Monday, January 16, 2023

TONATIERRA: Minimum international legal standards underpinning the pillars of transitional justice



Submission to

Call for Input


Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation & guarantees of non-recurrence

Mr. Fabian Salvioli

15 January 2023


Minimum international legal standards underpinning the pillars of transitional justice


United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Office at Geneva

CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland






In July of 1990 the First Continental Encounter of Indigenous Nations, Pueblos, and Organizations took place in Quito, Ecuador hosted by the Confederacy of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE). Nearly 400 Indigenous Peoples, representing 120 nations, tribes and organizations of the entire continent met for the first time to discuss their peoples' struggles for self-determination and strategize for a unified response to the 1992 International Jubilee celebrations commemorating and sanitizing the initial phase of colonization and genocide against the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples the Great Turtle Island Abya Yala which continues today in 2023.


Despite the offensive denial of truth in the official histories, the Indigenous delegations emitted a call from Quito, intended to reflect upon what the 500 years of invasion had meant to us and to work with a renewed effort for our self-determination.  We determined to educate the people of the world, to celebrate that we had survived and that our cultures are still alive thanks to 500 years of resistance, rebellion, and regeneration. We collectively reaffirmed our commitment to formulate alternative strategies to realize the decolonization of our Original Nations, in harmony with Mother Earth.


From the Declaration of Quito, 1990:


“The existing nation states of the Americas, their constitutions and fundamental laws are judicial/political expressions that negate our socio-economic, cultural and political rights.


From this point in our general strategy of struggle, we consider it to be a priority that we demand complete structural change; change which recognizes the inherent right to self-determination through our own governments and through the control of our territories.”


This submission to the request for input regarding the minimum international legal standards of transitional justice underpinning the duties of States and the rights of victims is submitted on behalf of the Continental Commission Abya Yala, via our secretariat TONATIERRA which has served as the singular agent of continuity and communications for the continental commission since 1990.


1. Truth




As was clarified in the declaration of Quito, 1990, and subsequently reaffirmed and consistently denounced in the second Continental Indigenous Encounter in 1993 in Temoaya, Mexico, and the following five continental Indigenous Summits of Abya Yala in Teotihuacan, Mexico (2000); Quito, Ecuador (2004); Iximché, Guatemala (2007); Puno, Peru (2009); Cauca, Colombia (2013); and then again in each Izcalli Abya Yala of 2020-2022, the so-called legal framework of justice and purported claims by the states for jurisdiction over the Indigenous Peoples is based on the nefarious LEGALOIDE construct of the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom and the transfer of colonial jurisdiction via the Alexandrian Papal Bulls from the crown powers of Europe to the successor states of the Americas as they exist today.


Since colonization is a violation of international law since UNGA 1514 in 1960, and with the UN Human Rights Council adoption of Resolution 48/7 “Negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights on 8 October 2021, the time has come to reveal the truth of how the UN system itself is guilty of perpetuating the regime of systematic discrimination in concept, policy, and practice against the collective rights of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples to transitional justice and self-determination as “peoples, equal to all other peoples…”.


2. Obstacles to Justice

Just as the principle of “Christian Discovery” was used to purportedly claim jurisdiction over the territories and nationality of the non-Christian Indigenous Peoples in 1492, today we see that the UN High Level Plenary Meeting of 2014, which is fraudulently called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples has operated to the same effect at the global level.  This is due to the fact that all UN bodies are operating under the System Wide Action Plan which emerged from the outcome document of the 2014 High Level Plenary Meeting, which in turn pivots on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples UNDRIP (2007).


In similar manner as there existed the League of Nations before the UN, the UN Human Rights Council was preceded by the UN Human Rights Commission. In fact, it was the Sub Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities under the UN Human Rights Commission that requested Dr. Miguel Alfonso Martínez as Special Rapporteur to conduct the “Study on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous populations” which he presented in a final report in 1999.  The Martinez study of 1999 was in turn itself rooted in the recommendations of the 1982 Study of the Problem of Discrimination against Indigenous Populations by Sr. Martínez Cobo. 


Significantly, the original resolution on this theme in 1987 by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities was precise and definitive in identifying the Indigenous Treaty issues with the colonizing states as a category of international importance in its own right, and in its own light of evaluation apart from other agreements and other constructive arrangements. The original resolution by the Sub-Commission was titled “Study on treaties concluded between indigenous peoples and States”. 


In 1994, the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities working on the Draft United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples approved the Original Text of the declaration. This Original Text was the product of many years of deliberation - a process that allowed for a degree of meaningful and decisive participation of Indigenous Peoples from around the world.


That same year, a move was made to redraft the Original Declaration under the Working Group on the Draft Declaration (WGDD). Debate continued for eleven more years. Then, in September 2004, the WGDD’s Chairperson-Rappoteur, Louis Enrique Chavez, announced his intention to present his own version to the Human Rights Commission. This proposal was challenged on November 29, 2004, by a five-day prayer fast/hunger strike by six Indigenous delegates to the WGDD at UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.


With the support and solidarity of Indigenous Peoples from around the world, the Indigenous delegates demanded that the Original Text, which the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities had approved, be recognized as the only legitimate version of the declaration and be advanced as such on the floor of the UN General Assembly.  Representatives of the UN Commission on Human Rights made assurances that, if no consensus could be achieved by the end of the 2004 session of the Working Group, the only version of the declaration that would be submitted to the full Commission would be the Sub-Commission Text as approved in 1994. With these assurances, the hunger strike/prayer fast came to an end.


This agreement was subsequently violated and then betrayed.


3. Reparations


Here is the original article 36 as approved by the Sub-Commission and supported by the Indigenous delegations in Geneva since 2004, and which still today serves as the fundamental UNDERPINNING PRINCIPLE of restorative justice vis-à-vis the UN system of states and the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth.


Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities

Original Sub-Commission Text

Article 36


Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors, according to their original spirit and intent, and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements. Conflicts and disputes which cannot otherwise be settled should be submitted to competent international bodies agreed to by all parties concerned.


4. Guarantees of non-recurrence


Prior to the convening of the General Assembly High Level Plenary Meeting in 2014, a UN Indigenous Preparatory Meeting was held in Alta, Norway from June 10-12, 2013. The following intervention from the floor of the Alta Conference was presented by the representative of TONATIERRA:


1)  We call for the restitution of the primary source materials and testimony that was lent to the United Nations system as fundamental to the evidence in document form of the systemic (system to system) nature of the legal relationships between the Nations of Indigenous Peoples and the member states of the UN system for the purpose of the Treaty Study conducted by Dr. Miguel Alfonso Martinez of Cuba.


Such delivery, should be initial act of good faith in terms of the continuing process of systemic documentation among the Nations of Indigenous Peoples and the UN system prior to and as a necessary act of condition to allow for the full and effective participation of the Indigenous Peoples in the High Level Plenary Meeting on an equal basis and without systemic discrimination in the process of producing the Final Outcome Document of the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly 2014.



5. Memorialization


This intervention was never recorded in the reports from Alta, much less integrated into the Alta Outcome document, nor considered by the UN member states at their 2014 High Level Plenary Meeting, fraudulently called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.





Embassy of Indigenous Peoples




PO Box 24009

Phoenix, Arizona 85074



Submitted by Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh


For Self-Determination and Decolonization

June 05 – 10, 2022

Ancestral Territories of the Tongva/Gabrielino Nations

Los Angeles, California, [USA]


Los Angeles, CA – Gathering in independent formation as a continental alliance of Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [Americas], the Continental Commission Abya Yala has convened in Los Angeles for a four-day gathering to advance a collective geopolitical agenda in defense of right of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. 


Calling for the implementation of the international protocols and procedures for decolonization in the hemisphere as Indigenous Peoples, equal to all other peoples, the Encounter of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala has denounced as illegitimate and discriminatory the continued normalization of the doctrine of “Internal Colonization” of Indigenous Peoples by the states of the Americas under the so called “Blue Water Rule”.