Thursday, August 21, 2008

From InterContinental Cry

InterContinental Cry
Two Petitions for Indigenous Communties in Brazil
Posted: 20 Aug 2008 10:32 AM CDT
Two petitions have been posted online to help the Kaiowa Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sol and the Peoples of Raposa Serra do Sol, in northern Brazil. Details and links to the petitions can be found below… Raposa Serra do Sol Signatures are requested by August 21, 2008. Brazil’s Supreme Court is about to decide on whether or not to uphold the ratification of Raposa Serra do Sol, a reserve populated by more than 18,000 Indigenous People. You may recall the recent violence attacks against some of them, at the hands of vigilante rice farmers illegally occupying the reserve. If the supreme court rules against Raposa Serra do Sol, it could be setting a dangerous precedent, even validate the use of force (against law-abiding indigenous people). The Peoples of Raposa Serra do Sol have posted the petition in both Portuguese and English: The Kaiowa Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sol The Kaiowa Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sol experience Genocidal Conditions. Their land has been promised for many years. They have requested that international attention be placed on the government entities to complete the demarcation of their land and end to the genocide: An English translation of the Kaiowa Guarani petition: STOP THE GENOCIDE For Land and Life of the Kaiowá Guarani People More than one hundred Kaiowá Guarani lives are sacrificed annually in this beginning of the millennium, in Mato Grosso do Sul. It is the voracity of the monoculture of agribusiness, stimulated by omission of the Federal Government in demarcating the indigenous lands; the impunity of ...

Mexican Campesinos Tricked into Leasing Their Land
Posted: 20 Aug 2008 09:59 AM CDT
Hundreds of Indigenous campesinos have been tricked into giving away their lands for a wind farm project on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico. The non-Spanish speaking agrarians signed tenancy agreements with a number of different companies, some of which last up to 60 years. Now the companies refuse to fulfill their end of the agreements. For instance, the Spanish company Union FENOSA promised agricultural aid to Faustina López Martínez, from the village of Juchitán, so they can run a set of windmills on her 3 hectares of land for the next 30 years. The company, however, will not give her the aid - offering only the lesser part of the agreement, 150 pesos (less than US$15) a year. Divided between FENOSA, berdrola, Endesa, Preneal, Gamesa and others, there are at least 185 different contract violations like like this. A group of lawyers from human rights organizations in Oaxaca and Mexico are attempting to annul them. Perhaps serving a greater example — if anything, about the limitations of privately-owned land — the Santiago Niltepec community, located east of the Isthmus, refused to sign a tenancy contract with FENOSA. “José Santiago Ramírez, secretary of the Santiago Niltepec Community Goods Commission, says the Spanish transnational offered 30-year contracts and 1,000 to 1,200 pesos — $98 to $117 — per hectare (2.5 acres) to the campesinos annually to rent their lands. But no company can have a contract directly with the landowner since 95 percent of the population’s lands is communal,” notes the Latin America Press. The example, is that ...

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