Friday, August 3, 2012

underreported struggles 64

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry.

underreported struggles 64

The indigenous Nasa Peoples carried out a peaceful but daring effort to demilitarize their traditional lands in Cacua, Colombia. In one confrontation, the Nasa removed police trenches from an urban center and disassembled homemade FARC missiles found on their lands. Days later, Nasa forcibly removed troops from El Berlin’s mountaintop base. The Nasa were responding to a week of intense battles between Colombia's armed forces and the FARC. It is but the latest in a long list of such encounters in a war that has stricken the Nasa to constant anguish, exploitation and abuse. Despite the effort, Colombia is now preparing to increase its military presence in the region.

Representatives of the Taos Land Trust have officially returned the Ponce de León Hot Springs to the Taos Pueblo Tribe. The sacred site has been used by Taos Pueblo for ceremonial activities since time immemorial. For more than a century, however, the 44-acre area had been in the hands of private landowners. According to a press release, Taos Land Trust, a local land conservation organization, received funding in 1997 to acquire the property from private landowners, to protect it from commercial development. After a 15-year search for the best entity to preserve the land and its natural and cultural resources, the organization has now transferred legal ownership to the Taos Pueblo, returning the site to its original indigenous owners.

The Sarayaku people, after waiting patiently for nine years, have welcomed with open arms a decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The court has declared that Ecuador is responsible under international law for the violation of Sarayaku's rights to prior consultation, communal property, life, judicial protection, and other important rights. The Sarayaku say they will now closely monitor Ecuador's compliance with the sentence and ensure that indigenous peoples' territories be respected in the face of damaging extractive industries such as oil drilling.

Newly announced plans by China's central government for the "resettlement" of the last remaining nomads have sparked protests in Inner Mongolia, with traditional Mongol herders accusing authorities of the illegal expropriation of grazing lands for development projects. At least four protests by Mongol herders have been reported over the last month.

The regional government of the Altai Republic reviewed and passed a new decree to protect sacred sites from being wrongfully damaged or destroyed. "Essentially, through this decree, the governor of the Altai Republic is instructing local authorities to make laws to protect these sacred sites which are being threatened by the construction of a gas pipeline by the Russia’s natural gas company Gazprom," says Cultural Survival. "The pipeline across the Ukok Plateau has been called a 'moral violence against people,' by Urmat Knyazev, a deputy in the Altai republic’s legislative assembly."

Visit Intercontinetal Cry to read about these issues and many others.

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