Ombudsman in Bolivia: the Government denies indigenous rights


Defender: the Government denies indigenous rights

08/12/2015 – 7:26:18

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LOS TIEMPOS.- The Ombudsman Rolando Villena, reported yesterday in his report that the Government maintains a vision opposed to the nature of the Plurinational State, denying constitutional rights to indigenous peoples, to which violations are added as disrespect for their lifestyles and predation in their territories, the division of their organizations and the right to consultation, among others.

“The retrograde, capitalist and substantially opposite vision to the nature of the Plurinational State, that assumes that the country’s sole aim should be to seek income in exchange for the wild and predatory exploitation of the territories where most indigenous peoples live, not only denies constitutional rights, but rejects any principle of respect for the dignity and equality of the inhabitants of these villages,” he complained.

On August 9, when the International Day of Indigenous Peoples was commemorated. In a press release, the authority noted that indigenous peoples represent “the sum of all the violations of rights, but more crude and obvious way,” arguing that “partisan political actions that have led division in their organizations, decisions affecting their right to consultation and especially disrespect to their lifestyles, their territories and their natural resources, they seem to us mechanisms and behaviors that deny absolutely the principle of the plurality, pluralism, dignity, harmony and the moral principles on which the people decided that this new country should be built.”

The ILO Convention 169, ratified by Bolivia, stated that people have the right to land ownership, equality, freedom and autonomy in decisions about their business and establishes prior consultation of any administrative or legislative measure that affects them.

UN Declaration

In 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states their individual and collective rights and identity, culture, language, employment, health and education.

In this regard, the State Constitution adopted in 2009, Article 30, also explicitly recognizes the rights of indigenous nations and peoples of Bolivia such as to exist freely, to their cultural identity, religious belief, spirituality, to respect their practices, customs and ways of life, among others.

Several organizations made up of indigenous peoples have complained that the constituState has violated their right to self-determination and to free consultation, prior and informed.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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