August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Photo: Stop the Coal Train, Save Mother Earth

Coal train on its way from Montana to Canadian ports via Washington State and then White Rock, B.C. right across the border, for sale in Asia, polluting the planet to fuel 1% greed. Many thanks to the 12 arrested and their support who stopped the train. Photo by Rob Baxter.
Salish Sea Solidarity among friends in Washington State and in B.C.!
 May 6, 2012: Yesterday we prevented 5 BNSF coal trains from entering BC to unload coal at Westshore Terminals. We physically stopped a 6
th train on the tracks at White Rock BC at 6 pm, at which point 14 good citizens were arrested for violating a court order not to interfere with BNSF operations. Read more: http://350.org/en/about/blogs/report-just-our-friends-stop-coal-british-columbia-thanks-them-their-bravery

Colorado AIM youths removed at UN Permanent Forum

Indigenous Youths protesting lack of participation at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, are removed and banned by UN security

Update from Glenn Morris
May 9, 2012, night update
"Hello, AIMsters.
 On behalf of all of our delegation at the UN, and all of the indigenous youth involved, I would like to thank you all for your hundreds of emails and letters of support to the UN. They got the message, and they have agreed to return the credentials of our indigenous young people so that they can return to the discussion process. Initially, they wanted to ban the youth delegation f...or the entire remainder of the process, or even to ban them for up to ten years from the UN. Then, they suggested that they wanted a letter of apology. Colorado AIM rejected both suggestions, saying that if anyone needed to apologize it was the UN police. We also said that anything short of full restoration would be unsatisfactory, and that we would lead a walkout of the UN meeting. We were fully prepared to walkout tomorrow morning if the young people were not restored. We were asked to mentor our young people, a request that we already have complied with, and will continue to model, as we have from before we arrived in New York.

 Tonight, the UN Security relented, and we will accompany our youth back into the UN tomorrow morning. Again, we appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of our youth, and our delegation. We ask for you please to stop contacting the UN Secretariat about this matter, as they have reversed their unsupportable position. We will hold a dinner when we return to Denver to give an account of our trip, and to thank you all for your support and efforts. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow, as we return to the process to fight against the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), that is attempting to allow the ownership and patenting of our traditional knowledge, and genetic resources (see attached statement and joint statement between Debra Harry and Colorado AIM). There will be additional news tomorrow, as the WIPO fight might get pretty ugly. We hope that this note finds you and your loved ones in good health and good spirits, as we remember you all in our work in the belly of the beast.

 In Struggle,
 Glenn Morris


FROM AIM Colorado
Posted at Censored News
Watch videos below
Hello, AIMsters
We have a delegation of Indian students from CU-Denver, and from Colorado AIM, at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Several of them are playing an important and active part in the global youth delegation at the United Nations. Yesterday, the Global Youth Caucus, which represents native people from around the world, was holding a silent, peaceful vigil outside the UN building in New York City. The UN police seized their placards, and forcefully evicted 15 young people, including Sky Roosevelt-Morris and Mina Cereceres (Deb Freemont's granddaughter), and confiscated their UN identification.
Sky and Mina were neither carrying signs, nor chanting nor saying anything, yet, they were rounded up with the group, and had their credentials seized. They are both completely safe, strong and determined, as are the other young people, and they will be holding a press conference today. We are in talks with the UN security people to demand that the credentials be returned, although the security is pulling a very hardline, and suggesting even that they might be banned from the UN for up to ten years. We are asking a lot of people to contact the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to insist that the credentials of the young people be returned. If you have the time, please contact Ms. Chandra Roy at the UN, as soon as possible today. I have included some suggested language below, if you would like to use it. Please feel free to send additional, strong comments of your own. Thank you. We should all be very proud of how Sky and Mina have carried themselves, and how they have represented us, with integrity and courage. We are confronting the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and violence against Indigenous women and children, all of which are themes/agenda items for this year's session. I also want to commend the other young representatives who are here: Scott Jacket, Tessa McLean, Brighton Dawn Finger, Lizzie Kaplanek, and Mat Barkhausen. Others in our delegation are Deb Freemont, Shannon Francis. We are also working closely with Steve Newcomb and Debra Harry and Moana Jackson and the Maori from Aoteaora (New Zealand).
In Struggle,
Glenn
To: Ms. Chandra Roy-Henriksen, Secretariat
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
roy-henriksen@un.org
David, Bongi, Chief of United Nations Security
bongi@un.org
Dear Ms. Roy,
We are quite disturbed and offended by the report that some of the young indigenous people who are participating the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) were removed and banned from the forum yesterday. We understand that the youth were removed without adequate notice or due process, for peacefully standing to request the full participation of all indigenous peoples who had been credentialed at your meeting. We have two young women who are members of our Movement, and who are there representing our interests, Ms. Sky Roosevelt-Morris and Ms. Mina Cereceres, with the delegation for the American Indian Movement of Colorado. We must insist that our two representatives immediately be returned to the session, with their credentials in tact, and with no sanction against them. This is a very serious attack on our youth, and on our integrity as an indigenous organization. We call on you to use all the means of your good offices to ensure that indigenous youth are fully able to participate in the UNPFII, and that the heavy-handed approach of the UN Security be challenged on behalf of all indigenous peoples.


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First Nations storm Enbridge shareholders meeting


First Nations activist from Yinka Dene Allinance storm the Annual General Meeting with shareholders from Enbridge in Toronto on May 9, 2012. Video by Emma Pullman.
LIVE BLOG: http://ht.ly/aNQca

Mothers March in Mexico City


Mothers March on Mexico City
Norma Andrade, mother of Liliana Garcia Andrade,
one of the women killed in border city of Ciudad Juarez,
carries an image of her daughter during protests.
By Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies
Posted at Censored News
.
Mothers of women and men missing in Mexico embarked May 8 on a national march/caravan that will culminate in protests and meetings in the nation’s capital this week. Like last year’s caravans organized by poet Javier Sicilia and other relatives of violence victims, the mobilizations will remind Mexicans of the deep emotional wounds  and unhealed psychological scars that devour families of forcibly disappeared persons.
Named the “March of National Dignity: Mothers Looking for their Sons and Daughters and Searching for Justice,” the protest is led by 300 women demanding clarification of the fates of between 600 and 700 relatives who went missing during the administration of outgoing President Felipe Calderon.
“For some it has been years, for others months or days, of walking alone, of clamoring in the desert of the hallways of indolent and irresponsible authorities, many of them directly responsible for (disappearances) or complicit with those who took (loved ones) away,”  the mothers’ group said in a communiqué.
Among the many organizations supporting and/or endorsing the march are the Network of Human Rights Defenders and Families of the Disappeared, Women’s Human Rights Center, Justice for Our Daughters, Paso del Norte Human Rights Center, United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Saltillo.  Solidarity actions, including protests at Mexican embassies, are planned this week in the United States, Canada, Honduras and El Salvador.
March contingents will depart from the northern border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, wind their way through the Mexican heartland of the Bajio and arrive in Mexico City as Mother’s Day celebrations get underway. The Mexico City activities include a May 10 march to the Angel of Independence monument, where the names and stories of the disappeared will be made public.
Senator Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, a pioneering human rights activist who organized Mexican mothers into the Eureka Committee to demand the return of children forcibly disappeared by government forces during the Dirty War of the 1970s, has been invited to address the Mexico City protest.
On Mother’s Day 2012, many Mexican mothers have “nothing to celebrate,” stressed  Norma Ledezma, co-founder of Justice for Our Daughters in Chihuahua City. “As families, we want to take this occasion to tell society not to forget that in Mexico there is home with a plate and a seat empty…”
Chihuahua, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon have been among the hardest-hit places in the violence that has steadily gnawed away at the fabric of Mexican society. In all three states, so-called narco-violence, femicides and threats and attacks against Central American immigrants passing through Mexico to the United States have registered extremely high volumes. Recent headlines include the discovery of at least 12 murdered young women outside Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, and the revelation that nearly 800 skeletal remains collected in the state of Chihuahua since 2007, mostly of men, remain unidentified by authorities.
The Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office lists 213 women missing in the state since 1993, with about 123 cases in Ciudad Juarez alone. But non-governmental organizations estimate a higher number. A review of the official list reveals a spike in cases after 2008, the year when widespread narco-violence broke out and thousands of army troops and federal police were deployed in Joint Operation Chihuahua and its successors.
While the international press usually homes in on stories about Ciudad Juarez, which borders the United States, alarming episodes of violence have increased in the state capital of Chihuahua City in recent weeks. In addition to a familiar pattern of disappearances, women’s murders and constant homicides, violence has erupted in very public places, even in broad daylight. Recent incidents include shoot-outs and/or mass slayings outside a Wal-Mart, inside an Applebee’s restaurant and at the Colorado Bar, where 15 people were gunned down on the evening of April 20.  A suspect, Javier Arturo Hernandez Najera, is reportedly in custody for a crime committed by multiple shooters.
Three members of a ‘60s-style rock combo that regularly performed at the Colorado Bar were among the victims of the massacre. Relatives of the ill-fated members of “Freddy’s Friends” described the musicians as hard-working men who held day jobs, were devoted husbands and fathers and uninvolved with the intrigues of organized crime.
“It isn’t easy to deal with how this came down,” the son and daughter of guitarist Juan Luis Vazquez were quoted.  “You get used to hearing about the violence, four dead over there, 13 over here, and you get used to it even though it touches you. It’s ugly but you get used to it. Now we ask ourselves: Why them?”
Across Mexico, thousands and thousands of people are asking the same question.
Alma Garcia, representative of United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila, told the press that the mother’s march will insist on getting answers to pressing questions. Garcia said the caravan will demand that Mexican government officials comply with United Nations recommendations on forced disappearance, create a “program of internal attention” and, above all, undertake “immediate searches for the disappeared.”  Garcia’s movement also demands the creation of a national data base of disappeared persons, the formulation of investigative protocols and the appointment of a special prosecutor for disappeared persons.
Since the 1970s, mothers and their supporters have launched distinct movements related to forced disappearance in various parts of Mexico- with minimal results.
In Ciudad Juarez /El Paso, the International Association of Relatives and Friends of  Disappeared Persons pressured the Zedillo and Fox administrations into successively naming several special prosecutors charged with uncovering the truth about nearly 200 disappeared people, mainly men, who vanished in the Mexican border city during the 1990s. On another front, the Fox administration created a special office within the federal attorney generals’ office to investigate and prosecute Dirty War disappearances.
A central player in both the Dirty War and narco-war chapters who was widely said to have first-hand knowledge of the whereabouts of victims of forced disappearance, retired army General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro, was shot dead in Mexico City last month. The former military official was assassinated as a truth commission assembled by the Guerrero state government began forming to investigate the Dirty War disappearances.
After 1997, victims’ relatives and women’s activists succeeded in getting first the Chihuahua state government and then the Mexican federal government to establish special law enforcement divisions officially dedicated to probing femicides and women’s disappearances in Ciudad Juarez.  Fifteen years later, the cases have passed through the hands of almost as many prosecutors.
In 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights handed down a judgment ordering Mexico to thoroughly investigate the disappearances of young women. As a signatory to the Court, the Mexican government is obliged to follow the verdict.
Despite a slew of measures arising from civil society pressure over the decades, few cases of forced disappearance have been cleared up and no credible prosecutions have ensued.
As old cases piled up, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission documented 5,400 new cases of disappeared persons- both men and women-from 2006 to 2011, though non-governmental organizations speak of 10,000 or more people forcibly disappeared during the same time frame.
A recent report from the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances contended that not all the latest cases could be attributed to organized crime operating alone. “On the contrary, state participation in forced disappearances is also present in the country,” the report stated.
Last year, Javier Zuniga of Amnesty International compared forced disappearance in Mexico with the situation that prevailed under the military dictatorships of South America during the 1970s.
“We have walked alone in the middle of stares and stigmatizing commentaries, and we have been treated like lepers,  marginalized and condemned to the worst pain a human being could live: not knowing the whereabouts of our sons and daughters,” the new mother’s movement declared. “But now we are not alone. We have found hundreds of mothers and we unite our clamor and our love to recover our loved ones and bring them home.”

Additional sources: El Diario de Chihuahua, May 8, 2012. El Heraldo de Chihuahua, May 7,  2012. Cimacnoticias.com, May 7, 2012. Articles by Patricia Mayorga and Gladis Torres Ruiz La Jornada, May 5 and 8, 2012. Articles by Leopoldo Ramos, Lilia Ovalle and Luis Hernandez Navarro.
La Jornada (Guerrero edition), May 4, 2012. Article by Rodolfo Valadez Luviano. El Paso Times, May 2 and 6, 2012. Articles by Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera and Lourdes Cardenas. Frontenet.com, May 5, 2012. Cronicadechihuahua.com, April 30, 2012. Proceso/Apro, April 28, 2012 and May 7, 2012.  Articles by Marcela Turati and Juan Alberto Cedillo.

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American
and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
For a free electronic subscription
email:fnsnews@nmsu.edu

Rally for Lakota hate crime victim in Rapid City SD






















Vern Traversie Justice Rally and Marc

Rapid City, South Dakota
USA May 21, 2012
(11am – 4pm MST)

Rally will start at 11:00 AM MST at Memorial Park, south side of Rushmore Civic Center, Rapid City, South Dakota.
The Justice for Vern March will proceed southbound on 5th Street until finally reaching the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is Supporting VERN TRAVERSIE and will be providing Transportation (EB to RC) to the Rally and March.
Blind, 68-year-old Lakota elder Vern Traversie has KKK carved into his torso while recovering from open heart surgery at Rapid City Regional Hospital on a referral from the Indian Health Service.
After 7 months of waiting for justice, Cheyenne River Sioux Nation tribal member Vern Traversie went public with an appeal for justice.