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Indigenous World Today: International news summary

Servindi, September the 26th, 2016.- We share our international news summary with some of the highlights of the week in the indigenous and environmental issues around the world. Free reproduction and diffusion is allowed. All rights are shared.

The current summary has been recorded with the participation of Yannik Boserup.

Indigenous World Today - September the 26th, 2016 (You can download the audio by right-clicking on the "Play" button and then "Save Audio As...").

Migrants and refugees. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the New York Declaration on refugees and migrants by consensus.

The document reiterates the commitment of the international community with the rights and protection of those persons.

Thereby, Member States recognize the shared responsibility for managing large movements of refugees and migrants humanely and commits to address the causes of these movements.

Forest plantations. A public letter recalled that the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) definition of "forest" injures forests and communities.

The letter was released on September 21st, International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, an initiative of the Rainforest Movement, the “Salva la Selva” organization and TimberWatch.

It points out that the FAO definition affects the definitions of nations as well as international processes such as the UN negotiations on climate change.

According to the promoters of the action, FAO underestimates the fact that its definition favors especially large corporations that promote wood and other tree plantations on a large scale.

Venezuela. "The decree on the Orinoco Mining Arc exploitation is a gigantic ecological crime, it would mean the liquidation of Guayana, Amazonas and Delta".

This was denounced by Alexander Luzárdo, former President of the Commission of Environment of Venezuela, at a conference held at the College of Engineers of Venezuela on September the 19th.

Luzardo explained that the contamination with mercury and its derivatives would cause irreversible damage affecting indigenous people.

He also states that the affected areas are fragile and are home to the last reserves of unpolluted fresh water.

Indigenous cinematography. The third edition of the International Indigenous Film Festival of Venezuela will present 38 films, including 17 fiction genre movies, 18 documentaries and three animated short films.

The event will be held in the city of Maracáibo and begin on September the 29th and will be a meeting point between indigenous and non-indigenous community and audiovisual professionals.

Mexico. A report submitted to the United Nations (UN) revealed that nearly a hundred companies violate human rights in Mexico and affect indigenous peoples, communities and ejídos.

Among the companies mentioned are the Higa Group, Bimbo, Cargill, Carso Group, Bal Group, Mexico Group, Excellen mining Company and Mexican Oil Companies.

The document indicates that the main abuses are the lack of free, informed and culturally appropriate consultation, among others.

The structural reforms implemented during the first three years of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration are also mentioned.

Budget cut. A proposed budget cuts to indigenous peoples will be a national tragedy, because a considerable percentage of the population self-ascribes as indigenous peoples and communities.

So warns the mexican researcher Marcos Matias Alonso, who noted that the budget should not overlook the more than 25 million indigenous people who can not be excluded from the benefits of national development.

He also considered that the Commission on Indigenous Affairs should call a national mobilization against the budget cut as thousands of indigenous public works and programs will be affected

Haiti. The Colonialism Reparation coalition filed a request to provide reparations to cholera victims in Haiti whose responsibility was accepted by the United Nations (UN).

A report led by academician Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and filtered by The New York Times, reveals that the UN is responsible of introducing cholera in Haiti, where at least 10,000 deaths were registered from the 2010 outbreak.

On August the 19th 2016, the General Secretary of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, was forced to recognize that "the United Nations has a moral responsibility to the victims of the disease, so it should support the country in building water, sanitation and health systems."

Colombia. The Popular Consultation of Ibagué and Cajamárca are seeking to stop polluting mining activities involving land use change, loss or contamination of water and affectation of agricultural and tourist vocation.

This was explained by biologist Renzo Alexander García Parra, General Coordinator of the “Campaign for No to mining pollution in the referendum of Ibagué”, capital of the Tolima department in Colombia.

García Parra notes that the Popular Consultation of Ibagué, held on October 2nd, is the first to be applied in a capital city.

He considered that the restriction on mining activities must be decided through consultation and not by the authorities as the environmental position of future mayors are not known.

Máxima Acuña. Alexis Massol González, winner of 2002 Goldman Environmental Prize from Puerto Rico, asked the President of the Republic of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, to ensure the protection of life, property and rights of Máxima Acuña and her family.

In a public letter on behalf of environmental groups, he expressed outrage at the attack on Máxima Acuña, 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner, by the staff of the Yanacocha mining company.

"Our colleague and her family are not alone," he said.

He also ensures that many people around the world are outraged with this event and that they are joined in the claim of Máxima, who just wants to live in peace on her land.

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