Tag Archives: genocide

Anti-Mining Activist Daniel Pedro Mateo Kidnapped and Murdered in Guatemala

23 Apr

EF! Newswire

In the midst of an ongoing genocide trial against a former president of Guatemala, which is now being suspended by the current president who is also implicated in the war crimes, violence against indigenous environmental activists continues, with another person found dead last week in Huehuetenango.  

Anti-mining community leader Daniel Pedro Mateo

Anti-mining community leader Daniel Pedro Mateo

According to a recent article from Cultural Survival:

On April 16, 2013, the body of Qanjob’al community activist Daniel Pedro Mateo was found murdered in Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.   He had been kidnapped for 12 days and his body showed signs of torture. Haz clic aquí para la versión en español.

Daniel, a founder of the community radio station Snuq Jolom Konob, disappeared on Sunday, April 7th  in the village of El Quetzal, Huehuetenango on his way to host a workshop on Indigenous rights in the community of Santa Cruz Barillas. Continue reading

In Guatemala State Violence is on Trial but Repression Continues

3 Apr
A stone cross commemorates the death of Andrés Francisco Miguel, who many believe was a victim of Guatemala’s ongoing political repression. (WNV/Marta Molina)

A stone cross commemorates the death of Andrés Francisco Miguel, who many believe was a victim of Guatemala’s ongoing political repression. (WNV/Marta Molina)

[April 22: Update on Rios Montt trial from Democracy Now here]

By Marta Molina 

In Guatemala, the trial against former General Efraín Ríos Montt, who terrorized the country during his brief dictatorship in the early 1980s, continues. The general has been accused of killing hundreds of indigenous Guatemalans, and he is being tried on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Yet, even as the country seeks justice for some of those murdered during Guatemala’s decades-long genocide against the indigenous Mayans, repression and violence continues — particularly against indigenous communities that are trying to stop resource extraction and environmental degradation.

For years, the Q’anjob’al community has been organizing in Santa Cruz Barillas, a region in western Guatemala, to defend its territory against a hydroelectric dam project. In spite of repression, harassment, detentions and a 17-day stretch of martial law imposed on the neighborhood, the community continues fighting to stop a Spanish transnational company from profiting off the region’s river. Continue reading

Four Directions Call to Action in Support of Traditional Lakota Grandmothers

7 Mar

Genocidal warfare is still being waged against the traditional and full-blood Lakota people, and to end it, we need your attention and support right now!

STAND BEHIND THE LAKOTA GRANDMOTHERS!

STAND BEHIND THE LAKOTA GRANDMOTHERS!

The Lakota Solidarity Project with the Lakota Cante Tenza Okolakiciye (Strong Heart Warriors) are issuing an International Call To Action for both Native and non-native Warriors, Activists, Artists, Culture-Jammers, Organizers, Community Builders, Freedom Fighters, #Idle-No-More Supporters, Occupy Groups, Indignados, Organizations, Coalitions, Networks, Spiritual Communities, Elders and Youth to join us at this critical moment to help end the genocide of the traditional and grassroots Lakota Oyate (people) and support the renewal of traditional matriarchal – Grandmother led- leadership.

Right now, Lakota Grandmothers, Elders, Warriors, and Oyate who are the remaining traditional language speakers, culture holders, and freedom fighters, are being deliberately inflicted with conditions of life intended to bring about their destruction.

CLICK HERE for more EF! Newswire coverage of the Lakota struggle

Continue reading

Agent Orange Being Used to Clear the Amazon

7 Jul

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Agent Orange is one of the most devastating weapons of modern warfare, a chemical which killed or injured an estimated 400,000 people during the Vietnam War — and now it’s being used against the Amazon rainforest. According to officials, ranchers in Brazil have begun spraying the highly toxic herbicide over patches of forest as a covert method to illegally clear foliage, more difficult to detect that chainsaws and tractors. In recent weeks, an aerial survey detected some 440 acres of rainforest that had been sprayed with the compound — poisoning thousands of trees and an untold number of animals, potentially for generations.

Last week, in another part of the Amazon, an investigation conducted by the agency uncovered approximately four tons of the highly toxic herbal pesticides hidden in the forest awaiting dispension. If released, the chemicals could have potentially decimated some 7,500 acres of rainforest, killing all the wildlife that resides there and contaminating groundwater. In this case, the individual responsible was identified and now faces fines nearing $1.3 million.

“They [deforesters] have changed their strategy because, in a short time, more areas of forest can be destroyed with herbicides. Thus, they don’t need to mobilize tree-cutting teams and can therefore bypass the supervision of IBAMA,” says Jerfferson Lobato of IBAMA.

Last month, over three decades after Agent Orange was last used in Vietnam, the US began funding a $38 million decontamination operation there. Meanwhile, in the Brazilian Amazon, the highly toxic chemical was being discovered anew and sprayed over the rainforest.

To read more, see the full write-up at Treehugger

The Terraba fight proposed hydro-electric dam in Costa Rica

31 Mar

Rio Terraba


Following several large protests, Costa Rica’s indigenous Terraba people have filed a lawsuit seeking to halt construction of a hydro-electric power station due to flood a large swath of their territory, officials said Wednesday.

The power plant is the biggest such project in Central America. It is expected to produce up to 630 megawatts starting in 2016.

The lawsuit was filed on March 21 by the Terraba Indian Territory development association before the administrative court, a spokesperson said.

According to Gabriella Habtom, secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

…Costa Rica, through its state-owned electricity company, intends to construct a hydroelectric dam (“the Diquis dam”) that will flood at least ten percent of the Térraba people’s titled lands. As well as permanently depriving the Térraba of the use and enjoyment of these lands, the Diquis dam, if built in the manner currently proposed, will also flood a large number of sites of sacred, cultural and archaeological significance to the Térraba people. These include sites of fundamental importance to their identity, cultural integrity, and spiritual and religious freedom, including many hundreds of burial sites and geographical features that are considered to be ‘pillars of Térraba existence and identity’.

The Terraba number approximately 750 people. The proposed project would bring in 9,000 non-indigenous workers and their familes, causing long term, multi-generational social and environmental impacts on the region and the Terraba people.

According to the UN, only 1.68 percent of Costa Rica’s population is indigenous.