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.
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