Archive for May, 2007

Forced Displacement of Indigenous Peoples – UNPFII Caucus Abya Yala South

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Intervention of the Caucus of Abya Yala South
Sixth Period of Sessions of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
In relation to the issue of Forced Displacement of Indigenous Peoples
United Nations Headquarters
New York City, New York
May 21, 2007

Madam President,

In name of the Caucus of Abya Yala South we greet you and congratulate you as president of this period of sessions, in the same way may we once again show our respect and brotherhood with the other Indigenous Nations that have come as we have to reaffirm the demand of our millennial right of Freedom of Transit upon our continent Abya Yala in all its extension. For the actual illegal immigration which began the 12th of October of 1492, came in the form of an invasion with intent to exterminate our Indigenous Peoples, the true inhabitants of Abya Yala.

Paradoxically in a world of globalization where the borders for the regimes of commerce are eliminated at every turn, the mobility of the Indigenous Peoples is increasingly restricted more and more. In the intervention read by the representative of the IMF, during this session of the Forum the issue of climatic change was mentioned as a prime cause of the displacement of our communities and nations.

Nevertheless we as Indigenous Peoples state that both internal and external displacement has to do mostly to do with the terrorism of the state, as well as the illegal concession of our natural resources such as: petroleum, minerals, and others, which occur in blatant violation of our right of self determination. As Indigenous Peoples, we are forced to suffer invasion and usurpation of our economic resources constantly.

The normative efforts in the theme of legislation related to migratory issues reflects an immense lack of political will that in no way contributes to mitigate the centuries old design of segregation in terms of the state instruments of justice, the pervasive racial violence and xenophobia, and the unequal distribution of opportunity and access to the enjoyment of benefits within the countries of origin. In fact the implementation of these laws, denominated migratory, leads to the criminalization of the displaced and contributes in collusion to the subjugation and the total decay of the dignity of the Indigenous Pueblos and Nations continentally.

As the Indigenous Peoples of the continent Abya Yala as a whole, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from the Eastern end of Brazil to Rapanui: We must have the right of free mobility, without passport, visa and state credential. On our lands nobody is “irregular”, nobody is “illegal”, nobody is undocumented, and nobody is foreign. Here, we are all originations of Abya Yala, and the universe that belongs to us.

Thus, in this context we express our sentiments and reasons now as we come to demand the adoption, ratification and implementation of the following recommendations:

1. We recommended that the Permanent Forum elaborate an integral study of the problems that confront the Indigenous Peoples related to internal and external displacements continentally, with indicators describing issues within the countries of origin, transit and destination.

2. We recommended that a study be elaborated on the conditions of security, well being and respect for the displaced constituencies of Indigenous Peoples when they are detained by the different police agencies of the countries of transit, in addition the health conditions in the detention centers of the different countries of transit and destination.

3. We recommended that the United Nations engage in official review of the countries of destination, in order to monitor that the guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are recognized and respected. This is necessary since in some countries the state authorities implement incarceration techniques without concern for the separation of minors and families, and in another case the existence of paramilitary groups is openly tolerated which causes intentional harassment further victimizing the displaced incarcerated populations.

4. We recommended that the United Nations specifically review the implementation of the International Treaty of Protection Against Torture, since many displaced individuals facing the deportation processes are expelled to the country of origin without taking into account the security of their lives. The officials only take into account the reports from the Department of State or the report of the chancellery of the country of origin, where the states manipulate a double standard since politically the rights of the Indigenous are nominally recognized nevertheless implementation of mechanisms of protection are non existent.

5. We recommended that the agencies and mechanisms of the system of United Nations develop programs that comprehensively guarantee the access to housing, education and nutrition for displaced indigenous families since it is not enough to advocate solely for their cultural preservation.

6. We recommended the United Nations and their internal agencies, as well as with the states of the world, together with the Indigenous Peoples, join efforts with the task of implementing mechanisms that allow to construct indicators that will help to differentiate the Indigenous Peoples who are forced into displacement under stress of force in order to develop a realistic statistical base with the intention of evaluating the general panorama in this matter and contributing to the construction and implementation of policies grounded in the reality of the displaced indigenous communities.

7. We recommended that an official study be elaborated regarding the guarantees of Indigenous Rights in relation to the borders of the government-states.

Presented by: Caucus Abya Yala South

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Forced Displacement of Indigenous Peoples – UNPFII Caucus Abya Yala South