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We are here and alive, we are not invisible

sexta-feira 9 de agosto de 2013, por ,

From Peru, on the World Day of Indigenous Peoples

On August 9 the World Day of Indigenous Peoples is celebrated once again. For the Andean indigenous peoples of Peru, people will greet us, wanting to limit ourselves again to folklore. But we’re not folk, we are a living force as thought and ancient wisdom. We are no longer invisible, and no transcendental political change can be done without listening to us. Neither greetings, nor the creation of a Deputy Minister of Multiculturalism, will resolve the serious problems we face from government policies.

Despite its efforts to ignore us, the Consultation Act and Regulations were gained with blood and pain. And now they want to reduce this fundamental right to an administrative procedure. They would ignore our existence in the Andes saying we are not indigenous people, that we are all peasants. They also want to administer the enquiry in places where land is poorly defended. Where there is potential for resistance, they deny the very existence of indigenous peoples, to avoid the enquiry. They forget that international standards clearly state that we have this right, no matter what our legal name.

This was the era of agrarian reform in the late sixties that changed our names to rural communities, we campesinizaron from the state. But we keep all our collective forms of ownership, communal labor, justice, knowledge, spirituality, systems of government, and authorities; own language, our culture is alive. Force is all that we identify as indigenous.

Agrarian reform us back the land that had been taken away with violence, massacres of entire communities by landowners, giving rise to large haciendas that exploited the true owners of these territories. Now the Constitutional Court decides and ordered us to pay the bonds of Agrarian Reform. Why should we pay the plunderers and usurpers? Moreover bonds even these landowners have them, are held by financial speculators. And worse: the Constitutional Court is not competent to order payment of debts, its function is to analyze the laws and determine if they conform to what the Constitution commands. While basic services to be provided by state collapse and their workers demand their rights, do not pay looters and profiteers. And the Congress makes a complicit silence.

While discussing how to pay looters and speculators, indigenous peoples demand the exercise of our rights, defending our territories, defending life, property of Mother Earth threatened by the potential mining activities and infrastructure megaprojects, we are criminalized. There are over a thousand authorities, leaders and leaders who are being persecuted and prosecuted. The government of the great transformation operating increasingly in favor of neoliberalism. Are criminalized in the name of investment and economic growth in favor of the economic power groups.

Invisibilizarnos insist. The presidential message of July 28 devoted a single line. He said nothing about the environmental impacts and climate change are increasingly felt in the Andes. From our knowledge and practices of dialogue and harmony with nature that made and continue to face adversity climate. The most overlooked are indigenous women, the guardians of biodiversity.

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples of the UN, Dr. James Anaya, has included the right to protest in his report on extractive industries, which has dominated the human rights approach. It also highlights that in those projects where environmental monitoring is carried out by indigenous peoples, it is much more efficient than that made by the companies or the state itself. We welcome this report. I wish all rapporteurs and UN agencies follow suit.

The Indigenous Andean Council Peru and the National Confederation of Communities of Peru Affected by Mining (CONACAMI Peru) salute our bases in Peru and all indigenous peoples and their organizations in the Andean Region, the Abya-Yala, and the world. The call to continue articulándonos and strengthening our organizations. To further demonstrate that continue existing as a people, as living cultures and have much to offer humanity.

KAUSACHUN, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.
INDIGENOUS JALLALLA
Board of Directors
CONACAMI PERU / Indigenous Council Andean Peru