Statement by Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin – COICA
The Peruvian Amazon turns blood red before COP20: Without territories and rights there will be no climate solutions
The Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin – COICA is comprised of 9 indigenous organizations of 9 countries that cover the majestic Amazonian jungle, amongst them, Peru (AIDESEP), Ecuador(CONFENIAE), Brazil(COIAB), Colombia(OPIAC), French Guyana (FOAG), Guyana(APA), Surinam(OIS), Bolivia(CIDOB) and Venezuela(ORPIA), organized to position our common efforts for the defense and promotion of the human, territorial, environmental indigenous rights, as well as Full Life in the Amazon in alliance with the natural surroundings to ensure the continuity of the planet and our present and future generations.
We currently inhabit a territorial extension of 240 million hectares of titled forests. Our forests include the most important biotic reservation in the world as well as the biggest amount of living material per superficial unit in the planet, producing approximately 75% of the world’s oxygen.
Regarding the constant systematic violations of the collective and human rights of the Indigenous Peoples, especially regarding the recent tragic events in Peru, we express:
- Our rejection and indignation towards the killing of the 4 ashaninka leaders: Edwin Chota Valera, Leoncio Quincima Melendez, Jorge Ríos Perez and Francisco Pinedo. Our solidarity with the Saweto community that defended their territories, associated with ACOMAC (Asociación de Comunidades del Alto Tamaya), affiliated with ORAU (Organización Regional de Aidesep Ucayali), base organization of AIDESEP (Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana), that forms part of COICA’s territorial brotherhood: 5,000 communities, 400 federations and 9 national confederations of the Southamerican Amazon basin. This crime would have been avoided if the authorities in Peru would have listened to the constant and public clamor that our brothers manifested against the threat of the illegal timber merchants.
- Our profound indignation, pain, anger that has been accumulating for years and even centuries due to the spilling of indigenous blood, violence, racism, forgetting, indifference towards us because, we, THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AREN’T WORTH ANYTHING. Indignation because the colony is still present, the “colonization” of the jungle where the indigenous people are killed and the impunity of these cases is constant. The majority of these Indigenous Peoples are still abandoned and deprived of their lands on which wealth is made; yesterday from the rubber companies, today from the lumberjacks, miners, oil companies and tomorrow from anyone who has “power”.
- Enough! Today, the Ashaninkas in Peru die, before it was the Yukpa in Venezuela, the peoples in Tipnis in Bolivia, the Guarani in Brazil and many others. The green Amazon is still tainted red by the indigenous blood; always for defending one sole principle that our ancestors handed us down: to defend the Amazon and our territories where the life for humanity throbs as well as the future of the planet. Because where there is a jungle with peoples, we shall stand united forever, nurturing and recreating life for every human being.
- We are killed for defending our territories, those of our ancestors and our great grandchildren. The titled, ensured, indigenous territories are not just an essential human right for our survival, as well as a constitutional, international right but also the best “investment” for the states and humanity, The indigenous territories are the guarantee for the cooling of the planet which is about to explode due to global warming.
With the 240 million titled hectares in hand of the Amazon indigenous peoples, we have achieved less deforestation than the state Natural Areas, through our forests we store more than 96,000 million TM of CO2, meaning all the emissions in the world during the last 3 years. More than 100 million hectares are still pending titling, of which 20 million are in Peru. For this reason we propose, demand, claim that this historical debt of recognition be addressed; titling, help for the holistic management of the territories of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin for the service of humanity.
We make a call so that these unnecessary deaths do not remain idle and that the people with good will of the world will pressure wherever they are found, be this in the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit in New York or in the UNFCCC – COP20, or in any other part, to generate awareness to obtain the necessary political and financial wills for the territorial security of the Amazon indigenous peoples and those of the entire world.
The territorial titling for Saweto and our peoples are the only sincere condolences and sympathies that we will recognize for the victims. We will wait and this will come. A thousand times we will be hit, but a thousand times we will rise and we will keep on walking as we have done so during millenniums.
1. Mr. Ollanta Humala, President of the Republica of Peru, as well as the authorities of the Judicial Power, to sanction those responsable for the crimes against the Ashaninka brothers and to protect the rights and security of the Saweto families.
2. To the President and Judicial Power to acquittal Alberto Pizango and the 52 Amazonians because they cannot and should not be charged with prison for life just for defending the jungles for the lives of our peoples and humanity.
3. We invoke the regional authorities of the Amazon of Peru to solve the physical legal sanitation of the territories of the indigenous communities, this means giving the property titles, measure that will significantly contribute to the eradication of illegal timber and illegal mining.
4. Furthermore, we call for the Presidents of the Republic of Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Guyana, French Guyana (France), Surinam, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia so that they adopt all the pertinent measures for the compliance of ILO Convention 169 and the Universal Declaration on Indigenous Rights of the Indigenous Peoples ensuring the titillation of 100 million has. that are still pending for our peoples.
Quito, September 15, 2014
COICA Directive Council
Calle Sevilla N24 - 358 y Guipuzcoa. La Floresta, Distrito Metropolitano Quito Pichincha 593 Ecuador