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Amazonian Marches to Demand Indigenous Rights & Protections

Marches Across the Amazon Will Demand Indigenous Rights and Protections

Indigenous people in nine Amazonian countries will march on September 22nd to demand that their governments and the international community protect their territories and their lives


When: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

What: Indigenous organizations from nine Amazonian countries will stage marches, protests and cultural activities in cities throughout the region to demand an end to the killings of rights defenders and indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation and early contact, the usurpation of indigenous territories, and deforestation and pollution in the Amazon. The groups will also request a special United Nations mission to investigate all the threats faced in the Amazon and will deliver letters to Chinese embassies requesting dialogue on that country's investments, believed to be the driving force behind the industrialization of the Amazon.

Who: The Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), the umbrella organization for national indigenous organizations in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela

Where: Santa Cruz (Bolivia); Bogotá, Putumayo, and Amazonas (Colombia); Quito (Ecuador); Puerto Ayacucho (Venezuela); Lima and Pucallpa (Perú); Cayenne (French Guiana). More details below.


Background:

In the Amazon, indigenous peoples and rural communities are under threat from large-scale industrial development, especially policies and activities related to extractive industries like oil and mines. Ethnocide – both direct and indirect – is occurring against indigenous tribes around the region, in addition to the deforestation and contamination of their forest homes. As a result, the national indigenous organizations in the nine countries of the Amazon Basin have declared September 22nd as a day of action for the Amazon and its peoples.

In particular, the organizers highlight the following issues of paramount concern in the respective countries of the Amazon: new plans to build a highway through the TIPNIS park and indigenous reserve in Bolivia, the threats posed by the proposed "Mining Arc" in Venezuela, the defense of territorial and collective rights in Brazil and Colombia (the latter of which is celebrating and implementing a peace agreement that does not currently include the full participation of indigenous communities through mechanisms such as prior consultation and fast track), fracking in Colombia, large-scale gold mining in the three Guianas, and territorial rights and establishing pending indigenous and communal reserves such as the Yaguas Communal Reserve in Peru.


Planned Activities:


• Bolivia - Santa Cruz - TIPNIS vigil & March - Government's recent revocation of protective status of TIPNIS park in order to build a highway.

• Colombia - Bogota, Putumayo, and Amazonas - Protest in front of Environment Ministry - Marches to oil company headquarters - March to the local Human Rights Commission - Fast-Track environmental licensing/Mining and extractive industries on indigenous lands.

• Ecuador - Quito - Marches to embassies - Chinese investment in the Amazon.

• Venezuela - Avenida Puerto, Ayacucho - Press conference - "Mining Arc"

• Perú - Lima, Pucallpa - - March - Protests at Environment Ministry and Chinese embassy, March - Activities of Chinese companies and illegal logging.

• French Guiana - Cayenne - March - French government'smining policies.


ENDS


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