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Indigenous Peoples & Territories

All across the globe, indigenous territories have a bull’s eye upon them. With the world’s supply of natural resources increasingly depleted or polluted, indigenous peoples living on lands that contain strategic resources the carefully protected repository on indigenous lands are now a target of predatory business. The riches of nature that they have carefully guarded are exploited for their agriculture, water, forests, oil, gas, genetic information, biodiversity, and so-called intellectual property rights, otherwise known as indigenous knowledge. are now subject to theft, privatization, and sale on the stock market. Corporations - bolstered by many national governments, multinational financial institutions, and often the US government – are extracting, “developing,” privatizing, and selling on the stock market.

Results include increased environmental deterioration, loss of autonomy and rights, and poverty.  With good reason do many indigenous people call globalization “the second coming of Columbus.”  

In response, indigenous peoples are organizing and asserting themselves. Countless indigenous nations, organizations, and movements in the Americas, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa, are looking for, and sometimes finding, ways to defend their sovereignty, first of all, and to defend their right to their lands and resources. The indigenous peoples aim to force legal and constitutional recognition of their rights as peoples, as well as of their right to administer their own territories, governments, and justice systems autonomously and collectively. They are confronting economic and political processes that deny them what is preternaturally theirs.

Protecting something that’s already yours may not sound at first like an alternative, but it constitutes one against the dominant trends of theft of so much that belongs to the collective, and destruction of so much that is Native.

Given the profits some stand to make off of natural resources, indigenous peoples' battles to preserve the earth under their stewardship are guaranteed to be long and hard and to extract a heavy toll. Regardless, with everything hanging in the balance, the movement is growing in numbers and strength.  To quote what Gustavo Castro Soto of Otros Mundos in Mexico once told us, “From here comes the greatest hope that another world is possible.”

Articles

Threats to territory on the Garífuna coast

Ruling in favor of Barra Vieja and attempted eviction in Santa Fe

By OFRANEH

Translated by Steven Johnson

Originally posted on September 10, 2016

Read the original in Spanish here.

Sambo Creek, Aug 10, 2016. - Yesterday the Court of Tela issued a not guilty ruling in favor of the Garífuna community of Barra Vieja, which is being harassed by the Indura Hilton, by means of the National Port Company and the Honduran Institute of Tourism.

Interview with Gustavo Castro, Co-Victim and Survivor of the Assassination of Berta Caceres

HONDURAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN ASSASSINATION OF BERTA CACERES

Gustavo Castro. Photo Credit: Critero.hn

Gustavo Castro, the only witness of the [March 2, 2016] assassination of Berta Caceres, explains what happened the evening and days following the attack that took the life of the indigenous leader. “The Honduran Government has not yet called me to identify the detainees even though I saw one of the hired killers”.  Six months after the murder of the Honduran activist who struggled against multinational abuses, “the investigation is stalled”.
 

On Coup Anniversary, Examining the US Role in Honduras

In this handout picture released by the Guatemalan Presidency, Hondura’s President Porfirio Lobo talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Guatemala City on March 5, 2010. (Photo: Guatemala Presidency/Handout)

State Department Turns Blind Eye to Evidence of Honduran Military’s Activist Kill List

Soldiers and policemen are deployed in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, next to a blockade. Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON John Kirby on Wednesday repeatedly denied that the government of Honduras kills its own citizens, saying more than a dozen times that he has not heard “credible evidence” of “deaths ordered by the military.”

Berta Cáceres's name was on Honduran military hitlist, says former soldier

One human rights expert said: ‘This … reinforces calls that the US must withdraw military aid from Honduras where there’s been a bloodbath since the 2009 coup.’ Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A unit trained by US special forces was ordered to kill the environmental activist who was slain in March, according to an ex-member who now fears for his life

Berta Cáceres, the murdered environmental campaigner, appeared on a hitlist distributed to US-trained special forces units of the Honduran military months before her death, a former soldier has claimed.

Stop the Repression of Oaxaca's Teachers Union

Urgent Call for Solidarity with Oaxaca’s Teachers Union