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It increases the harassment and the criminalization of the leaders and indigenous leaders who defend their rights

Thursday, 9 August 2018
Rosa M Tristan

International day of indigenous peoples


The situation of women leaders and indigenous leaders who act as defenders of rights and natural resources gets worse at times in Latin America. Alliance for solidarity, on the occasion of the international day of the indigenous peoples, which is celebrated on August 9, highlights the persecution, harassment, criminalization and death people who defend rights in Central America and Colombia, in the the organization you work for decades and where it is noted how the pressure of illegal groups or economic sectors are causing an increase in the number of victims.

In the case of Colombia, since the signing of the agreements of peace by the end of 2016 are 65 indigenous leaders who have lost their lives in various regions of the country, according to the latest data of the national indigenous organization of Colombia (ONIC). Behind these crimes are illegal groups with impunity to reaching indigenous communities to settle their illicit activities, in a context of lack of protection by the authorities. Indigenous leaders faced with their presence, in defense of their land and its natural resources, are persecuted and killed, they arrive to clarify the cases. It should be remembered that in Colombia coexist 102 indigenous peoples, of which 64 are at risk of physical and cultural extinction.

In the case of countries like Guatemala also increases the harassment to las leaders and leaders that, in this case, defend natural goods with the arrival of corporate investors, who supported from official bodies, directly and adversely affect the rights of indigenous peoples. Just between January and July, have been murdered 13 people defending human rights in the Central American country and there have been 135 cases of assaults and 76 of criminalization, according to data from the Organization UDEFEGUA. Of this total, 32 attacks have been against women leaders.

An example of These situations has been el if the Spanish company Ecoener-Hidralia, whose project to build a dam in the Indian River Cambala.n, provoked serious conflicts: persecution, killings, criminalisation and imprisonment of the indigenous leaders defending the rights of their communities. Although the project was dismissed at the end of 2016, after the campaign of Alliance solidarity, friends of the Earth and women in Guatemala, with more than 20,000 signatures in support, the wounds in indigenous communities continue. Why Alliance solidarity recalls with a documentary in the DIA of indigenous peoples that the best way of ending the conflict, it is to prevent them.

Además, the Organization reminds the situation of leader q 'eqchí' Bernardo Caal Xol, imprisoned since January in a prison in Cobán in infamous conditions, after having denounced two hydroelectric plants (OXEC and reborn) which have collapsed the Cahabón River, in the Department of Alta Verapaz. Caal Xoc case highlights judicial persecution, with false accusations, suffered by the indigenous representatives in a country marked by political corruption. Transnational corporations take advantage of these circumstances to their business, ignoring that it breaches international law on the rights of indigenous peoples, recognized in the Convention 169 of the international of the Labour Organization (ILO).

The campaign land (for promoting responsible investments) Alliance continue collecting signatures to demand the release in freedom of Bernardo Caal Xoc


On the international day of the indigenous peoples, Alliance for solidarity requires the cessation of pressure and harassment of the leaders and leaders of indigenous peoples, as well as national and international standards that promote responsible business investments with natural resources that communities depend for their survival.

In the case of Spain, we call upon the new Minister of industry, trade and tourism, Kings Maroto, that take urgent measures to stop the Spanish companies of infringing human rights in developing countries. A year ago that was signed the human rights national action and Business Plan and is the time to provide it with measures designed to make it effective.20180330_APS_MOZAMBIQUE_CORREDOR_DE_NACALA_4142

Also, we demand further measures, as support to development of a treaty legal international, therevision of the policy of support for the internationalization of the companys and implementation of a programme for the protection of human rights defenders, con un increase in budget allocations to do this through AECIDmeasures that they are already collected in the Of a bill on the responsibility of TNCs-Spanish about environmental and human rights that it was presented by the Socialist parliamentary group in March of this year and approved June 26 From Alliance for Solidarity Likewise it urges the Government to carry out in the most urgent manner possible.

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