In the aftermath of the 18 March 2019 assassination of their leader and colleague, Sergio Rojas, the Bribri indigenous peoples of Salitre, Costa Rica have demanded that the Government execute 8 eviction orders of illegal non-indigenous occupants in their territory within 30 days – the orders were issued over four years ago and never executed by the Government.
The Bribri insist that that these evictions take place as a demonstration of good faith and as evidence that the Government has the capacity and political will to actually remove illegal occupants from their territory (as required by a national law adopted in 1977, but never implemented). In recently renewed negotiations with the Government, the Bribri have reaffirmed their insistence that government compliance with the 2015 Precautionary Measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect Bribri defenders of human rights from more violence and threats, will require more than an increase of police presence. The Government must finally put an end to the impunity for perpetrators of violence and remove all of the illegal non-indigenous occupants that create the insecurity and promote aggressions against their people. The demand made this past weekend will be a test of the Government’s true commitment to change the situation in the Bribri territory of Salitre and in all indigenous territories in Costa Rica experiencing similar situations.
The Bribri request the support of the nation and the international community. Please write to the Government of Costa Rica supporting the demands of the Bribri people and calling for the full investigation and sanctioning of the person(s) responsible for Mr. Roja’s assassination. You may write: Juan Alfaro López, Vice Minister of Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue, San José, Costa Rica (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Eduardo Antonio Solano Solano, Vice Minister of Public Security (email@example.com).
Tom Dixon, Media Manager, Forest Peoples Programme, firstname.lastname@example.org