Los Tiempos reports on the TIPNIS struggle with a relentless government decision to cut in half the indigenous territory and our National Park:
United Nations concerned that the query is generating conflicts
Coordinator resident of the United Nations system in Bolivia, Yoriko Yasukawa, expressed yesterday the concern about the course of the consultation in the Indigenous territory and Isiboro Secure National Park (TIPNIS), because “a process that should be to reach agreements and search for dialog is rather generating controversy and conflict”.
The representative of the United Nations expressed her concern with regard to the indigenous resistance to the query and the existence of warrants of arrest against leaders who are leading the rejection to the process carried out by the Government since July 29, for the construction of a road through the TIPNIS.
The Ombudsman, Rolando Villena, also expressed his concern about these new facts, and coinciding with Yasukawa, urged the Government to resume the path of dialogue with the communities of the TIPNIS and resolving disputes by the dialogue.
Villena alerted judicial processes and the arrest warrants that have been announced against indigenous leaders to further complicate the current situation.
The Minister of public works, Vladimir Sanchez, reported last Wednesday the existence of warrants of arrest issued by the Prosecutor’s Office of Beni, against at least four leaders of the TIPNIS, for obstructing the performance of the query.
However, yesterday there were contradictory versions about this information.
The leaders in question, including the President of the sub-central of the TIPNIS, Fernando Vargas, and Joucy Fabricano, claimed yesterday that they did not receive any notification from the Prosecutor’s Office, but if they [gov] sought to stop them for defending the rights of the people of the TIPNIS, they would be there [would not hide…].
Yesterday, Sanchez clarified that the arrest warrant was not for his opposition to the query, but by a pending lawsuit with the governorate of Beni, brought on July 16, for illicit enrichment and lack of disclaimers of money delivered to the leaders for productive ventures and road improvements.
In addition, he corrected that the commandments were against Camilo Yuco, Alejandro Yuco, Adolfo Moye, Mario Miranda, Miriam Yuvanovic, Oscar Semo and Joucy Fabricano, leaders who were in Gundonovia and its surroundings with the intention of preventing the entry of the brigades for the process of consultation in the region.
For his part, the Beni District Prosecutor, Alejandro Cruz, said that there are two investigations by allegations in the TIPNIS, who were still in the preliminary stage and there was no warrant of apprehension against indigenous leaders, as Sanchez said.
A complaint – he said – was presented by the departmental health service against indigenous leaders, threats and aggression to medical personnel in Gundonovia. And the second complaint was the alleged interference of foreigners in the query.
He said that it will be formed a Committee of prosecutors who will enter the area to investigate both complaints lodged in the Prosecutor’s Office of Beni.
For his part, the Interior Minister, Carlos Romero, denied that his Office had begun legal action against the officials. “There is no need to enter into a judicial debate, or raise any legal action, the query is developing normally,” said Romero.
Conversely, the Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramón Quintana, said that actions against leaders of the TIPNIS for having illegally received State resources were following and that they were sheltering with the resistance on the query argument. In addition, he said that the Prosecutor should initiate actions against these leaders by impeding the exercise of a democratic right.
Sub-central TIPNIS, Fernando Vargas, he noted that the consultation of the Government became a violent query because it violates the political Constitution of the State (CPE), international standards that recognize the rights of indigenous people and now launches a persecution against officials who oppose the process which was not concluded organically.
He said that the Government to carry out consultation, aims to fulfil a political commitment to the growers of the polygon TIPNIS 7 and construction of the section II of the Villa Tunari-San Ignacio de Moxos road in the middle of the ecological zone.
Protests against the indigenous people day
Indian Deputy Pedro Nuni said yesterday that Bolivia has nothing to celebrate for the international day of the indigenous people of the world celebrated each August 9 by Decree of the Organization of United Nations (UN). “Here we have nothing to celebrate, definitely is a constant struggle that we have been dealing with transnational corporations and the State.”
“A Government that should support the demands of the indigenous movement should be a breakthrough, but it has not happened,” said the legislator.
In his discretion there was a “major setback” in which means the recognition of the rights and claims of indigenous people by the Government.
The Foreign Ministry yesterday organized an event remembering this day in the city of La Paz, with related sectors to the movement toward socialism (MAS) and diplomats from different countries. Meanwhile, Indians of the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of the Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ) prepared another act which stated that they feel persecuted by the Government and declared a mourning this day.
The Chancellor David Choquehuanca at the ceremony, said this day was celebrated the culture and harmony of life with the Pachamama (mother earth), as well as the struggle of indigenous people.
The ambassadors of Ecuador, the resident coordinator of the United Nations system in Bolivia, Yoriko Yasukawa, the Governor of La Paz, César Cocarico and representatives of indigenous and peasant organizations of Bolivia participated in the act performed in the vicinity of Plaza Camacho [La Paz city].
A few cartoons about the TIPNIS ordeal follow:
Government clerks in the park telling the indigenous people where to mark in the consultation ballot to have the road cut the TIPNIS in half…
drawing representing how stubbornly the road attempts to destroy our environment…
no matter what… current president used to say, the road will be built, yes or yes…
Lets not forget that this government portrayed itself as the mother earth defender and self labelled as an indigenous government.
Given the Olympics is being held in London, this cartoon shows how difficult it is for the indigenous people to fight, to defend their right over their territory, while the government pushes the ‘yes’ do the road with the help of many gifts handed in to the people inside the TIPNIS, out-board motors were some of those gifts handed in…
the indigenous had to endure their path through: insults, aggressions, constitution no enforced, discrimination, abuse, blows, blockades… and the list goes on
press headline: “MAS supports a second consultation round and intends to change the protocol”
muppet: “we support, we support!”
kid: “how bad is their acting, Nicola!”
dog: “kid, to me they look professionals!”
It is inconceivable that current government decides to push for another consultation, now that there are signs the TIPNIS people is in fact rejecting that road.
Has this government use all those resources to support our industry and sustainable jobs, history would be different, but… hey it is this government’s action for the last seven years, we are talking about, what else could it be expected?