Thursday, April 19, 2018

UNPFII 2018: Statement by Mario Luna Romero, Tribu Yaqui [Sonora, Mexico]



United Nations

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

17th Session, 17-27 April 2018



INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ COLLECTIVE RIGHTS TO LANDS, TERRITORIES AND RESOURCES

17 APRIL 2018



FIRST OF ALL, WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND CONGRATULATE MARIAM WALLET ABOUBAKRINE, CHAIR OF THE FORUM.

THANK YOU TO THIS HONORABLE FORUM,
TO THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLES PRESENT HERE, AND TO ALL THOSE WHO UNFORTUNATELY COULD NOT BE HERE.

MY NAME IS MARIO LUNA ROMERO, SECRETARY OF THE YAQUI TRIBE OF VICAM, SONORA, MEXICO; I COME TO EXPOSE THE SERIOUS SITUATION PREVAILING IN MEXICO WITH RESPECT TO THE SYSTEMATIC VIOLATION OF OUR RIGHT TO TERRITORY, AS WELL AS THE APPROPRIATION AND WRONGFUL OCCUPATION OF OUR LANDS BY GOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE COMPANIES.

THE SENSE OF IMPUNITY AND LACK OF JURIDICAL DEFENSE INCREASES ON A PAR WITH THE INCREASE IN VIOLENCE WHICH IS USED TO PREVENT THE FULFILLMENT OF LEGISLATION IN FAVOR OF OUR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THE FREE EXERCISE OF OUR RIGHTS AS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION, IN NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS.

THE ABOVE IS DUE TO THE IMPOSITION OF DEVELOPMENT MODELS THAT VIEW OUR SACRED TERRITORIES AND THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES AS SIMPLE MERCHANDISE CONTRARY TO THE VISION THAT WE, THE PEOPLES, HAVE.

JUST A FEW TIMELY CASES INCLUDE: IN CAMPECHE THE MAYA PEOPLE AGAINST THE PRIVATE ORGANIZATION MONSANTO; IN THE ISTHMUS OF TEHUANTEPEC, OAXACA, AGAINST PRIVATE WIND ENERGY PLANTS; IN THE SIERRA OF DURANGO, THE CASE OF THE WIRARIKA PEOPLE AGAINST INVADERS OF THEIR TERRITORIES; SANTA MARIA OSTULA, MICHOACAN, AGAINST THE DISPOSSESSION OF THEIR TERRITORIES ORCHESTRATED BY PARTNERSHIPS OF PARTICULAR MINING COMPANIES AND THE ATTACKS OF ORGANIZED CRIMINAL GROUPS; AND, OF COURSE, IN SONORA WITH THE CASE OF MY PEOPLE, THE YAQUI TRIBE, WITH TWO CASES OF LEGAL PROTECTIONS VIOLATED AND UNPUNISHED IN THE FAILURE TO CARRY OUT THE RULING IN THE CASE OF THE INDEPENDENCIA AQUEDUCT AND A GAS PIPELINE. BUT, IN ADDITION, THE YAQUI PEOPLE ARE CONDEMNED TO DRINKING CONTAMINATED WATER DUE TO PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT RESPECT OUR RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT.

AS A RESULT OF THESE ACTS, ACTS OF VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ARE TAKING PLACE, INCLUDING ACTS SUCH AS THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE DEFENDERS OF OUR TERRITORY AND THE CONTRARY USE OF LAWS AND INSTITUTIONS AGAINST THE FREE EXERCISE OF OUR RIGHT TO DEFEND OUR TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND THE RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION TO DECIDE THE FUTURE WE WANT FOR OUR PEOPLES.

IN THIS WAY WE OBSERVE (WITH THE ARGUMENT THAT IT IS NON-BINDING) THE INAPPROPRIATE USE OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS ORIGINATING FROM AND DRIVEN BY THIS MULTINATIONAL ORGANIZATION, SUCH AS THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION, THE RIGHTS TO CONSENT, AND TO FREE, PRIOR AND INFORMED CONSENT, AMONG OTHER CLEAR EXAMPLES DOCUMENTED IN THE CASES FOR WHICH IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MY YAQUI PEOPLE TO PURSUE.

AS A RESULT OF THIS SITUATION PREVAILING IN A LARGE PART OF THE COUNTRY, IN THE REPORTS OF THE VARIOUS UN RAPPORTEURS WHO HAVE DOCUMENTED CASES DURING THEIR VISITS TO MEXICO, WE CAN READ ABOUT A GREAT NUMBER OF MISSING PERSONS, POLITICAL PRISONERS AND, IN THE WORST CASES, ASSASSINATIONS OR FORCED DISAPPEARANCES, AS IN THE CASE OF THE 43 STUDENTS OF AYOTZINAPA, WHO HAVE YET TO BE FOUND.

WE OBSERVE THAT THE PROBLEM IS REPEATED ON AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL IN THE CASE OF THE RENEGOTIATION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NAFTA, IN WHICH WE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, DESPITE THE FACT THAT IN THIS NEGOTIATION THE USE AND EXPLOITATION OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES ARE INVOLVED. EVEN WORSE, WE ARE OPENLY ATTACKED, AS IN THE CASE OF THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE IN NORTH DAKOTA IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN CANADA WITH THE KINDER MORGAN PIPELINE.

IN THIS REGARD WE PROPOSE THAT, AS THE LEVEL OF OPPRESSION AGAINST THE FREE EXERCISE OF OUR RIGHTS IS INCREASING, WE LAUNCH AN INCREASE IN THE LEVEL OF PRESENCE AND EXERCISE OF THE DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF OUR MOTHER EARTH AS WELL IN THIS FORUM, ANALYZING THE POSSIBILITY OF ELEVATING THE UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES TO THE NEXT LEVEL, THAT IS TO SAY, AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, AS SOME MEMBER STATES OF THIS ORGANIZATION HAVE ALREADY OBSERVED.

WE DEMAND REPARATIONS FOR THE DAMAGE TO THE YAQUI PEOPLE IN GENERAL, AS WELL AS TIMELY AND EFFECTIVE COMPENSATION FORTHE YAQUI DEFENDERS WHO WERE HELD CAPTIVE FOR A YEAR IN 2014 AND WHO REMAIN UNASSISTED TO DATE; WE ALSO DEMAND THE LIBERATION AND A HEARING ADHERING TO THE LAW FOR THE YAQUI POLITICAL PRISONER FIDENCIO ALDAMA.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND SUPPORT.


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