Servindi, October 14, 2019.- More than 400 indigenous communicators who participated in the Encuentro Internacional de Comunicación Indígena – EICI (International Meeting of Indigenous Communication)  (EICI), supported the demands of the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador – CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador).
During the closing of the event that took place in the city of Cusco from October 10 to 12, the communicators signed a statement denouncing “the media curtain imposed by the Ecuadorian government to prevent the world from knowing about the serious aggressions that repression is causing.”
In this context, they demand that the international human rights organizations to “urgently establish an independent commission that investigates the violent scenario”.
Threats to Mother Earth
The pronouncement also includes the participant’s testimonies about the neo-colonial extractivism that is spreading in the indigenous territories and is affecting “our Mother Earth”.
The document states: “(…) we strongly reject the construction of the Mayan Train and the so-called Transisthmian Corridor Project, in the Mexican southeast that threatens the life and territories of the indigenous peoples in the region.”
Likewise, the final document of the EICI rejects the criminalization of social protest in Valle del Tambo Valley, in the province of Islay, Arequipa in Peru. In this context, they demand the definitive cancellation of the Tía María and La Tapada mining projects.
Access the declaration from the following link:
The Qoricancha Declaration
Declaration of the International Meeting of Indigenous Communication (EICI 2019)
Today, October 12, 2019, and 527 years after the barbaric European invasion, more than 400 communicators from indigenous peoples from 15 countries of Abya Yala have convened in Qosqo (Cusco), Sacred Valley of the Incas, territory of the Quechua people. This is the historical place where our heroes Túpak Amaru, Micaela Bastidas, and other fallen brothers during the resistance against the bloodthirsty Spanish colonialism were dismembered in 1781.
We have freely gathered to deliberate and reflect on the processes of indigenous communication; remembering that based on the Declaration "The Summit is of the Peoples, not of the States", promoted by the peoples’ international space, in the Cumbre Continental de Comunicación Indígena del Abya Yala (III Continental Summit of Indigenous Communication of Abya Yala), (Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2016). The place where we agreed to promote own continental articulation processes, without intervention of the States. Peru was chosen as the venue for the meeting in 2019, which took place in the city of Cusco. We subscribe this declaration to manifest the following to the world:
Rejection of violence in Ecuador
First, we want to express our indignation and rejection of the state of siege and the repression exerted by the Ecuadorian State against the people who demand justice and their legitimate requests to be addressed.
We denounce the media curtain imposed by the Ecuadorian government to prevent the world from knowing about the serious aggressions that the repression is causing in Ecuador, leading to deaths and injuries. We support the demands of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and demand that the international human rights organizations urgently establish an independent commission to investigate the violent context unleashed.
Mother Earth is threatened
The raw testimonies that we have heard during the three days of deliberation have led us to the conclusion that our planet, our Mother Earth, is in danger because the predatory capitalist neoliberal system spreads rapidly over our territories, with a neo-colonial extractivist objective. All driven by greedy and corrupt governments, multinational corporations allies, who continue to seek unlimited profits, at the expense of our communities and peoples deaths.
Therefore, we strongly reject the construction of the Mayan Train and the so-called Transisthmian Corridor Project, in the Mexican southeast that threatens the life and territories of the indigenous peoples in the region.
In the same way, we reject the criminalization of social protest in Valle del Tambo, Islay Province, Arequipa Region, Peru. The place where the definitive cancellation of the Tía María and La Tapada mining projects from the Mexican mining company Southern is demanded.
We call on the Bolivian media to carry out an ethical journalistic and informative work that reflects the reality of the indigenous territories and not favor private interests and entrepreneurs.
We denounce the systematic extermination plan against social leaders, environmental defenders, authorities, guards and indigenous communicators in Colombia, which has caused hundreds of murders. We urge international the human rights organizations, their prompt and effective intervention and accompaniment.
Likewise, we reject the state of siege established by the Guatemalan Government in the ancestral territory of the Maya Q’eqchi ’people, as well as the criminalization against the Defensoría Q’eqchi’ (Q’eqchi’Ombudsman) and Radio Comunitaria Xyaab ’Tzuultaq’a (Xyaab ’Tzuultaq’a Community Radio).
The Right to Communication in order to defend territories and life
We reaffirm our commitment to continue working to recover and affirm an integral vision of communication from the original wisdoms, having as its axis the territory, spirituality and decoloniality.
We will seek to empower ourselves in the effective exercise of the Right to Communication coming from the mandates of the peoples or their own laws, without being intimidated by the "legal" restrictions of the governments that limit the exercise of the voice of the peoples, in freedom and autonomy.
We reaffirm the collective peoples’ right to communication and the right to recover their voice and image, and to demand from all States, regardless of political orientation, unrestricted respect for this right. Within the framework of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, we demand that the conditions are ensured so that all native peoples have their own means of communication to exercise the right to freedom of linguistic expression and that States make effective the binding commitments acquired when signing the Convention on Cultural Diversity adopted by UNESCO in 2005.
We demand the eradication of human trafficking, considered the 21st century’s form of slavery, which mainly exploits indigenous girls, boys and adolescents.
Likewise, we ask the international human rights organizations and rapporteurs for freedom of expression to make additional and visible efforts to highlight the right to communication as one of the fundamental human rights for a democratic life and common welfare.
We take on the commitment to position - with effective actions - the right to communication from the different processes, without conditioning to the restrictive legal frameworks of the States.
To focus on communication for the defense of the territory, as our own and autonomous agenda of the communication processes of Abya Yala. This means:
1. To operationally coordinate network tasks or links, with collaborative productions and communicative events between processes.
2. To coordinate joint actions and strategies in the process of training and educating indigenous communicators, taking up the proposed improvements in the itinerant schools strategy.
3. To coordinate advocacy actions with governments and international organizations to guarantee the right to communication.
4. It is also necessary to guide our communication actions with a free perspective and with technological sovereignty. In this sense, we commit to implement technologies and free software in all our communication processes.
Defense of Mother Earth
Indigenous communication includes the promotion and defense of the rights of our Mother Earth, and is fundamental to the vindication and struggles of our peoples. That is why we express our rejection of the constant persecution, criminalization and selective murder of communicators for promoting and defending the rights of Mother Earth, and we demand that states and international organizations guarantee integral security for indigenous communicators, and ratify the Agreement from Escazu.
We denounce the communicative exclusion, communication racism and monocultural communication that are implemented in the countries of Abya Yala and that are reinforced by the media concentration at the service of power interests. As indigenous communicators, we reaffirm our vocation to be at the service of the restoration and defense of the territories, the exercise of indigenous autonomies, and the commitment to the construction of plurinational states.
In the face of the neo-colonial extractivism, indigenous communicators will promote the creation of communication strategies for the defense of Mother Earth and our territories. All the elements that are vital for the survival of life on the planet; vindicating our commitment to accompany and make visible the struggles of our peoples, sharing defense strategies, promoting their articulation, promoting access to information and the rights of indigenous peoples, both within our communities, and before society in general.
We reiterate our commitment to the defense of Mother Earth and Water against the climatic catastrophe that the predatory capitalist system and extractivism have led in the different territories. Indigenous peoples are among those most affected by global warming and at the same time those who mostly contribute to curbing it. We demand that states recognize this contribution, abandon false climate solutions and make real commitments at the Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 25) to be held in Chile, next December.
We take on the commitment to make our greatest efforts to be present and raise the agenda of indigenous peoples in defense of forests and biodiversity, and from there strengthen the voices and demands of the indigenous peoples of Abya Ayala to help curb the climate crisis and save humanity.
About continental articulation processes
We support the initiative to create a “Community of Audiovisual Producers of Abya Yala”. Thus, we welcome the first event to be held in June 2020 in the City of La Paz and Lake Titicaca, within the framework of Bolivia Lab, whose programming will include Training Workshops in Documentary and Fiction Cinema, Advice to Audiovisual Projects and exhibition of selected works.
We reaffirm the urgency of defending, recovering, revitalizing and rescuing the use of native languages in all our communication processes, in Abya Yala; as well as, to promote inclusive language, depatriarchalization and pluralism of the media.
We assume the commitment to articulate and continue weaving organizational efforts from our peoples, maintaining the agenda of the right to communication from the territory. In this sense, it is important to promote, and frame new national and international meetings of indigenous communicators as part of the follow-up of the International Meeting of Indigenous Communication (EICI 2019). This will have the aim of holding a Second International Meeting to continue making communicators visible indigenous people as essential political actors and subjects for a democratic life, in which unrestricted freedom of expression is guaranteed for all social sectors. Specially, for indigenous peoples who are the living expression of cultural diversity that enriches humanity.
Considering the urgent and permanent need to continue learning and articulating the efforts of indigenous communication in our Abya Yala, we acknowledge and value this articulation space. This space proposes to establish an Organizing Committee of a Second Continental Meeting of Abya Yala Indigenous Communicators in Guatemala for 2022, to continue this process under the principles of autonomy, independence of the States and political parties, by and for the peoples.
Given in the city of Cusco, Peru, on October 12, 2019, Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day.
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