Sunday, February 17, 2019

Indigenous peoples and the rights of nature

Alicia Cawiya (front centre, with megaphone), Patricia Nenquihui, Patricia Gualinga (rear left, holding sign), and Katy Betancourt. International Women’s Day March, Puyo, Ecuador, 8 March 2016. © Mike Reich 2016
Alicia Cawiya (front centre, with megaphone), Patricia Nenquihui, Patricia Gualinga (rear left, holding sign), and Katy Betancourt. International Women’s Day March, Puyo, Ecuador, 8 March 2016. © Mike Reich 2016

Abstract

In recent decades, indigenous people have displayed a new confidence and pride in their identity, using changes in the law at national and international level in order to defend themselves, their territory, and their culture, particularly against the extractive industries.

They have been engaging with aspects of mainstream Western culture such as higher education and communications technology, reaching beyond the borders of their country in a struggle that is becoming increasingly global.

Index

About the Author

Linda Etchart is a lecturer in Human Geography at Kingston University, London. She has taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Anglia Ruskin University. She was an editor at Pluto Press, and a programme officer for the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Her published work is in the area of con-flict transformation and the role of indigenous peoples in global governance.Interviews

Interviewees

Alicia Cawiya (front centre, with megaphone), Patricia Nenquihui, Patricia Gualinga (rear left, holding sign), and Katy Betancourt. International Women’s Day March, Puyo, Ecuador, 8 March 2016. © Mike Reich 2016

Alicia Cawiya (vice president of the Huaorani people): interviewed in Quito and Puyo, Ecuador, on 16 and 20 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

Juan Ch’oc (Crique Sarco village): interviewed in Crique Sarco, Belize, on 14 October 2016 by Rachel Simon. Transcribed by Rachel Simon.

Eriberto Gualinga, Sarayaku member and videomaker, Ecuador (at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Costa Rica, July 2011). © Zoë Tryon 2011 / Photograph reproduced courtesy of Amnesty International The Indigenous Kichwa People of Sarayaku (Pueblo Originario Kichwa de Sarayaku) of Ecuador is campaigning for their right to be consulted, including their right to consent, regarding development projects that affect them. Some time ago, the government authorized a company to enter their ancestral land and drill for oil without having consulted with Sarayaku beforehand. Sarayaku’s case is representative of the case of many other Indigenous communities across the Americas. But they have gone a step farther. Having exhausted all judicial avenues at home, they have taken their case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Court’s forthcoming ruling will send a strong message to the Ecuadorian government and to all governments across the region. Amnesty International is supporting Sarayaku’s campaign to defend their own rights and the rights of many other communities across the Americas. Governments must consult with Indigenous people before carrying out development projects which may affect their lives.

Eriberto Gualinga (Sarayaku Kichwa communications director/film-maker): interviewed in Sarayaku, Ecuador, on 20 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

Patricia Gualinga, Ecuador. ©Cristobal Corral 2005 / Fundación Pachamama

Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku Kichwa activist): interviewed in Puyo, Ecuador, on 24 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

Fany Kuiru, Colombia. © Maria Eugenia Caicedo 2017

Fany Kuiru (Tejedoras de Memoria): interviewed in Bogotá on 12 August 2016 by Gwen Burnyeat. Translated by Olivia Plato and Hebe Powell.

Eva Sánchez (Las Hormigas): interviewed in Intibucá, Honduras, on 26 October 2016 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Ayme Tanguila, Ecuador. © Ayme Tanguila 2018

Ayme Tanguila (Kichwa architect and urbanist): interviewed in Quito on 27 August 2016 by Linda Etchart. Translated by Linda Etchart.

Froyla Tzalam, Belize. © Rachel Simon 2016

Froyla Tzalam (SATIIM): interviewed in Punta Gorda, Belize, on 10 October 2016 by Rachel Simon. Transcribed by Rachel Simon

References

NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.

Balch, O. (2013) ‘Buen vivir: the social philosophy inspiring movements in South America’, The Guardian, 4 February, https://www.theguardian.com/ sustainable-business/blog/buen-vivir-philosophy-south-america-eduar-do-gudynas

Barrett, P.M. (2013) ‘Canada says ‘No thanks’ to Chevron pollution suit’, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2 May

Diamond, J. (2005) Guns, Germs, and Steel, 2nd edn, Vintage, London.

Etchart, L. (2018) ‘Ecuador, Chevron and the extractor’s curse’’, three-part article series, LAB, London, 17 September

Forst, M. (2017) cited in F. Martone, ‘Defenders of the earth and the environment’, Other News, 12 November

Galeano, E. (1971) Open Veins of Latin America, translated from the Spanish by C. Belfrage (1997), Monthly Review Press, New York.

Miller, T. (2003) ‘Ecuador: Texaco leaves trail of destruction’, Corpwatch

Videos

Further reading

General

Cullinan, C. (2010) ‘The Legal Case for the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth’, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, <therightsofnature.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/Legal-Case-for-Universal-Declaration-Cormac-Cullinan.pdf>

Forst, M. (2017). ‘Situation of human rights defenders’, United Nations General Assembly, <https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N17/220/75/PDF/N1722075.pdf?OpenElement>

Global Witness (2018) ‘Deadliest year on record for land and environmental defenders as agribusiness is shown to be the industry most linked to killings’, Global Witness, <www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/deadliest-year-record-land-and-environmental-defenders-agribusiness-shown-be-industry-most-linked-killings>

Gudynas, E. (2011) ‘Buen Vivir: Today’s tomorrow’, Development 54(4), 441–447, <http://www.womin.org.za/images/the-alternatives/fighting-destructive-extractivism/E%20Gudynas%20-%20Buen%20Vivir%20-%20Todays%20Tomorrow.pdf>

Parker, A. (2018) ‘Latin America Deadliest Region for Environmental Defenders: Report’, Insight Crime, <www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/latam-deadliest-region-environmental-land-defenders-report>

Riffo, L. (2017) ‘Fracking and Resistance in the Land of Fire’, Nacla Report on the Americas, Vol 49, No 4, Winter

Wearne, P. (1996) The Return of the Indian: Conquest and Revival in the Americas. London: Cassell/Latin American Bureau. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

 

Additional resources by country:

Brazil

Arnold, C.F. (2018) The Third Bank of the River. New York: Picador

Yanomami, D. K. (2013) The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap/Harvard University Press

 

Belize

Sho, A. (2017) ‘1st Maya Land Registry and Maya Land Rights in Belize’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJWRM_zOC1s&feature=youtu.be>

Simon, R. (2017) ‘Belize: Conservation in the forest.’ Latin America Bureau, <https://lab.org.uk/belize-conservation-in-the-forest>

Simon, R. (2017) ‘Belize: Teechaz gat yuh bak’, Latin America Bureau, <https://lab.org.uk/belize-teechaz-gat-yuh-bak>

Tzalam, F. (2017) ‘Mapping on our terms’, Cultural Survival Quarterly, pp. 10-11, <https://issuu.com/culturalsurvival/docs/csq-41-3>

 

Colombia

Burnyeat, G. (2018) Chocolate, Politics and Peace-Building: An Ethnography of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Casement, R. (1997) The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement. London, Anaconda Editions.

Chocolate de Paz (2016) ‘Chocolate de Paz, trailer’, Vimeo, <https://vimeo.com/167415655> (in Spanish with English subtitles)

Farje, J. (2012) ‘The Putumayo Atrocities’, Latin America Bureau, <https://lab.org.uk/the-putumayo-atrocities>

Hardenburg, W. E. (1913) The Putumayo, the Devil’s Paradise <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/45204>

Hill, D. (2018) ‘‘The war goes on’: one tribe caught up in Colombia’s armed conflict’, The Guardian <www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2018/jun/27/the-war-goes-on-one-tribe-caught-up-in-colombias-armed-conflict>

O Siochain, S. (2011) ‘More power to the Indians’: Roger Casement, the Putumayo, and indigenous rights’, Irish Journal of Anthropology, 14 (2). pp. 5-12. <http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/3605/1/SOS_More_power.pdf>

Ramírez, M.C. (2011) Between the Guerrillas and the State: The Cocalera Movement, Citizenship and Identity in the Colombian Amazon. Durham: Duke University Press.

Tóibín, C. (2016) ‘Colm Tóibín on Roger Casement’, The Casement Project. <http://www.thecasementproject.ie/colm-toibin-roger-casement>

 

Ecuador

Acosta. A. (2017) ‘Living Well: Ideas for reinventing the future’, Third World Quarterly. Vol 38, No 12.

Acosta, A. (2017) ‘Rethinking the world from the perspective of Buen Vivir’, Degrowth,  <http://base.socioeco.org/docs/dim_buen-vivir.pdf>

Acosta, A. (2010). ‘Toward the Universal Declaration of Rights of Nature Thoughts for action.’ Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, <therightsofnature.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/Toward-the-Universal-Declaration-of-Rights-of-Nature-Alberto-Acosta.pdf>

Amnesty International. (2012) ‘Children of the Jaguar’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma1QSmtuiLQ> (in Spanish with English subtitles)

Arasim, E. (2016) ‘Mujeres Por La Selva – Indigenous Women of Ecuador Stand for an Amazon Free from Extraction on International Women’s Day’, Women’s Voices for Climate Justice, <https://wecaninternational.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/mujeresporlaselva-indigenous-women-of-ecuador-stand-for-an-amazon-free-from-extraction-on-international-womens-day/>

Becker, M. (2012) ¡Pachakutik! Indigenous Movements and Electoral Politics in Ecuador. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield

Berlinger, J. (2009) ‘Crude, YouTube, <www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvrZRvgwBS8>

Etchart, L. (2017) ‘One Woman Against Big Oil and Patriarchy’, New Internationalist, <https://newint.org/features/2017/03/01/one-woman-against-big-oil-and-patriarchy>

Febres Cordero, B. (2017) ‘In the Depths of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Digital Communications Aid the Process of Self-Determination’, NewsFrames, <https://newsframes.globalvoices.org/2017/07/22/in-the-depths-of-the-ecuadorian-amazon-digital-communications-aid-the-process-of-self-determination>

Gonzalez, D. (2018) ‘At Home in the Jungle, Everything Is ‘Alive and Has a Spirit’’, The New York Times, <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/lens/at-home-in-the-jungle-everything-is-alive-and-has-a-spirit.html>

Gualinga, E. (2017) ‘Soy defensor de la selva’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnLvVNsUmnY&t=1048s> (in Spanish with English subtitles)

Melo, M. (2001) ‘How the Recognition of the Rights of Nature Became a Part of the Ecuadorian Constitution’, in The Rights of Nature: the case for a Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth. San Francisco: Global Exchange and Council of Canadians

Miller, T. C. (2003) ‘Ecuador: Texaco Leaves Trail of Destruction’, Corpwatch, <https://corpwatch.org/article/ecuador-texaco-leaves-trail-destruction>

Peel, N. (2011) ‘Blood of the Amazon by Nicola Peel – preview’, The Guardian, <www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2011/oct/28/blood-of-the-amazon-nicola-peel>

Riofrio, I. (2018) ‘Ecuador Sarayaku Leader Patricia Gualinga Defends Territory Despite Threats’, Mongabay, <https://news.mongabay.com/2018/03/ecuador-sarayaku-leader-patricia-gualinga-defends-territory-despite-threats>

Sawyer, S. (2004) Crude Chronicles: Indigenous Politics, Multinational Oil, and Neoliberalism in Ecuador. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Vidal, J. (2010) ‘Andean Voices: Alberto Acosta’, The Guardian, <www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/dec/02/andean-voices-alberto-acosta>

 

Honduras

Ford, L. (2017) ‘We lost a great leader’: Berta Caceres still inspires as murder case takes fresh twist. The Guardian <https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/17/berta-caceres-murder-case-honduras-land-rights>

Grandin, G. (2016) ‘Before her murder, Berta Caceres singled out Hillary Clinton for criticism’, The Nation, <www.thenation.com/article/chronicle-of-a-honduran-assassination-foretold/>

Malkin, E. (2017) ‘Who ordered killing of Honduran Activist? Evidence of broad plot is found.’ The New York Times, <www.nytimes.com/2017/10/28/world/americas/honduras-berta-caceres-desa.html>

Pearce, F. (2017) ‘In Honduras, Defending Nature is a Deadly Business’, Yale Environment 360, <https://e360.yale.edu/features/honduras-berta-caceres-murder-activists-environmentalists-at-risk>

Voices News

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