Declaration of the Salvadoran Binational Council
United Nations Headquarters - New York, NY
May 7, 2012,
|Tata Tito Pasin and Haydee Sanchez in front of the UN|
Declaration of the Salvadoran Binational Council consisting of: Tito Reyes Cuadra, Mayor of the Commons for the Pueblo of Izalco, Pedro Alberto Rodriguez representative of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Nahuizalco and Techantit Cultural Center of El Salvador in the eleventh session of the Permanent Forum Indigenous Peoples held from 7 to 18 May 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Thank you, Mr. President: Congratulations on being elected to your honorable office. Receive a warm greeting from the Mayor of the Commons of Izalco and the Nahuatl-Pipil people of El Salvador.
1) The Doctrine of Discovery
2) Human Rights
3) Indigenous Rights to Food Sovereignty and
4) Impact of Transnational Companies in Indigenous Lands.
First Recommendation: That the Permanent Forum through its mandate facilitate and support the development of a comprehensive study which is urgently needed regarding the current situation of Indigenous Peoples in El Salvador. This study should especially focus on the indigenous survivors of the Massacre of 1932, including the communities of Izalco, Nahuizalco, Tacuba, Juayua, Sonzacate, Sonsonate, Salcoatitan, Turin, La Libertad, Colon, Texistepeque, Ahuachapan and the massacres of the 80's such as those of El Mosote, El Carrizal, Las Hojas and others, so many massacres it is impossible to enumerate them all.
Second Recommendation: That the Permanent Forum insist that the government of El Salvador reverse the perpetuation of the Doctrine of Discovery, and that El Salvador ratify Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and adopt and implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples proclaimed by the UN in 2007.
Third Recommendation: That the Permanent Forum urge the Salvadoran government to promote legislative initiatives to harmonize the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with the Constitution of El Salvador.
Fourth Recommendation: That the Permanent Forum elaborate a study and submit a report to the Indigenous Peoples of El Salvador regarding the environmental impact of hydropower and mining companies.
Fifth Recommendation: That the Permanent Forum urge the government of El Salvador to establish a commission to clarify the truth about the events of 1932 and address compensation for damages.
Sixth Recommendation: That the Permanent Forum through its mandate to urge the government of El Salvador to respect and take into account our ancestral forms of indigenous self government and our structures.
All this I ask because our rights have been violated, our rights continue to be violated, and although our lives have been threatened we cannot remain silent.
The Ministry of Environment continues to sign concessions with mining companies and companies such as Hydrowest of Canada, Sensunapan and other transnationals. At this point we call upon you to stop the operations of the companies Central Cucumacayan Hydroelectric, Central Hydroelectric Bululu, and Central Hydroelectric Sonsonate who are operating without a license and have felled thousands of trees causing unprecedented ecological damage and in response the government has done nothing.
The construction of dams in locations where our ancestors are buried is a desecration of our sacred sites, thus violating Articles 11 and 25 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This also violates the right to Free, Prior and Informed consultation, it violates the right of self-determination, but more important is the violation of the right to food security.
President Mauricio Funes on the 12th of October 2010 at Ayagualo, acknowledged the existence of we Indigenous Peoples of El Salvador and apologized for the ethnocide and genocide committed against our peoples, yet did not invite Indigenous Peoples to the event nor our traditional authorities, which makes evident the fact that it is not enough to apologize without restoration of justice and/or just compensation.