Friday, November 1, 2013

underreported struggles 76, 77,and 78

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry.

Underreported struggles 76

The Belize Court of Appeal re-affirmed the Maya people’s rights to collective land ownership throughout southern Belize. This decision came just days after the Government gave US Capital Energy permission to conduct oil drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, the entirety of which is Maya ancestral land. The government of Belize is now being urged to end its persistent denial of the Maya's land rights and to implement the court decisions.

In a precedent-setting ruling that has national and international implications, Ontario Superior Court Justice Carole Brown ruled that a group of lawsuits against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals can proceed to trial even though the plaintiffs are from another country. The Maya Qeqchi turned to Canada’s court system over three separate injustices including the gang rape of 11 Maya Qeqchi women.

Yaqui Traditional Authorities initiated a road block on international highway 15 near the community of Vícam, in Sonora, Mexico. The action was in response to the state government’s refusal to stop the operation of the Independence Aqueduct which began to illegally extract water from the Yaqui River in March. The Yaqui are heavily dependent on the water from the Yaqui River, a fact that was identified in a Supreme Court (SCJN) resolution which ratified protection for the tribe pending an Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA), which is required to legally begin taking the water.

Underreported struggles 77

India's Dongria Kondh tribe overwhelmingly rejected plans by British mining giant Vedanta Resources for an open-pit bauxite mine on their sacred lands. A total of twelve Kondh villages unanimously voted against Vedanta's mine during a consultation process that was ordered by India's Supreme Court last April. The results of the consultations will now be considered by India's Ministry of Environment and Forests, who will have the final say on the mine—but few still believe the project will be given the green light.

In British Colombia, Canada, members of the well-known Klabona Keepers served Fortune Minerals Limited with a "24-hour eviction notice" informing the company that it must vacate the Tahltan's unceded traditional territory. Fortune Minerals ignored the deadline, leading the Tahltan activists to block the road leading to the site of the company's proposed open pit coal mine. The protesters then proceeded to occupy some of the company's drills.

In Sapmi--the traditional territory of the Saami Peoples--a group of indigenous and non-indigenous activists set up a roadblock to stop the UK-based mining company, Beowulf, from carrying out another drilling program in Kallak (Saami: Gállok), an area of great spiritual and cultural importance to the Saami Peoples. The blockade has been dismantled on several occasions; however, that hasn't deterred the activists from continuing to defend Sapmi.

Underreported struggles 78

The Wixarika People of Mexico and all others who hold Wirikuta to be sacred celebrated a major legal victory with the announcement that the federal court granted the suspension of all work on mining projects in the territory, including the projects of Canada's Revolution Resources and Frisco Mining Group, owned by Mexican tycoon, Carlos Slim. Under the court ruling, no further mining-related work may take place in the Wirikuta Natural Protected Area in San Luis Potosi until the legal case requesting an injunction against the concessions is resolved.

Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000km journey beginning in Lake Eyre, in which sacred water and ashes were carried and presented to West Papuan leaders. The cultural exchange of Indigenous elders was held in secret, due to threats made by Indonesian government ministers and military officials who had stated that the navy and air-force would “take measures” against the peaceful meeting.

BriBri communities rejected a new government proposal to permit U.S. military incursions onto their lands in the remote area of Alto Telire in the county of Talamanca, Costa Rica. A Bribri leader condemned the proposal, arguing that such an action would threaten public safety and serve to militarize Bribri territory. According to the proposal, SOUTHCOM would enter and move throughout Bribri lands without prior consultation or consent in order to provide various Costa Rican agencies with direct access to communities in the region. Based in Miami, Florida, SOUTHCOM is the arm of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for all U.S. military activities throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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