Thousands March Against Killings of Indigenous Peoples in Philippine ‘Mining Capital’
Last week, a 3,000 person-strong people’s caravan, or Lakbayan, formed on the island of Mindanao to protest the criminalization and murder of Indigenous Peoples and environmental defenders in the Philippines.
Uniting Indigenous Peoples, peasants, workers, faith groups, teachers and youth, the caravan marched for three days and over a hundred kilometers from Davao del Sur to Koronadal City under the banner ‘Resist imperialist plunder! Stop Lumad killings!’
Though the numbers reported vary, the organizers of the caravan say 144 indigenous people, environmental defenders and human rights activists have been the victims of extrajudicial killings during the reign of incumbent President Benigno Aquino.
In a statement released before the Lakbayan, the groups connected these killings and rights abuses to the increasing presence of the extractive industries in Mindanao and the Philippines.