Underreported Indigenous Struggles

A drilling site run by Fortune Minerals is shut down by Tahltan, Sept 10, 2013. 18th September 2013 Intercontinental Cry has released Underreported Struggles #77.

• Two Maya Q’eqchi children from Monte Olivo community, in Alta Verapaz department, Guatemala, died from bullet injuries after being shot by a “hitman” that was reportedly hired by the company Hidro Santa Rita SA. According to Real World Radio, the two children, aged 11 and 13, were shot during the attempted murder of David Chen, leader of the resistance to the company’s hydroelectric project. No one has been arrested from murder of the two children, David Eduardo Pacay Maas and Hageo Isaac Guitz.

• Three Indigenous Tolupan from Yoro district in Honduras, were murdered while carrying out peaceful actions to prevent illegal forest clearing and exploitation of natural resources in their territory. According to The Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y Justicia, MADJ), the Tolupan had been receiving death threats from individuals who were brazenly walking around the community fully armed, provoking fear in the residents of the area. The National Preventive Police Force and various government officials, despite being warned of the threats, failed to take any kind of action to protect the Tolupan.

• In British Colombia, Canada, members of the well-known Klabona Keepers served Fortune Minerals Limited with a “24-hour eviction notice” informing the company that it must vacate the Tahltan’s unceded traditional territory. Fortune Minerals ignored the deadline, leading the Tahltan activists to block the road leading to the site of the company’s proposed open pit coal mine. The protesters then proceeded to occupy some of the company’s drills.

• The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council unexpectedly cancelled proposed oil and gas developments near Chief Mountain . The mountain, located near the Canadian border and on the boundary between the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park, is considered sacred by many of the Blackfeet people; however, some members of the Blackfeet business community (like Ron Crossguns of the Blackfeet Oil and Gas Department), have derisively dismissed anything sacred about the Mountain.

• The Oglala Lakota passed a resolution opposing the proposed Otter Creek coal mine and Tongue River Railroad in their historical homelands of southeastern Montana. The Oglala Lakota have thus far been excluded from any consultations despite the fact that the proposed mine site is an area of great cultural and historical significance containing countless burial sites, human remains, battle sites, stone features and artifacts. In addition to calling for proper consultation, the Oglala Lakota have called on all Tribal Nations who signed the Fort Laramie Treaty to stand with them in opposing the mine and railroad.

• The Buffalo River Dene Nation is moving forward with a plan to reclaim a vast area of traditional land that was seized by the Canadian government in 1953. As reported by the Dominion, the area–Spanning 11,700 square kilometres along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border–has been used for the past 60 years as a tactical bombing range; however, it is now being opened up to oil and gas extraction activities and an Enbridge pipeline. The Buffalo River Dene, who were evicted from the area, have simply had enough.

• The Nahua Peoples in the Peruvian Amazon announced that they will refuse to allow a gas consortium led by Pluspetrol to operate in their territory. In a letter that was delivered to the Ministry of Culture in Lima, the Nahua stated that, “Given the repeated broken promises by the company Pluspetrol, our people have decided to prohibit it from operating in our ancestral territory in the headwaters of the River Serjali.” Pluspetrol is currently waiting for government permission from the Ministry of Energy and Mines to explore for deposits by drilling 18 wells and conducting intensive seismic tests in the headwaters region of the River Serjali, which the Nahua consider to be their territory.

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