eviction of Indigenous Peoples and communities from their lands across the length and breadth of all continents, from Asia to America, including in the Sierra Tarahumara in the State of Chihuahua or in the native communities of Pai Pai, Cucapá, Kumiai, Kiliwa and Cochimí in the State of Baja California, Mexico.

 

Their demands stem from the decision to defend their natural resources, which constitute their livelihoods and their future as peoples; but this does not suffice for transnational companies to desist from their idea of taking control of these resources in order to convert them into goods that can be traded, with the support of national governments, who provide them with the necessary facilities.

 

On behalf of the Yamasi People, in North America we state:

 

UN Member States unilaterally decide to designate ‘sacrifice’ areas – areas to defoliate or poison with toxic substances for the good of “security”. The military solution is often the least productive response to tension or conflict. Indigenous Peoples propose solutions that allow opportunities for opposing sides to achieve their goals in good measure.  We propose a sharing approach, not an all-or-nothing approach.  Yamasi People, neighboring Indigenous Peoples, and our increasing number of colonial neighbors suffer from perpetual poisoning from nuclear radiation in the area of the Savannah River site, the largest nuclear weapons processing facility in the world.

 

The US has decreased security in the area of Savannah River site (SRS) by forcibly imposing on Indigenous and non-indigenous Peoples unwanted and unnecessary US-subsidized nuclear reactors in this same ‘sacrifice’ area. The US has decreased security in the area of SRS by soliciting nuclear waste from all over the world to traffick to original nations with SRS, with whom the US has no agreement for such activities.  World security is threatened by this concentration of nuclear material in a US-occupied area where the US continues to promote violence and refuses to negotiate peace with Indigenous Peoples.

 

Further, Yamasi People in particular are violently targeted by US-paid unsustainable developers. Yamasi are assaulted, raped, incarcerated, torture, trafficked, enslaved, and murdered by the US because we offer a more productive approach to peace and security planning. Because Yamasi People do not consent to the US unsustainable development agenda of building money-laundering facilities for transnational crime organizations, the US gives US federal tax money to the entities that the US has created to appropriate our identity. The US violates the reproductive rights of Yamasi women and girls instead of facilitating education and leadership development. Instead of negotiating with Yamasi leaders, the US generation after generation consciously and deliberately rapes Yamasi leaders.  This violence could end if the UN sanctioned Members practicing discrimination under the color of apartheid law, as the US does with US ‘Indian Law’.

 

Colonial authorities apply apartheid laws to authorize criminal transnational organizations to appropriate our indigenous identity for development purposes. When Indigenous Peoples oppose unsustainable development, the colonials—without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples—create shell companies that are often criminal transnational organizations posing as Indigenous Peoples in order to assign them rights to the development of Indigenous Peoples. The international community has for too many generations supported these activities, with the explicit support of the progenitors of the European Union and its system of slavery based on the appropriation of the rights to development of Indigenous Peoples.

 

This system of granting the development rights of Indigenous Peoples to shell corporations that are criminal transnational organizations (TCOs) threatens world security because this type of development that lacks free, prior and informed consent has consequences such as conflict and climate change.

 

Free prior and informed consent is essential for world peace and security.

 

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

·         Consultoría de los Pueblos Indígenas en el norte de México, A.C. (CPINM)  MEXICO
[Consultancy of Indigenous Peoples in the North of Mexico]

EDIFICIO TORRE ESTRELLA, Calle Luis Cabrera # 2071 – Despacho 206

Zona Urbana Río, Tijuana, Baja California, México. C.P. 22010

Tel. +52 (664) 6340371 Cel. +52 (664) 1968079

consultoria_indigena@yahoo.com.mx

 

  • Comunidad del Saber Andino (CISA) ECUADOR
    [Community of Andean Wisdom]

Almendros s/n planta alta

Quito, Ecuador.

Tel. + (593) 999298117

manpujarksisa@gmail.com

 

  • Yamasi People

Box 60033 Savannah MGeorgia a 31420  North America

Ph. + (912) 376 9786

international@yamasi.org

 

NPMHR intervention on the 15th session of the UNPFII

Paper presentation during the 15th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2016 on; “Indigenous Peoples; Conflict, Peace and Resolution” by Neingulo Krome, Secretary General, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights at the United Nations Headquarters at New York on the 17th of May 2016.

By: NeinguloKrome, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights

Respected Chair of the Permanent Forum, honorable Expert Members, distinguished Indigenous leaders and delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

Nagas are one of the indigenous peoples of Asia, who were independent and sovereign much like the ancient Greek city-states till Britishers found them and invaded their land in1832. Nagas fought back and resisted them till parts of their land were conquered and colonized in 1879 leaving a large area as un-administered and free from any kind of governance. So when the British Statutory Commission came to the then Naga Hills in 1929, the Nagas submitted their first written document, asking the British Government that the Naga Hills be withdrawn from the Reformed Scheme of India, in which the Naga Hills were included without their consent or knowledge, and to leave the Nagas alone to determine for themselves as in ancient times. Very unfortunately, when the British left the sub-continentand India started militarily occupying the Naga country, the British Government never even blinked its eyes not to talk of speaking a word to set records right.

So after India became Independent and Nagas refused to join the new Indian union and boycotted the first Indian General elections in 1952, Indian military troops were sent into the Naga Hills in 1953, to crush the Nagas. As a consequence, entire villages were burnt down,granaries, crops, cattle and domestic animals were not even spared. Woman raped, tortured and murdered in full view of family members and villagers and so on. The list is endless and dehumanizing.So to make a very long story short, let me just say that the political conflict of the Indigenous Nagasis known to be one of Asia’s longest running conflicts.

From then and until now, there have been numerous conflicts, also peace agreements and several attempts for resolution of the conflicts.  But all of these have failed to meaningfully serve its purpose, but ratherpromoted other more and newer conflicts.  For instance, there was the first Ceasefire, which came into effect on September 6, 1964and Peace negotiations were held between Naga leaders and the Government of Indiabut which could not resolve the conflict with India eventually and unilaterally breaking off the Ceasefire.

With resumptions of military operations on the Nagas, which saw more violence and destruction,pain and human sufferings and whichcameto the notice of the United Nations, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, acknowledged and said; “there is human rights situation in Nagaland”.This revelation from the UN and other admissions made by a few Indian Army Generals, that the Naga problem cannot be solved militarily and must be solved politically, the 2nd Ceasefire came into effect on the 1st of August 1997.

It is almost 19 years now since the 2ndCeasefire had taken place and numerous Political negotiations have been going on without any concrete resolution.But nevertheless there have been positive outcomes in the various stages of negotiations despite the many frustrations. It was also only last year in August 3, 2015, that a FrameworkAgreement was also signed and which the Prime Minister of Indiahimself proudly announced to the international community in Dubaisaying that a final Peace settlement with the Nagas issue is at hand. But this also has not happened yet.

We do not know when a resolution to our Conflict will come which have been assured year after year. But what we do know is, that India is infested with all kinds of social and political unrest wherever Indigenous peoples live. Many Indigenous peoples even in North East India are also asserting their rights and have been fighting for their rights. The Naga political movement has been often branded as the “mother of all insurgency in North East India” which is not necessarily correct because of the nature in which Governments deals with Indigenous peoples and their issues. But whatever the case may be, nobody wants to live in a trouble-torn state of affairs all their lives but nobody will also easily give up their rights without some kind of respect to their human dignity. And therefore, almost every people’s movement in India is also watching how India is going to resolve the Naga issue. If the resolution of the Naga conflict is seen as “honourable and acceptable”, there are huge possibilities where other Indigenous Peoples movement may come forward for peaceful resolution as some are already doing. But if it is not, in all likelihood the situations in the already trouble-torn Indigenous areas may deteriorate.

Ladies and Gentlemen let me conclude by saying that the Indigenous Nagas fought and resisted the invading British colonials for 47 years;we were subjects of colonialism for 68 years. We have undergone all kinds of human sufferings and humiliation for another 50 years under military occupation of India.And we are now experiencing 19 years of Ceasefire.But during these last 19 years of Ceasefire and political negotiations we are also seeing psychological warfare, developmental aggressions,corruption and divisions at all levels of the society, while the energy of the peace loving citizens are drained just in trying to keep the peace process alive. Notwithstanding all of the above, and in the midst of all the turmoil, our lands and people weredivided into nation states of India and Burma (now Myanmar) and within India, into different states of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh without our knowledge or consent which in itself is a manifestation of the colonial policy of “Divide and Rule” being imposed on us forcefully.

Finally, in line with the experiences of Nagas and other indigenous peoples of North East India, which are common to other indigenous peoples in Asia and perhaps around the world, we can draw some of the following common issues and recommendations:

  1. Indigenous peoples in Asia have faced long-standing conflicts beginning with colonial powers and now with States under which their territories fall. To resolve these conflicts, rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination need to be respected as per Articles 3 and 4 of the UNDRIP so that they can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
  2. Besides political conflicts, development aggression of States in indigenous territories is adding to the worsening situation of indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources as guaranteed mainlyin Articles 26, 27, 28, 30 and 32 of the UNDRIP, including right against forced military activities in their lands should be fully implemented to prevent and resolve further land-related conflicts of indigenous peoples.
  3. International borders have divided indigenous peoples. This has denied them the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders, as required under Article 36 of the UNDRIP. States need to take more effective measures to implement this right in conjunction with the indigenous peoples.

 

Thank you

 

CRAM intervention on the 15th session of the UNPFII

15th Session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN HQ, 9 – 20 May 2016  

Agenda 4: implementation of the Six mandates areas of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: Focus on Human Rights

Respected Chair, I am Jiten Yumnam, speaking on behalf of the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur, an indigenous peoples’ human rights organization.

Manipur in India’s North East has for long been afflicted with an armed conflict premised on its indigenous peoples’ movement for self-determination to reject India’s forced merger of Manipur on 15 October 1949. The self-determination efforts of indigenous peoples of Manipur, are responded militarily with promulgation of emergency laws, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) that conferred extra ordinary powers to the armed forces of Government of India, including using force on mere suspicion and to arrest people without warrant.  Other notorious and draconian laws applied in Manipur against indigenous peoples, includes the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, the National Security Act, 1980 etc, the Indian Penal Code etc. The AFSPA, 1958declared Manipur entirely as a disturbed state, allowing the full scale deployment and militarization of Indian Armed Forces in Indigenous peoples land and territory in Manipur, in pretext of subduing indigenous resistance groups for self-determination. The militarization processes has led to intense violation of Human rights, ranging from violation of Right to Life and facilitated Land grabbing to facilitating development onslaught in Manipur, reinforcing State’s efforts to undermine peoples’ right to self-determination.

For long under the AFSPA, 1958, Manipur reels outside the framework of protection guaranteed by the International Human Right Law. More than 1500 fully confirmed cases of Extra Judicial Executions has been documented in Manipur from 1980’s till 2012, as documented by the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN. The UN special mandate holders, namely, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Ms. Margaret Sekaggya and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Christoff Heyns during their visits in India’s North East in 2011 and 2012, have called for repeal of AFSPA, 1958 and referred to it as a unlawful implementation and violation of International Law in Manipur.

One of the most direct impacts of militarization and subjugation of indigenous peoples’ self-determination movement in Manipur is on women and children. There are countless victims of sexual harassment committed by Indian security forces. The sexual harassment of Chanu Rose in Ukhrul District, the rape of Mercy Kabui of Lamdan Village by 112 Battalion Central Reserve Police Force on 19 July 2000, rape of Ms. Nandeibam Sanjit of Jiribam Uchanthol by personnel of 12th Granadier Rifles on 4 October 2003, which led to her suicide and the rape and murder of Miss Thangjam Manorama on 11 July 2004 by personnel of the 17th Assam Rifles are some of the infamous cases of rape cases in Manipur. The denial of justice, failure to prosecute and punish armed forces personnel involved in violations led to impunity.  Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, former Special Rapporteur, also recorded many individual complaints of rape committed by security forces in Manipur in her report of 27 January 2000. (E/CN.4/2000/68/Add.1, Paragraphs 49-66).

Armed and resource conflict: An increased alarming reality associated with the armed conflict situation in Manipur and which complicates the persisting armed conflict is the aggressive plunder of land and natural resources. The violation of right to self-determination of indigenous peoples in Manipur is lucid clear in the pattern of aggressive push of corporate led development and associated militarism.

A serious challenge with developmental processes in Manipur is the failure to recognize the right to self-determination and self-determined development of indigenous peoples over their land and resources.

The ongoing efforts to complete Mapithel dam by blocking the Thoubal River and filling up Mapithel dam reservoir and the proposed move to construct the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project, and signing of four MoUs on four mega dams on 28 August 2014, without the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities constitute a clear effort to undermine indigenous peoples self-determination over their land and resources. The Tipaimukh dam will submerge more than 27,000 hectares of forest land and will destroy livelihood sources of indigenous communities of Manipur. Again, theGovernment of India granted license to Jubilant Oil and Gas Private Limited, a Dutch company, for exploration and drilling works2 in two oil blocks in Manipur without peoples’ consent and without considering the larger implications on indigenous peoples’ way of life, livelihood, intergenerational survival etc.The North East India Hydrocarbon vision, 2030 has also been framed without indigenous peoples consent and will led to expropriation of peoples land and resources.

Indian paramilitary forces, operating under the AFSPA, 1958, to counter self-determination movements are also deployed and involved in introducing unsustainable projects that led to confiscation and destruction of agriculture land, forest and other resources of Manipur. Militarization is also associated with introduction of unsustainable development projects, as evident by the militarization of Mapithel Dam site, Loktak Project site, Khuga Dam etc. Indigenous Peoples and women’s call for protection of productive agricultural land for prolonged economic subsistence and for sustainable and people friendly development are also met with brute and violent repression of indigenous women[1].

Three people, including women were killed and 25 people were injured in December 2005, when a combined team of Indian paramilitary forces, the Border Security Forces and the Indian Reserve Battalion opened fired on villagers affected by the Khuga Dam, who were demanding just compensation, in Churachandpur District of Manipur. On 3 November 2008, more than forty people, mostly women affected by the Mapithel Dam, demanding their basic rights were brutality beaten and inhumanely tortured by the Indian Reserve Battalion and the Manipur Police. The injured were all women belonging to different communities of Manipur, the Meitei, the Nagas and the Kukis. Ms. Lungmila AS of Louphong Village, Ukhrul District, was seriously injured in firing of Tear Gas canister and continues to remain in dysfunctional mental state till today. Indeed the former UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Mr. James Anaya expressed strong condemnation with the Mapithel dam construction and the militarization process in 2008. The Indian State continues to insist on militarization process to undermine indigenous peoples’ efforts for self-determination over their land and has disturbed the profound relationships of Indigenous peoples in Manipur with their lands and territories, both physically and spiritually.

Recommendations: I would like to urge the UN Permanent Forum to urge upon the Government of India to:

  • Recognize the self-determined rights of indigenous peoples of Manipur as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
  • Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and end all forms of militarization in Manipur.
  • Recognize indigenous peoples’ fundamental rights, especially “Right to Life & Justice remedy”.
  • Recognize indigenous peoples’ right to self-determined development with full recognition of their rights over their land and resources.
  • Enforce moratorium on all mega development projects which failed to take the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities of Manipur.
  • Repeal all policies and acts that foster privatization and corporatization of communities land such as the Manipur Hydro Policy, 2012, the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 etc.
  • Stop Oil Exploration and Drilling by Jubilant Energy and other oil companies in Manipur
  • Stop construction of Mapithel dam.Decommission Ithai Barrage of the 105 MW Loktak HEP.Revoke the MoUs signed on 28 August, 2014 for construction of 60 MW Irang HEP project, 67 MW Khongnem-Chakha Hydro Electric Project, 190 MW Pabram Hydro Electric at Barak River and 51 MW Tuivai HEP projects in the Barak River basin.

 

CPA Intervention on the 15th session of UNPFII

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Fifteenth Session

9-20 May 2016, New York

 Intervention on Agenda Item 4: Implementation of the six mandated areas of the Permanent Forum with reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By: Sarah Dekdeken, CORDILLERA PEOPLES ALLIANCE (Philippines)

 Thank you Mister Chair for this opportunity to speak. Warm greetings everyone!

I represent the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines, which has consistently participated in the Permanent Forum since its First Session in 2002, recognizing theimportant role of the Forum in advancing indigenous peoples’ rights. The Forum has allowed us to raise the issues and concernsof the Igorots and other indigenous peoples of the Philippines.We have forwarded numerous recommendations to the Permanent Forum, in line with our struggle to defend our rights to land and resources that are being robbedby the State and foreign corporations.

However, we are deeply alarmed that after 14 sessions of the Permanent Forum, and nine years since the adoption of the UNDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the plight of indigenous peoples in the Philippines has turned from bad to worse. The Philippine government enacted the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and established the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples(NCIP) supposedly to promote the rights and welfare of Philippine indigenous peoples. But these have been proven inutile in protecting our rights. In fact, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples has served as an instrument in violating IP rights. And the UNDRIP and previous recommendations of the Permanent Forum have not been implemented at all.

Instead, the Philippine government continuesits reign of terror,committingcrimes against indigenous peoples, and outrightly violating our collective rights to our ancestral lands and plunder of our resources through destructive mining and energy projects. Its counter-insurgency programOplanBayanihan has resulted inthe militarization of our communities, extrajudicial killings,development aggression and other human rights violations committed with impunityagainst indigenous peoples.UnderPresident Benigno Aquino’s administration, at least one indigenous person is killed every month, with a total of more than90 victims from July 2010 to April 2016.

To cite a few recent cases:

  • In April 2016, the Vice Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Mr. Xavier Akien,experienced death threatsthrough surveillance by armed men, which, in our experience, often leads to extrajudicial killing or enforced disappearance.
  • On April 1, 2016, in Kidapawan, Southern Philippines,the government brutally responded to thedemand for food aid by more than five thousand farmers andLumad indigenous peopleswith guns and bullets, leaving 2 farmers dead, more than 70 people wounded, and hundreds arrested.Indigenous peoples bear the brunt of climate change, while suffering the negative impacts of corporate mining, extractive industriesand government neglect of basic social services. In the past few months, El Nino has left hundreds of farmers’ families hungry, yet the Philippine government heartlessly denied them the basic human right to food.
  • In 2015, around five thousandLumad indigenous people in Mindanao fled their homes due to military operations, harassment and forced recruitment by paramilitary groups.
  • Indigenous schools run by non-government organizationscontinue to be attacked by State military forces and paramilitary groups,thereby depriving indigenous children and youth of the right to education.
  • Discrimination of indigenous peoples was again proven in the government’s denial of our participation to the Party List System in the recently concluded national elections.

These are just a few of the ethnocidal acts committed against indigenous peoples, which reflectthe worsening situationsimilarly experiencedby indigenous peoples around the world. We thus urge the Permanent Forum to take immediate and decisive steps to end the extrajudicial killing and indigenous peoples’ rights violations, and the State-driven misery faced by indigenous peoples in the Philippines.

We recommend:

  • That the Permanent Forum establish mechanisms to monitor and ensure the implementation of UNDRIP,and its recommendations at the country level.
  • That the Philippine Government take steps to respect and protectindigenous peoples’ rights to lands, resources, social and economic development, cultural integrity, education and health.
  • Thatoppressive laws, policies and programs thatdisplaceour communities, plunder our resources,destroy our environment,hinder our development,and violate our national sovereigntybe repealed/scrapped, such as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, OplanBayanihan, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, among others.
  • Thatthe Philippine Governmentbe urged to comply with its obligations under International Humanitarian Law, the UNDRIP, and other international human rights instruments to which the Philippine government is a signatory.

 

Thank you for your attention.