Resolution by indigenous communities of Isiboro-Sécure rejecting Cochabamba-Beni highway

The following is a translation of the original Spanish text posted here.—C

Summary: Indigenous peoples of the Isiboro-Securé Indigenous Territory and National Park resolved in May 2010:

•    To overwhelmingly and non-negotiably reject the construction of the Villa Tunari – San Ignacio de Moxos highway and of any highway segment that would affect our territory, our [collective] big house.

•    To demand that the Government of the Plurinational State and the governments of the world act with consequence and coherence in their respect for the rights of Mother Earth and of Indigenous Peoples.

•    Declare a state of emergency and of permanent and immediate mobilization in defense of our rights, of territorial integrity, and of the rights of Mother Earth.

•    Instruct our traditional authorities and our representatives within the Plurinational State at all levels to realize all necessary actions for the defense of the rights of Mother Earth and of our rights as indigenous peoples before all national and international institutions.

complete text after the jump…Resolution Number 0001/2010
of the 29th Extraordinary Meeting of Corregidores of the Autonomous Isiboro-Securé Indigenous Territory and National Park from the Moxeño, Yuracaré, and Chimane Indigenous Peoples

ROUNDLY REJECTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE VILLA TUNARI – SAN IGNACIO DE MOXOS HIGHWAY

In the community of San Miguelito on the Isiboro River, in Moxos Province, Beni Department, on May 17–18, 2010, in the buildings of the indigenous Cabildo, a meeting was held that included the participation of the following: the corregidores and representatives of the organizations and communities of TIPNIS, the TIPNIS Subcentral, and the Securé Subcentral; representatives of CONISUR, of organizations devoted to economic production and the management of natural resources, of women’s organizations, of the Central of Moxeño Ethnic Groups of Beni (Central de Pueblos Etnicos Mojeños del Beni, CPEMB), of the Confederation of Indigenous Women of Beni (Confederación de Mujeres Indígenas del Beni). The meeting was held in the presence of national authorities, specifically Beni’s Indigenous Deputy [Pedro Nuny] and the National Service for Protected Areas (Servicio Nacional de Areas Protegidas), and in the presence of elected authorities: the subgovernor, departmental assembly members, and the Mayor and a Council member from San Ignacio de Moxos and its Sub-Mayorship of TIPNIS, along with other institutions which we invited to this “Extraordinary Meeting of Corregidores of the Isiboro-Securé Indigenous Territory and National Park.”

One of the principal points analyzed [at the meeting] was the position of the corregidores and of all participating authorities with respect to the construction of the Villa Tunari – San Ignacio de Moxos highway, a project which does not take into account our existence, territorial rights, and status as a protected area.

RECOGNIZING AND CONSIDERING:

That our President Evo Morales has constituted himself as the principal defender of the rights of indigenous peoples and of Mother Earth, which for us is the Sacred Hill [or Sacred Knoll] by promoting the World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, whose conclusions were submitted to and favorably received by the United Nations;

That the Bolivian state has ratified its respect for the rights of indigenous people and their free determination, in accordance with ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which have been incorporated into the current Political Constitution of the Bolivian State;

That TIPNIS is a Protected Area—a National Park and an Indigenous Territory—whose property title was obtained in June 2009 and personally presented by President Evo Morales, who at that moment pledged to assume responsibility for the defense of the Territory through all means and before all relevant bodies;

That, before setting any project into motion, the Plurinational State of Bolivia must, by constitutional mandate, guarantee the protection of Bolivia’s biodiversity through a comprehensive register of existing species of flora and fauna;

That opening this highway would present a threat to our life as peoples who inhabit TIPNIS due to the loss of the natural resources and all the biodiversity upon the Moxeños, Yuracarés, and Chimanes sustain their culture and life: a life and culture we have lived in our territory since before the creation of the Bolivia and will continue to live in the future;

That the destruction of our territory is also an attack upon humanity as a whole because it will aggravate global warming;

That we are tired of sending letters and resolutions stating our position of rejection against the initiative to construct a highway uniting Villa Tunari and San Ignacio de Moxos, which have never been heard and attended to by the current or previous governments;

That, even in the absence of construction of the highway, the land along the presumed route to be established for it is already being parceled and sold, and that our territory is permanently subjected to invasion and overrunning; and that our community members suffer perpetual harassment that frequently spills over into violent aggressions, a situation whose causes are publicly known, most recently in the instance of September 2009.

That TIPNIS is not the only territory being subjected to a violation of indigenous rights, but rather is joined by our brothers in the Assembly of the Guaraní People due to hydrocarbon exploration and the contamination of the Aguarague Park; of the Center of Indigenous Peoples of La Paz (Central de Pueblos Indígenas de La Paz; CPILAP) due to hydrocarbon exploration in Madidi National Park and Mosetén territory; and of Indigenous Center of the Bolivian Amazon Region (Central Indígena de la Región Amazónica de Bolivia; CIRABO) who face hydroelectric dam construction initiatives, among others;

THEREFORE

Continuing the policy of defending the rights of Mother Earth, advanced by President Evo Morales, and in accordance with the Declaration of Tiquipaya and in defense of our rights as indigenous peoples established in ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration, backed by the text of the Bolivian Constitution and binding upon the Plurinational State of Bolivia, and before the threat of suffering an ethnocide against us

WE RESOLVE:

•    To overwhelmingly and non-negotiably reject the construction of the Villa Tunari – San Ignacio de Moxos highway and of any highway segment that would affect our territory, our [collective] big house.

•    To demand that the Government of the Plurinational State and the governments of the world act with consequence and coherence in their respect for the rights of Mother Earth and of Indigenous Peoples.

•    Declare a state of emergency and of permanent and immediate mobilization in defense of our rights, of territorial integrity, and of the rights of Mother Earth.

•    Instruct our traditional authorities and our representatives within the Plurinational State at all levels to realize all necessary actions for the defense of the rights of Mother Earth and of our rights as indigenous peoples before all national and international institutions.

•    Assume as our own the problems confronting our brothers and sisters in other Native Community Lands and protected areas who are suffering the violation of the rights they have acquired through the constitution.

Given this eighteenth day of May, 2010, in the community of San Miguelito of the Indigenous Territory and National Park of Isiboro Securé

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