With the world’s supply of natural resources increasingly depleted or polluted, the carefully protected repository on indigenous lands is now a target of big business. Globalization has increased the risks for indigenous peoples living on lands that contain such strategic resources as water, oil, gas, forests, minerals, and biodiversity. All this - not to mention knowledge, plants, animals, and human genetic information - are subject to privatization by government and to sale on the stock market.
Indigenous Territory & Resource Rights
From Other Worlds' latest Newsletter April 20, 2015:
Berta Cáceres Receives Goldman Prize | 250 Years Later, Haitians Still Fighting for Rights to Their Land | Other Worlds Cafe | Ayiti Resurrect
Berta Caceres and the people of Rio Blanco set up a road blockade to prevent DESA's access to the dam site. For well over a year, they withstood multiple eviction attempts and violent attacks from militarized security contractors and the Honduran armed forces. (Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize)
Today, the Goldman Environmental Prize - the most prestigious environmental award in the world - honors our dear sister Berta Cáceres and the fight for indigenous lands and participatory democracy in Honduras.
In April, the Purépecha municipality of Cherán K’eri, Michoacán is celebrating four years of its uprising to end organized crime in its territory.
By: El Enemigo Común
Cross-posted from Indibay
Originally released on Thursday Feb 12th, 2015 3:07 PM
In April of this year, the Purépecha municipality of Cherán K’eri, Michoacán is celebrating four years of its uprising to end the presence of organized crime in its territory. Following the uprising, indigenous women and men not only managed to throw out to the narco cartel, but also expelled all authorities (police, local government and political parties) that supported the illegal activities in the community. They decided to retake their traditional forms of self government to start a long process of building their autonomy. A few months back they inaugurated a new weapon to continue defending their traditions and reaffirm their rejection of the institutional political method: a communal television.
The First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion
by JAVIER SETHNESS CASTRO
reposted from Counterpunch, January 26, 2015
Organized by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the first annual Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo, or the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion, was held in central and southern Mexico over a two-week period at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015. The event’s subtitle sums up its purpose well: “While those from above destroy, those from below rebuild.”
By Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Cross-posted from Enlace Zapatista
On Ayotzinapa, the Festival, and Hysteria as a Method of Analysis and Guide for Action
To the compas of the National and International Sixth:
To the National Indigenous Congress:
To the family members and compañeros of those killed and disappeared in Ayotzinapa:
Sisters and brothers:
Compañeros and compañeras:
There are many things we want to tell you. We won’t tell you all of them because we know right now there are more urgent and important issues for all of us.[i] Thus we ask for your patience and your attentive ear.
Photos by Steve Pavey
December 10, 2014
Honduras is the country with the highest level of homicide of any nation not at war, where government violence and human rights abuses have almost total impunity. It is also the country contributing most of the flood of children who have been recently forced to migrate to the US, because of that violence and by poverty – both, in part, a legacy of US policy in the region.
Yet something else is afoot. A fierce social movement, composed of many sectors, is pushing back to protect democracy, lives, and political rights. Indigenous peoples, including Garifuna, Lenca, Pech, Miskito, Maya Chortí, and Tolupan, are asserting their human right to autonomy, territory, and cultural survival.
By Jeff Conant, Truthout (Reprinted with permission)
December 8, 2014
As one of the fastest growing global commodities, palm oil has recently earned a reputation as a major contributor to tropical deforestation and, therefore, to climate change as well.
About 50 million metric tons of palm oil is produced per year - more than double the amount produced a decade ago - and this growth appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Because oil palm trees, native to West Africa, require the same conditions as tropical rainforests, nearly every drop of palm oil that hits the global market comes at the expense of natural forests that have been, or will be, burned, bulldozed and replaced with plantations.
... But what is being left behind is the other significant impact of palm oil and other agro-industrial commodities - namely human rights. Commitments to protect forests and conservation areas can, if well implemented, address environmental concerns by delimiting the areas of land available for conversion to palm oil. But natural resource exploitation is inextricably linked to human exploitation, and such commitments do little to address this.
Witness for Peace: Honduran Families and Communities Under Threat: Learning from Indigenous Groups, Campesinos, and Human Rights Defenders
Join Witness for Peace from January 8th - 18th in Honduras!
Call for delegation from Witness for Peace
Join Witness for Peace on a critical delegation to Honduras this January! The delegation will focus on learning how trade agreements and militarization have affected communities and human rights conditions in Latin America, and delegates will be documenting the realities for working people and reporting back to tell their stories and make change in U.S. policies. Witness for Peace has extended the application deadline to November 14th, so there is still time to apply!
Recent news coverage has shown the massive numbers of Honduran children and families fleeing to the United States. The root causes of this migration, including economic trade policies and drug-war based militarization, are tied to United States policies and practices. Economic disparities have destabilized communities and fueled drug trafficking and criminal gangs. Also, campesino and indigenous leaders, the LGBTQ community, human rights lawyers, journalists, and unionists are targeted and killed. Familes, especially children, are fleeing the violence and migrating to the North.
Garifuna communities in Trujillo and Puerto Castillo endure collective displacement, fisheries contamination, threats to fresh water
Part IV of Series from Journal of Agricultural Missions Delegation to Garifuna Territories in Honduras
Released on Agricultural Missions, Inc (AMI) November 5, 2014
Ag Missions’ Honduras Delegation Journal October 23-24, 2014
Part IV: Garifuna communities in Trujillo and Puerto Castillo endure collective displacement, fisheries contamination, threats to fresh water.
The towns of Trujillo and Puerto Castillo are in the heart of Garifuna territories on the Northern Honduran coast. In May the People of Puerto Castillo protested blocking the road leading to the port, which provoked a violent police attack on their community.
By Carol Schachet
Cross Posted from Grassroots International
Widespread protests and strategic organizing succeeded in defending Mayan lands and food sovereignty in Guatemala. This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.
Daniel Pascual, director of Grassroots International’s partner organization the Committee for Campesino Unity (CUC), said the widespread demonstrations against the "Monsanto law" showed that Mayan people consider it a flagrant violation of national sovereignty. He added, “This is a victory for the movement, but do not forget there are other laws that we need to repeal that are designed to favor certain companies and control the movement resistance to defend the territory.”
The article below, originally posted on the Via Campesina website, describes the victory and ongoing efforts to protect seeds, land and food sovereignty in Guatemala.
Today, September 29, 2014, Mexicans celebrate National Day of Maize, with demonstrations, marches, and expositions. Known as the Land of Maize, Mexico now imports one-third of this sacred icon and staple food, mostly from the US. A fierce battle is being waged over corn that is still grown in Mexico, with small farmers and seed sovereignty activists pitted against Monsanto and other GMO giants, the Mexican government, the US government, and the World Trade Organization.