Protect Our Waters and Territories, No to Dakota Access Pipeline!

 

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The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) stands in unity with the Standing Rock Sioux Dakota and Lakota Indigenous Peoples in asserting their right to protect the waters of their ancestral lands. Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux reminds the world that Indigenous Peoples suffer from poverty and environmental sabotage because we are forced to subsidize for-profit corporations through schemes such as Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP).

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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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Indigenous rights workshop in the World Social Forum A Success

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“They’re destroying completely our way of life.” – Joseph Owate, Anishnabe Nation during the IPMSDL forum on “Indigenous Peoples Struggles and Resistance, Building Indigenous Peoples Solidarity” at the World Social Forum 2016 in celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Read the complete report at http://www.thenationreport.org/world-social-forum-indigenous-peoples-struggles-and-resistance/.

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IPMSDL Statement on World Indigenous Peoples Day: Onward With the Struggle For Self-Determination! Defend our Territories and Ways of Life!

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The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation joins hands with Indigenous Peoples all over the world to celebrate the World Indigenous Peoples Day. As we commemorate this day, let us be reminded of the fact that there is much to celebrate about, but there is also much left to be done.

We faced many challenges last year. The world has become a more dangerous place for Indigenous Peoples. Our ancestral lands are still under attack, with giant multi-national and State companies creeping in, egged on by international and local neoliberal economic policies. Hundreds of thousands have been forcibly displaced due to these projects, forcing our people to part with lands passed on by our ancestors, breaking apart our peoples and slowly destroying our ways of life.

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IPMSDL World Indigenous Peoples Day Statement: Onward With the Struggle For Self-Determination! Defend our Territories and Ways of Life!

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The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation joins hands with Indigenous Peoples all over the world to celebrate the World Indigenous Peoples Day. As we commemorate this day, let us be reminded of the fact that there is much to celebrate about, but there is also much left to be done.

We faced many challenges last year. The world has become a more dangerous place for Indigenous Peoples. Our ancestral lands are still under attack, with giant multi-national and State companies creeping in, egged on by international and local neoliberal economic policies. Hundreds of thousands have been forcibly displaced due to these projects, forcing our people to part with lands passed on by our ancestors, breaking apart our peoples and slowly destroying our ways of life.

Guns and bullets by State security forces and corporate agents meet our resistance to projects that adversely affect us, with the death toll of indigenous rights activists and advocates rising every year. Governments continue to disregard our basic civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights, and deny us basic social services like education, health and adequate shelter. Yet international bodies, governments and multi-national companies continue to exploit us, squeezing out each and every drop of blood and sweat and toil they can from our peoples.

In addition, government and corporate agents continue to bribe, co-opt or coerce indigenous leaders and activists in order to get their way with our lands. Giant multi-national companies and State agencies install fake leaders, create sham organizations and hold mock consultations to acquire free, prior and informed consent that they would not get otherwise from Indigenous Peoples groups determined to resist corporate encroachment of indigenous lands. This results in disagreements and divisions within our communities, thus benefiting business interests. They seek to sow disunity among our ranks, even as we seek to unite.

In the days to come, we expect more violations of our rights as Indigenous Peoples. We expect more underhanded maneuvers to divest us of our ancestral lands. We expect more corporate projects to encroach on our soil, as they try to gain more profits from our lands, sweat and blood. We expect repressive governments to unleash more and more of their dogs, snarling their way into our homes and communities and ultimately depriving us of our lives and freedoms.

Yet our situation is not hopeless. Millions of Indigenous Peoples are getting organized, while tens of millions more advocates are linking with us and supporting our cause. We have fought off gigantic companies like Oceana Gold in the Philippines from ravaging our forests and mountains. We have prevented dams like those in Baram, Sarawak from drowning our lands and us. We continue to seek justice for the victims of killings and harassment of indigenous rights activists and advocates. We have joined hands with other non-indigenous peoples in the battle against unjust neoliberal economic and other government policies, rising militarism, just wages, discrimination against women and other genders, and other peoples rights issues.

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Our strength comes from our unity not just among ourselves as Indigenous Peoples, but in unity with other oppressed peoples all over the world. Our resistance grows as we struggle to defend what is rightfully ours. We grow strong, and we will continue to grow stronger. We will continue to strengthen our ranks and consolidate our forces as we struggle to defend, to our last breath, our right to determine our future, retain our lands and regain our lives.

We will not be complacent because of our victories. We will not cower from fear. We will not our take our oppression in silence. Together with other exploited peoples all over the world, we will not be moved; we will not be shoved down. We will fight back!

Photos by Felix Diaz (top) and Jenna Pope (bottom)

A Chance for Peace: Supporting the Opportunity for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

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All over the world Indigenous Peoples continue to face oppression and exploitation by uncaring governments and self-serving corporations. We are still one of the most marginalized sectors in society. States and big businesses continue to deny our right to self determination, our collective rights as peoples, our right to land, our very right to life. Wars of aggression, counter-insurgency and militarization displace us from our homes. Environmentally destructive activities such as large-scale mining, mono-crop plantations and their resultant disasters threaten our very existence.

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Nagaland: Time-tested attitude: an unwavering reality

In the backdrop of ongoing Ceasefire agreements and political negotiations that different Naga political organizations have entered into with the Government of India, and the various efforts of Reconciliation amongst the Naga political groups in particular, and so also with the silent efforts to reconcile with our past history of human sufferings, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights have been making its own effort to stay away from provocative issues and elements. However, the constant recurrence of acts with utter disregards for human life where Nagas are concerned, at the hands of Indian military personnel, one is left with choice but to express its resentments with pain and anger.

Amongst many others, we had the recent killings by Indian soldiers, who are supposed to be know all over the world “for their excellent behavior and discipline” (sic), of two young school Children now known as the infamous “Wuzu Firing”. In the past too, in the same district of Phek, we had the 14 Assam Rifles waging war on school children at Bible Hill Phek town for speaking in English while coming from school through the main road that passes through their camp, which was established after the Reverend in Charge of the Bible Hill was buried alive.

Last month, on the 23rd of June 2016, right in the heart of India, the world’s biggest democracy, at Bareilly in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, a young Naga boy in his 20s, in the person of Vezota Vasa, who was enlisted and serving as an Indian Sepoy of the Jat Regiment was murdered by his own camp-mates by all indications and evidences that the family has revealed through the media and to the various authorities in their search for truth and justice, in a situation where the family was not allowed even to see the whole body, Post-mortem carried out in the absence of the family, body cleaned in the absence of the family prior to the agreed time of cleaning etc.

Besides so many other incidences, both reported and un-reported, the Indian army continues to bulldoze and bully the Naga population through checking and frisking, raid houses, arrests people, even enforce liquor prohibition on highways etc. all under the protection of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, and side by side, conduct tours, contribute computers worth measly amounts and pose for photographs, conduct medical camps, all for cheap publicity and to say that they are the “friends of the hill people”.

All this actions and behavior are time-tested and nothing new to the Nagas and this are unwavering realities, which will be repeated again and again. NPMHR calls upon the Government of India to recall its military from all Naga areas for the sake of humanity.

Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR)
21 July 2016

CALL FOR ENDORSEMENT A Chance for Peace: Supporting the Opportunity for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

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Photo by Mark Ambay/IPMSDL Research

Dear friends, activists and advocates,

The IPMSDL International Coordinating Committee recently approved a statement entitled “A Chance for Peace.” The statement is about the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The civil war in the Philippines has resulted in the death of over 40,000 individuals since 1968. This death toll includes thousands of indigenous peoples in the country. Hundreds of thousands more have been forced to flee their homes time and again due to this war.

We believe the peace process, which the new Philippine president Duterte has vowed will include Indigenous Peoples, will give our brothers and sisters in the Philippines breathing space and, should a peace agreement be reached, will be beneficial to Indigenous and non-indigenous Peoples alike in the country.

We encourage everyone to read this statement. If you agree with what it says, please endorse the statement by emailing back to us through ipmsdl@gmail.com. Please send your endorsements on or before July 21, 8am Manila time.

Please be so kind as to disseminate widely to your networks. Looking forward to your favorable response. Thanks and more power.

In solidarity,
Mark Ambay
IPMSDL Research

Note: For those who will forward this statement, please ensure that the response will get back to us at IPMSDL so we can include their names on the list of those endorsing the statement. Thanks.

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A Chance for Peace: Supporting the Opportunity for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

All over the world Indigenous Peoples continue to face oppression and exploitation by uncaring governments and self-serving corporations. We are still one of the most marginalized sectors in society. States and big businesses continue to deny our right to self determination, our collective rights as peoples, our right to land, our very right to life. Wars of aggression, counter-insurgency and militarization displace us from our homes. Environmentally destructive activities such as large-scale mining, mono-crop plantations and their resultant disasters threaten our very existence.

Our sisters and brothers from the Philippines face the same threats day in and day out. The Philippine government’s neoliberal economic and pro-big business policies have negatively affected the lives of Indigenous Peoples in the country, fueling more resistance to extractive and energy industry projects. This resistance, in turn, has been met head-on by the Philippine government with increased militarization of Indigenous Peoples communities, thereby maintaining a vicious cycle of human rights abuses and murders that continue to plague the lives of Indigenous Peoples every single day.

For so-called “peace and development”, over 80 Indigenous Peoples have been victims of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Philippine military and its para-military groups and 30,000 have been forced to leave their homes due to militarization. Sexual assault and rape of indigenous women by military personnel have gone unpunished. 2000 indigenous youth have been forced to leave school due to government closure of indigenous schools. Military forces encamp in indigenous communities on an almost daily basis. Trumped up charges have been filed against hundreds of indigenous activists and their advocates. These abuses were done in the name of an anti-insurgency campaign, a campaign of red-tagging and anti-communist paranoia that delegitimizes the validity of Filipino Indigenous Peoples’ struggles for their right to self determination, to land, to life.

It is with glad hearts, then, that we welcome the statement of the Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to include our sister and brother Indigenous Peoples in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Duterte, in his inaugural speech, stated that he looks “forward to the participation of all other stakeholders, particularly our indigenous peoples, to ensure inclusivity in the peace process.” An agreement for a just and lasting peace will give Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines the chance to attain what has been denied them by the previous administrations in the country.

We hope the resumption of the peace talks will lead to a lessening and eventual disappearance of violations of civil and political rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. We also hope that an agreement on economic, social and cultural rights be signed and the rights to self determination, land and life of Indigenous Peoples be upheld therein.

We are optimistic. We believe this peace process has a chance to work. But we also believe that others with vested interests will derail this peace process in order to deny not only Indigenous Peoples but also others their rights. Thus our optimism is also coupled with watchfulness to ensure that the derailment of the Philippine peace process will not come to pass.

This peace process and the possible resulting peace agreement present a possibility of providing a template for future work of other Indigenous Peoples in other parts of the world. We believe this possibility should not be wasted.

We enjoin our sisters and brothers in the Philippines to be vigilant in militantly asserting their collective rights to self-determination, as well as continue to support the rights of non-indigenous peoples as well. We must continue to assert and claim these rights, and strive to to organize and educate more individuals and organizations on people’s issues. We call on all Indigenous Peoples and advocates of Indigenous Peoples rights all over the globe to support the peace process in the Philippines.

Let us join hands and continue to assert our right to self determination and break the chains of oppression all over the world.

Signed:
Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
Ben Powless, Indigenous Peoples Rights activist, Canada
Casey Box, Land is Life, United States of America
Catherine Eatock, Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), Australia
Celestine Nkabari Akpobari, Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Nigeria
India Reed Bowers, International Organization for Self Determination and Equality (IOSDE), Sweden
Jiten Yumnam, Center for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM), Manipur
Leonard Imbiri, Dewan Adat Papua, West Papua
Marcus Terena, Inter-Tribal Committee, Brazil
Norma Maldonado, Asociacion Raxch’ och’ Oxlaju Aj (AROAJ), Guatemala
Rukka Sombolinggi, Alliance of indigenous Peoples in the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia
Saro Legbrosi Pyagbara, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Nigeria
Windel Bolinget, Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA), Philippines

Endorsements
For Organizations
Active Society Nepal, Nepal
Atama Katama, Borneo Dayak Forum, Sabah
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Metro Manila, Philippines
Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, Hong Kong
Catherine Coumans, Ph.D., Research Coordinator and Asia-Pacific Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada, Canada
Cordillera Alliance, Hong Kong
Daniel Kobei, Executive Director, Ogiek Peoples Development Program, Kenya
Dr. Malem Ningthouja, Campaign for Peace and Democracy Manipur, Manipur
Geetha Lakmini, We Women Lanka, Sri Lanka
Gilda Cabongbong Banugan, Migrante International Taiwan Chapter, Taiwan
Gill Boehringer, International Association of Peoples’ Lawyers-Australia, Australia
Greg Reynolds, Inclusive Catholics Victoria, Australia
Indigenous Nationalities Women Youth Network, Nepal
Kakay Tolentino, BAI Indigenous Womens Network in the Philippines, Philippines
Khesheli Chishi, Indigenous Women Forum Northeast India
Kirat Chamling Associtaion, Nepal
Kirat Chamling Language Culture Development Association, Nepal
Kirat Chamling Youth Society, Nepal
Kirat Youth Society, Nepal
Martha Ntoipo, Executive Director, Pastoralist Information and Development Organization, Tanzania
Neingulo Krome, Secretary General, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, Nagaland
People Unity Youth Society, Nepal
Piya Malayao, KATRIBU Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU), Philippines
Rachelle Dyanne Llauder Bascarra, Vice-Chairperson, Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, United Kingdom
Rafael Joseph Maramag, Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, United Kingdom
Raju Bikram Chamling, Project/Program Coordinator, NGO-Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities, Nepal
Ramon Bultron, Asia Pacific Migrant Mission, Hong Kong
Remish Ekka, Adivasi Navjeewan Gathan Navjyoti Agua, India
Rey Asis, Asian Students Association, Hong Kong
Salai Za Uk Ling, Program Director, Chin Human Rights Organization
Samin Ngach, Cambodia indigneous Youth Association, Cambodia
Severin Sindizera, Director General AIDB-Burundi, Burundi
Shankar Limbu, Lawyers for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples, Nepal
Sr. Maria Fatima Somogod, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region, Philippines
Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS, Philippines
Tahal Thami, Director, Lawyers Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples, Nepal
unite brisbane, Australia
United Filipinos in Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Unity Society, Nepal
Youth Awareness Society Nepal, Nepal
Youth NGO-Federation, Nepal

Individual Indigenous Rights and Peace Advocates
Aileen RG Dabu, writer, Philippines
Aleli Bawagan, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Alex Turla Enano, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Allan Ponce-Enrile Tolentino, Asian Institute of Management Alumni Association, Philippines
Atty. Alnie Foja, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Angelito Delantar Araja, St. Clement Mission Seminary, Nicodemus Solidarity, Philippines
Danilo Capili, civil servant, Philippines
Donna Mae Francisco, Migrante New York, USA
Eric Guray, instructor, Philippines
Francis Villabroza, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Hope Vervilla, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Jaime Villaflores, Peace Advocate, Philippines
Dr. Judy M. Taguiwalo, Secretary fo the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Atty. Jill Santos, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Jo A. Santos, writer/photographer, Philippines
Johnry dela Cruz, RN, People’s Health Movement, Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan Washington DC, USA
Joselito Caparino, civil servant, Philippines
Lisa Marie Clemente, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Liz Adamos-Cortez, United Methodist Church, Philippines
Mae Fe Ancheta Tempa, Undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Malou H. Turalde, Assistant Secretary OPG Promotive Programs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Misyel Grace Santos, Indigenous Peoples Rights and Peace Advocate, Philippines
Ron Magbuhos, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
Rose Roque, Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP Manila, Philippines
Stuart Harrison, Indigenous Peoples Rights and Peace Advocate, Australia
William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Defender and Freelance Journalist, United Kingdom

 

 

IPMSDL Statement On the Harassment of 15 Indigenous Peoples Rights Defenders in the Philippines

haran-15On May 13, 2016, 15 Indigenous Peoples rights defenders were charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention of more than one thousand Lumad (Indigenous Peoples) in Davao City, Philippines. The Lumad were encamped in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines Haran compound since April 2015, forced to leave their homes and their ancestral lands due to heavy militarization and proliferation of para-military forces in their lands.

The 15 indigenous peoples rights defenders are Kerlan Fanagel, a Lumad leader and member of Kalumaran Mindanao, a Lumad organization based in Mindanao; Sr. Stella Matutina, 2015 recepient of Germany’s Weimar Award for Human Rights; Reverend Jurie Jaime; Sister Restita Miles; Save Our Schools Network spokesperson Ruis Valle; women’s rights activist Mary Ann Sapar of Gabriela; children’s rights advocate Kharlo Manano of Salinlahi Alliance; and people’s rights defenders Sheena Duazo, Hanimay Suazo, Ryan Lariba, Tony Salubre, Jimboy Maciano, Jaja Encosio, Pedro Arnado and Isidro Andao. They are collectively called the Haran 15.

The Philippine military and some government officials have accused these Indigenous Peoples rights defenders of preventing the Manobo peoples from returning to their homes in Kapalong and Talaingod towns even as these same Manobo peoples have continually expressed their fear of returning to their ancestral lands due to the presence of military and para-military forces. The Lumad have also lamented time and again the military’s forced closure of their indigenous schools resulting in the disruption of classes of hundreds of indigenous children.

The Philippine military and several lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to force the Lumad to return to their ancestral lands in 2015, resulting in a scuffle in front of the Haran compound that left several people slightly injured. The abuses against Indigenous Peoples prompted the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights of internally displaced people Chaloka Beyani to visit the refugees.

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A case was filed against the 15 Indigenous Peoples rights defenders in 2015 but was dismissed by the courts for lack of evidence. The case, however, was appealed in 2016 by Philippine military-backed individuals and, as a result, the warrant of arrest was issued against the Indigenous Peoples rights defenders. It seems a shameless act of manipulation of the justice system by the Philippine military in order to silence Indigenous Peoples rights activists and defenders.

The IPMSDL decries the attempts by the Philippine military and several personalities in the government to continually harass and intimidate Indigenous Peoples rights defenders. The military has gone so far as to tag these defenders and their organizations as members or supporters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA). This red-baiting is an attempt by the Philippine military to delegitimize the assertion of Indigenous Peoples right to self determination, as well as to demonize advocates who continuously support these assertions.

The IPMSDL is also worried that this incident comes on the eve of the attempts between the new government and the National Democratic Front to forge a just and lasting peace through talks that will cover the root causes of internal conflicts that have led to enforced evacuation of Indigenous Peoples of their ancestral lands.

We must not allow fabricated charges against Indigenous Peoples rights defenders to fan the flames of conflict. The IPMSDL therefore calls on the Philippine government to:

1. Immediately rescind the warrant of arrest issued against the Haran 15;
2. Drop all trumped-up charges filed against the Haran 15;
3. Ensure the peaceful return of the Lumad in Haran to their ancestral lands;
4. Cease militarization of ancestral lands of the Lumad and other Indigenous Peoples.

Reference:
Ms. Beverly Longid
IPMSDL Global Coordinator

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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

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