MURDER BY MINING: KILLING LATIN AMERICA’S ANCIENT PEOPLES

FROM   7 APRIL 2015

Indigenous Peoples of Latin America, dying because of multinationalReuters photo

Indigenous populations of Colombia are dying in silence because their mother river has been privatized for the world’s largest open pit coal mine.

The Cerrejon Mine deprives the Wayuu people of the only water source they had, using 35,000 liters of water a day, and causing many deaths among the population. Wayuu spokesman Armando Valbuena  reported to the Colombian newspaper Aporrea that around 14,000 children have died of starvation and that portal “mortality does not stop”.

551e9a0c71139ed7458b45a9

Parracho moon / Reuters 

The territory occupied by the Wayuu is in the northern region of Colombia, where the state presence is weak. Thus, government aid does not reach the dying because of corruption, according to Valbuena and Javier Rojas Uriana, attorney for the Association of Traditional  Authorities.

“The measures that have been taken are insufficient and Cerrejón Mine, with the permission of the National Government seized the only source of water we had, leaving the community enduring thirst – and so many lives have been lost”

Javier Rojas Uriana, legal representative, Association of Traditional Authorities Indigenous Wayuu Wayuu Shipia

 

Uriana filed a complaint before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS for the violation of Wayuu fundamental vital rights, demanding that they regain sole possession of the Rancheria River.

wayuu7

XXIV Festival de la CULTURA WAYUU, Sponsored by Tiara Air, Solera Viajes & Turismo and Kai Ecotravel: By www.business-aruba.com

Far from being an isolated case

The tragedy of the Wayuu, far from being the only case, represents a series of violation of the rights of indigenous peoples by large companies.

IMG_5036-1024x682

CAUCA PEOPLE FROM THE CACUA REGION OF WESTERN COLOMBIA GOOGLE IMAGES

In February, several bands of Cauca, one of the major groups of

Aboriginal people in Colombia, organized a  peaceful uprising to demand recognition of their land rights and to accuse the government of usurping their most productive territories.

Learn more: Spokesman of indigenous regional council to RT: “Multinational look for gold in Colombia”

Nasa_tribe_woman

Protesters denounced the government for assigning the most fertile land to the sugar industry . They also noted that corporate producers contaminated these ancient land areas with no respect for the environment. Finally, the Cauca charged some companies with misrepresenting their interests as large scale  agriculture production, rather than mining.

“The multinationals actually intend seek to seek out and exploit deposits of various metals, including gold,” said Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca spokesman Antonio Palechor.

Sometimes the people prevail

Some struggles of indigenous peoples against transnational corporate interests do have happy endings. In October of last year, the Chilean Supreme Court reversed the judgment of a lower court, which had given the green light for gold and copper mines  to Canadian company Goldcorp, thanks to an injunction brought by the Diaguita Indians.

diaguita-people

 

Read also: Chile: Indigenous curb millionaire mining project of  Canadian company

The Court noted that Goldcorp had not consulted with the communities impacted, and in a split decision, reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals of Copiapó, about 800 kilometers north of Santiago, which had rejected the application for protection of  the Diaguitas.

a13_23495061

 

This ruling strengthend previous Diaguitas victories against Canadian company  Barrick Gold proving that mining operations had  polluted nearby glaciers. Following an order that the company submit to ongoing expert review, the Indians were able to paralyze the entire Pascua Lama gold project.

NEXT ON ELECTRICA IN THE DESERT: AFRO-COLOMBIANS 
1dbb0cdc-9a8a-4595-83a2-e7bb9c7f4162HiRes
Advertisements

7 thoughts on “MURDER BY MINING: KILLING LATIN AMERICA’S ANCIENT PEOPLES

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s