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Indigenous people warn of "false leaders" to approve projects against them

Indigenous organizations fear greater violence against land defenders after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ordered the Federal Congress to issue a law that regulates the right to prior, free and informed consultation on state or private projects that invade their lands. For more than a decade, the Legislature avoided carrying out an indigenous consultation law despite the fact that Mexico promised to do so and sign Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization. Thus, without a regulation to the consultation, 506 projects were given the green light that would impact 63 ethnic groups.

MEXICO.- Indigenous organizations fear greater violence against land defenders after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ordered the Federal Congress to issue a law that regulates the right to prior, free and informed consultation on state or private projects that invade their lands.

For more than a decade, the Legislature avoided carrying out an indigenous consultation law despite the fact that Mexico promised to do so and sign Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization.

Thus, without a regulation to the consultation, 506 projects were given the green light that would impact 63 ethnic groups, among them, Amusgos, Awakateko, Chatino, Chichimeca, Cucapá, Huasteco, Huichol Ixcateco, Kanjobal, Kekchí, Mayas, Nahuas, Otomíes, Mixes , Papagos, Tecos, Purépechas, Popolocas, Tepehuas, Yakis, according to the Atlas of Megaprojects in Indigenous and Black Zones of Latin America.

Congress looked the other way and the result was that of all the consultations that were made for these projects, only two have gone through due process, according to the study of the Legal Research Institute of the National... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

MEXICO.- Indigenous organizations fear greater violence against land defenders after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ordered the Federal Congress to issue a law that regulates the right to prior, free and informed consultation on state or private projects that invade their lands.

For more than a decade, the Legislature avoided carrying out an indigenous consultation law despite the fact that Mexico promised to do so and sign Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization.

Thus, without a regulation to the consultation, 506 projects were given the green light that would impact 63 ethnic groups, among them, Amusgos, Awakateko, Chatino, Chichimeca, Cucapá, Huasteco, Huichol Ixcateco, Kanjobal, Kekchí, Mayas, Nahuas, Otomíes, Mixes , Papagos, Tecos, Purépechas, Popolocas, Tepehuas, Yakis, according to the Atlas of Megaprojects in Indigenous and Black Zones of Latin America.

Congress looked the other way and the result was that of all the consultations that were made for these projects, only two have gone through due process, according to the study of the Legal Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM): in the rest, "manipulations have been a constant."

Given the inaction of the congress, the SCJN ordered it on June 10 to enact an Indigenous Consultation Law that makes the rules clear.

Previously, the Ministry of the Interior had called this year various organizations to participate in 10 open forums to ask about how the law should be, but it left a bad taste in the mouth of critics of indigenous peoples organizations.

They say that they are a farce, that in the end what the federal president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (or whoever is in turn) wants, will be done, because now there is a majority in both chambers: that of deputies and senators and they want to leave the issue of indigenous consultations under the control of the Executive.

"Only those who are convenient for them were invited to these forums," warns Rafael Ornelas, president of the Mexican National Council of Native Peoples and Indigenous Communities. "The strategy for the law will be to give a voice only to those who do not oppose federal projects such as the Mayan Train or the Transitsmico."

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, agrees on this. “The authorities choose some people who they think will agree with the project and only those are consulted, so the communities are divided. No government should allow a commercial project to take place in those areas without consulting them. "

On the other hand, when the land of the indigenous people has become a target of interest for commercial exploitation, there are often assassinations and intimidation. Bad faith, misinformation, plunder, scams and lies, according to the UN report.

A new element is added to this situation, Ornelas warns. "It is known that after the court's decision, indigenous people will have to be consulted by force and that is why companies and governments are now infiltrating false indigenous leaders to push projects across the country."

Other strategies

The promise of benefits to the affected indigenous people is one of the bad practices. For the construction of the Felipe Ángeles airport, for example, the government promised the people, located next to the Santa Lucía air base, in the State of Mexico, to resolve the water conflict for them if they gave way to airplanes.

Those attending the meeting voted by show of hands in favor of the airport because the government offered a lot of help to the people, and because they considered that, anyway, "the project was already underway" when the consultation should have been earlier.

Due to lack of prior and informed consultation, the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus in Oaxaca opposes the Interoceanic Corridor in the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (in Oaxaca), a project that consists of the expansion of the ports of Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz, in the modernization of the trans-isthmian railroad tracks, wind farms, hydroelectric plants, fracking and mining.

The locals say that the consultation carried out at the end of March 2019 did not meet the standards because they blackmailed the community: most of the invited authorities were advised that if they did not approve the Tehuantepec Isthmus railway project, they would not The construction projects they need were to be approved.

They assure that there was an intimidating presence of the army inside and outside the compound where the consultative assembly was held and that the environmental impact study was "plagued" with irregularities and omissions.

In other cases, activists are killed. It happened with the Huexca thermoelectric plant - part of the Morelos Comprehensive Project in the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala and Morelos. Days before the consultation organized by the Ministry of the Interior in 2019, they surprised the opposition activist Samir Flores with bullets.

Flores had been critical of the government's failure to comply with the characteristics that a consultation process should have when the interested parties are members of an indigenous people, as is the case in this region, inhabited by Nahuas because the government organized the exercise by becoming judge and party. , without clear rules.

However, the impact of this and other decisions has led to the loss of traditional lands and territories; migration, eviction and resettlement; the depletion of resources necessary for physical and cultural survival; the destruction and contamination of the environment; the fragmentation of the community social fabric, and harassment and violence.

Choices

The UNAM Legal Research Institute and the Fundar organization warned in a report that it will be useless to focus all state efforts solely on the right to consultation of indigenous people. "It is necessary to strengthen other guarantees such as self-determination, territory and access to justice."

The UN Rapporteur requested some type of sanction for those who divide the communities as a strategy to achieve a project. Many times, on the basis of bribes, they manage to "convince" some people who appear in the community as "progressives" and fight against those who are opposed.

Naayeli Ramírez-Espinoza, a consultant for the Foundation for Due Process, suggests that any initiative for the Indigenous Consultation Law must avoid “the vertical imposition of a law” or it would invariably lead to the failure of the process and aggravate the distensions in the relationship between indigenous peoples and the State.

Translated into English via Google Translate


Source: https://www.msn.com/es-us/n...

SEP 14 2021
http://www.windaction.org/posts/52836-indigenous-people-warn-of-false-leaders-to-approve-projects-against-them
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