Friday, May 24, 2013

We, the Indigenous Peoples

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
12th Session May 18-31, 2013
New York, NY
There are experts in converting peoples into mass groups; the world has shrunk and become globalized.  The negative trend of language Anglicization has spread, showing the extent of colonial Americanization.

Nobody determines the path of our life; that is our own responsibility, which cannot be delegated.  We cannot blame anyone for our slavery but ourselves for allowing it.
In social struggles, communists, fascists, Trotskyites, nationalists, and all Western colonialists bring ideas, but in the end it is we Indians who are dying.  So much Indian blood has been spilled in the dangerous arena of politics.  To see the Indian’s enemy as it is, is to give real meaning to our struggle.

The “doctrine” on the theory of discovery shows that in Abya Yala one of the worst human massacres perpetrated in the history of mankind was committed, and it has served as the basis for the violation of individual and collective human rights of indigenous peoples.  This must be the foundation of our claims.

This doctrine and a holistic structure called the “framework of domination” have resulted in centuries of virtually unlimited extraction of resources from our traditional territories, leading to the dispossession and impoverishment of indigenous peoples.
The so-called “doctrine of discovery of America”, which was used to justify the extermination of indigenous peoples during the conquest, is still in effect in the countries of the region.  Some modern States recognize the right of indigenous people to their ancestral lands, but they retain for themselves complete sovereign control of these lands.  The Consejo Indio Exterior [Foreign Indian Council] does not recognize colonial states as being their states, since their legal basis is supported by a jurisprudence that is a copy of that of Europe, and we know that “ninguna copia libera” (“no copy liberates”).

There are Indigenous Peoples who do not simply claim self-determination, such as the Rapa Nui of Easter Island, since they have already determined for themselves to be free from the control of Chile, and they demand the permanent withdrawal of Chile from their Rapa Nui nation.

The demand of the Indian peoples is not based on asking for a morsel of bread or aid to survive; what we Indian peoples demand is justice. That theory of handouts, leaving the control in the hands of NGOs, foundations or paternalistic ministries, only serves as a “bufferfor the governments, and this leads us to reflect on the role they play in our society.  An example of this is found with the late Alfonso Matínez, president of the defunct Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva who said:
No one who is not indigenous can aspire to be indigenous; to put it colloquially, no one can be an actual Wanabí, a tribe that is not known among the indigenous peoples, the tribe of the Wanabi, and I do not think that those who claim to be, without actually being capable of being so, are the solution for understanding the problems of the Indian peoples.

Looking Indian is no guarantee of decolonization; being Indian is a spiritual attitude, a commitment, and not a racial fact. We know that some organizations base their “development” on asking governments or NGOs for crumbs, to quiet their consciences and silence our true commitment for liberation.

This way of embracing whoever benefits them has serious long-term consequences; for example, Mrs. Bachelet has been the President of Chile while never having recognized the inalienable right to self-determination of the Mapuche People; however, she still held a position at the UN as a progressive person and now presents us with this event called the World Conference, which is not a World Conference.  In that regard, I think that those of us who have a critical position on this event should open an international debate and consequently an outreach to introduce Article 28 of the Declaration on Indigenous Peoples.

An authentic World Conference should and must be developed with the support of the Indigenous Peoples with their free, prior and informed consent, and not just by meetings of an international nature. 
Politicians are responsible for disguising historical reality; therefore, they represent the human who is most alienated from the spirit, and thus, whatever they touch—art, music, language—they tarnish.

The Spanish monarchy, with the king at its head, should begin by repealing the Papal Bull Inter Caetera and apologize for the genocide of our peoples; only then will the ritual of forgiveness be carried out.
No Latin American government has put its finger on the sore spot regarding citizens who are imprisoned in Europe in the CIE “Detention Centers” for not complying with the Immigration Act; they are imprisoned and subjugated citizens, deprived of the fundamental right that is freedom; while yet, any European or North American citizen is permitted the full authority to move about undisturbed in Latin regions. 

Latin American governments live with a backwards mentality, full of prejudice, basing their powers on votes and a simulated democracy, without thinking that democracy is a means, a myth, never an end. 
We know that our struggle is long, and we will keep fighting with the strength of old tigers.  We are sure that our lands will be liberated; everything will be liberated, because we will fight to the end. 

History teaches us that our peoples are masters of survival. Our struggle is not to survive; it is to exist.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mario Agreda

Mario Agreda, delegate to the United Nations DPI, and International CapajThis speech will be forwarded to DPI, Department of Public Information United Nations for official dissemination at all levels of the UN and the world.


United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Adopted by the General Assembly September 13, 2007

Article 28

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.

2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.

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