Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mexico: Alliance of Indigenous Self Determination Councils Formed

La Jornada
Friday June 1, 2018, p. 6
Emir Olivares Alonso

 "We undertake the task of rebuilding our way of life"

Faced with the "lack of credibility" of the partisan proposals, the indigenous communities of the municipalities of Cherán, Michoacán; Oxchuc, Chiapas, and Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero, have formed an alliance to build new forms of plural and participatory self government through their traditional "uses and customs".

In a conference, representatives of the councils of these Pueblos demanded respect for their forms of organization and construction of their governing bodies, based on their collective rights that as original communities of Indigenous Peoples which are guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as international agreements and treaties.

"Based on the exercise of indigenous rights backed by the second constitutional article, the peoples of Mexico undertake the task of rebuilding our way of life as original communities, in exercise of our right of self-determination."

They criticized the fact that the PRI candidate for the Presidency, José Antonio Meade, expressed himself in referring to the case of Nestora Salgado of the indigenous pueblo of Olinalá, Guerrero, México, with a negative comment regarding the role of the Olinalá community police, self-defense groups or indigenous guards.

"Our community security systems respond to the inefficiency of federal, state and municipal governments to give us peace. These security initiatives of our peoples have legitimate legal foundation.

"Therefore, we demand respect for our own forms of government, we ratify the determination to guide the communities under our traditions and customs," they said.


Without Indigenous Consultation There Can Be No Treaty

Today, from the legal point of view, it can be categorically stated that if there is no Indigenous Consultation in Mexico there can be no total or partial renegotiation of the NAFTA that could be deemed valid.  Without the meaningful participation of the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, there is a set of national and international standards that make the total or partial renegotiation of NAFTA legally impossible.

Entrevista con Gabriel Méndez López,
asesor legal con la Comisión de Paz del Pueblo Tzeltal Maya, Oxchuc, Chiapas, México.


Retos y Alianzas,Responsabilidades y Derechos, Historia y Destino.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Trade Talks, Trade Wars: Colonization and Terracide

Beyond the issue of the war over tariffs on imports of steel and soft wood lumber between the US and Canada, underlying the issues of subsidy, expropriation and exploitation of labor from Mexico in violation of the terms of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization specifically as regards the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as Migrant Workers with Families, the call by USVP Pence for a “sunset clause” in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has shut down the trade talks under way behind closed doors, none of the three governments of the Mexico-US-Canada have addressed the fundamental issues of colonization, genocide, and TERRACIDE that are being advanced via the “modernization” of NAFTA under the concept of “development”.

Colonization was declared an illegal violation of international law by UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 on December 14, 1960.

Today, the global geopolitical realities no longer allow for the invasion, expropriation, exploitation and destruction of the territories, resources, and labor of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples to be called colonization.

It is called development, and the manufacturing of consent for such regimes of corporate colonization is what and why the Trump Turbulence is so effective to distract from the fight on the ground, the fight against the final plans of annihilation of Indigenous Peoples as Original Nations of Abya Yala [America] with the inherent right of Self Determination unto the Future Generations and in defense of the TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY of MOTHER EARTH.


Against oppression: RESISTANCE!
Against suppression: REBELLION!
Against repression: REGENERATION!


Rights of Nature and Mother Earth:
Rights Based Law for Systemic Change



The Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade argued that Canada's policy of not recognizing aboriginal treaty rights [in the Canadian-US softwood lumber dispute] was a form of a cash subsidy, a real cash subsidy, because the only thing that the World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Agreement recognizes is cash subsidies — nothing else, no 'intangibles'. And the WTO actually accepted our amicus curiae submissions three times.
And when we made the same application to NAFTA, the Canadian government, the Quebec, Ontario governments and the forestry ministry launched a joint objection against us, hiring a law firm in Washington DC to fight us on this issue, saying that we had nothing extra to contribute to this discussion on trade subsidies.
And NAFTA still accepted our submission, even after those objections.
In a way, it says that aboriginal peoples are subsidizing Canada, because no matter where it is in the world, industry is supposed to pay for all the resources it gets in order to process them North American companies that have assumed that, under the colonial doctrines of discovery, that it can take from the indigenous peoples without paying a dime for the trees and that's part of the poverty that indigenous peoples are suffering. There's no remuneration, so there's a whole idea of economic subsidy that's involved in this.
Arthur Manuel at a McGill University lecture titled "Canada, a Pariah State? Indigenous rights in Domestic and International Law."



No Indigenous Consultation, No NAFTA



We call upon the ministers of government at all levels of Canada-US-Mexico and the public constituencies of their respective societies to address without prejudice or discrimination the above clarifications. We assert that these clarifications command rectification of the crime of colonialism and a moratorium on all NAFTA economic development projects impacting the territories of the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples until the right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Indigenous Peoples is fully recognized, respected, and protected in the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as follows:

“Affirming that Indigenous Peoples are equal to all other peoples,…..”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Land of the Braves

Where is the US flag that the Cheyenne raised over their lodges in the early morning light of dawn at Sand Creek on November 29, 1864

Is this the same flag that the NFL would raise now over their captive consumer constituencies, still living but no longer conscious, the crowd of a body politic caged into the sports arenas of the colosseum of Corporate Imperial spectacle that is the National Football League?

Where was Festering Destiny Man when the battle began?

On March 16, 1968 at My Lai

At the bridge in Selma on Bloody Sunday February 18, 1965.

At Standing Rock on February 22, 2017?

When hundreds of blue-clad cavalrymen suddenly appeared at dawn on November 29, a Cheyenne chief raised the Stars and Stripes above his lodge. Others in the village waved white flags. The troops replied by opening fire with carbines and cannon, killing at least 150 Indians, most of them women, children and the elderly. Before departing, the troops burned the village and mutilated the dead, carrying off body parts as trophies.


As Peoples of Mother Earth, we collectively determine to regenerate our relationships among ourselves within a Cultural Climate of Mutual Respect, Inclusion, Complementarity, and Self Determination beyond the existing constrains of the international systems of state sovereignty and in responsibility to the well being of the future generations;

Recognizing that unless this fundamental dimension of international relationships among human societies at the planetary level is first recognized, established and affirmed, there will be no sustainable progress in addressing effectively and in timely manner the Climate Chaos scenario that now befalls all of Humanity due to the impacts on Global Climate exacerbated greenhouse gas emissions by industrial society and extractive industries in particular in complicity with national government states and existing international monetary systems and institutions.

Therefore we proclaim and hereby reaffirm in collective Responsibility as Peoples of Mother Earth, in Equality with all Peoples, our collective Right of Representation and Self Determination in addressing the issues before the COP20 beyond the constraints of the architecture of the States and their agreements;

We further affirm and proclaim in Full, Effective, and Complete exercise of our equally shared Right of Self Determination as Peoples of Mother Earth, that our Sacred Mother Earth is subject of the Right of Self Determination beyond the limited juridical constraints of the Westphalian System of State Sovereignty represented in UN system and the international architectures of personality and procedures of negotiation and agreements;

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Geography of Self Determination

Tupac Enrique Acosta

When the United Nations passed General Assembly resolution 1514 in 1960, declaring “All peoples have the right of self determination”, one of the arguments put forward by the member states of the UN was to clothe the concept of territorial integrity of the states themselves as being protected under the same principle.  In fact, section 6 of the same resolution GA1514 states:

“Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

In essence, these two statements from the seminal document that made colonization a crime for the first time in international law established an inherent conflict in the UN processes that now, nearly half a century later, have come to a definitive point in terms of historical resolution.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the present by the blatant efforts by the anglophile bloc of government states (US-Canada-New Zealand-Australia) to block the full recognition of the Right of Self Determination in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The position of these government states attempts to place the right of self-determination of the Indigenous Peoples as existing only within the parameters of domestic policy and legal systems, even though these same systems are products of colonization itself.

The political arguments on both sides of the issue are in conflict, not just because of the doctrines of power that gave birth to the concepts of dominion which define the states and the social relations of their member constituencies, but also because the framework for resolution of the issues within the UN system is incompetent to address the spirituality of the earth based territorial reality of the Indigenous Nations, and the system itself is incoherent according to the geographic sciences of modern times.

What is lacking is a mechanism to define the issues in common terms, outside of the intellectual framework of colonization and dominion. What is missing is a clarification of the concept of territorial integrity, as a dimension of ecological and social sustainability and not a bastard relic from the intellectual Regime of Doctrines spawned by the Divine Right of Kings. 

Emergence of the Fourth Principle 

GA 1514 was followed by GA1541, which specified principles that defined three options for the attainment of “a full measure of self-government”, as the only contemplated political trajectories at the time for relief from colonization.  These are:

(a)            Emergence as a sovereign independent State;
(b)           Free association with an independent state; or
(c)            Integration with an independent state.

It is an incontrovertible fact that the transfer of territorial jurisdiction from Indigenous Nations authorities to dominion concepts of control and allegiance by the states is historically flawed and legally suspect.  There are unquantifiable elements. The case of the Western Shoshone is contemporary evidence that this is not just history but reality in the context of the hemisphere of the Americas, yet there is a larger issue.

The social and geographic realities of the Indigenous Peoples as Nations continue to exist as a political anomaly in terms of the international legal system of the United Nations.  Specifically, in this hemisphere of Abya Yala [the Americas] not only is this true in the face of centuries of colonization but also in terms of the options for relief from the crime.

Self definition being the precept of self determination, the three options of GA 1541 do not adequately describe the outcome of principles of self-determination which would define the Indigenous Peoples and our continuing relationship to our ancestral territories and surviving traditional societies.

The Emergence of the Indigenous Nations is a daily occurrence, one which is manifested in accord with natural laws of reciprocity and harmony with the natural world, which includes our fellow human beings.  This ancient tradition is the shared cultural infrastructure of our confederations of families, clans, communities Pueblos and Nations. It could be characterized as a State of Integrity, which is not independent but interdependent within the network of ecosystems that describe our traditional homelands, sacred sites, territories and nations: the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth.

Thus the Emergence of the Fourth Principle for decolonization: INTERDEPENDENCE – self determination as an expression of community ecology and environmental sustainability. It is a particular and universal principle that may serve as a threshold concept to arrive at that ancient place once called the New World, if only we could create and travel guided by maps of the geography of self-determination. 

P.O. Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074

Mandate of the Indigenous Peoples

May 9, 2012

UN Headquarters, New York NY
To attempt to institute the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples under a single mandate, that of the states of the UN system, is equivalent to the imposition by diplomacy of domination of the same monopolistic ideology of the Doctrine of Discovery in present tense, and in violation of the right of Right of Self Determination of the Indigenous Peoples.
El Viento de Aztlan
Primavera   Xihuitl  Nahui  Acatl   Spring  2003

Mandate of the Indigenous Peoples
All peoples have the right to self determination.”  These are the words of United Nations General Assembly resolution 1514, passed on December 14, 1960, in the wake of the cresting global movement to declare colonization a crime against humanity, a violation of the international law of nation states.
The declaration of colonization as a violation of international law for the first time in the context of the United Nations system, placed the government states who were in violation under the scrutiny of the General Assembly, and procedures were put in place to identify criteria that would specifically describe the Non-Self-Governing Territories under colonization and also establish a reporting system for the violating government states.
From the same resolution, GA 1514:
The General Assembly,
Solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations…
For over 3,500 years our relatives have been contending with colonization under the Aryan philosophy of racial and cultural superiority in their traditional territories, ever since even before they were invaded by Alexander the Great.  They also, like we native nations of this continent of Abya Yala are called Indians. They call themselves the ADIVASI, one of the Indigenous Peoples of the Indian subcontinent. Along with the Adivasi, the Maori of Aotearoa (AKA New Zealand), the multiple and diverse Indigenous Nations from the former Soviet Union, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Indigenous Peoples of the Southeast Asian Peninsula as well as the Mainland, we joined as the Indigenous Nations of Abya Yala, Turtle Island (AKA the Americas), Africa, Europe and Australia to witness and strengthen the global political position of the Indigenous Peoples upon the inauguration of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, May 13, 2002 in New York.
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is a 16 member body of independent experts, eight of whom are nominated by the government states, and eight nominated by the Indigenous Peoples themselves in a process that reflects 7 geo-cultural regions of the world with one rotating seat. Established as an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, the Permanent Forum creates for the first time within the global system of governance that is the United Nations, a vehicle by which the Indigenous Peoples and Nations can represent their interests directly to the UN.
The inaugural session of the Permanent Forum was opened by the Tadodaho (traditional chief) from Onandaga, guardians of the Grand Council Fire of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois

Among the Nican Tlacah of Anahuac, there exists an especially strong tie of culture and kinship with the Haudenosaunee that goes back to the Wounded Knee conflict of 1973, and further still to Mad Bear Anderson's continental Unity Caravan under the White Roots of Peace and the initiative he led to Cuba, attempting to achieve international recognition for the Haudenosaunee passport and nationality on a par with those of the US or any other government state. More profoundly, among the archives of traditional memory of the Tezcatlipoca Azteca, there exists the legends of the teaching of relations between the founder of the Six Nations Confederacy, called the Peacekeeper, and the disciples of the teachings of Quetzalcoatl Ce Acatl in Mexico.
As the first week of the Permanent Forum drew to a close, a sense of urgency and acknowledgment united the indigenous representatives at the UN.  The Indigenous Peoples - our nations, communities, and families are on the front line of the assault being systematically waged as the global multinational corporate structure voraciously extracts natural resources and spews contamination in order to maintain industrial dominance of the current consumer market model of economic globalization. At the Permanent Forum, the Indigenous Nations testified repeatedly that time is running out to rectify the relationship of the human society globally in order to achieve sustainability within the natural ecosystems of the Earth.  It will soon be too late for words, too late to reverse the effects of the petroleum based industrial model that has pushed the world into the scenario of what will inevitably be the terrible effects of global warming, environmental degradation, and deforestation.
Among the Indigenous Caucus convened at the UN in New York, it has also become mutually acknowledged and reinforced at each international conference where the Indigenous Peoples are in attendance, that the Indigenous Peoples worldwide are the best hope as a strategic political bloc with global context, history, and coherence that is not controlled by the fractured allegiances or ideologies of the nation state paradigm, nor captured by the values of the multinational corporate regime of global resource expropriation.  At the core of this mutual acknowledgment is an appreciation for the spirituality of the ancient and diverse Indigenous Peoples as caretakers of the Earth.

This enduring foundation has provided the precept of a planetary constitution that describes the Indigenous Nations and Peoples as a global confederation of families, communities, organizations, nations, and Nations of Nations in alliance. In this hemisphere, this precept is known as the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor.
When Pope Alexander the VI, himself a member of the infamous Borgia family, issued the Papal Bull Inter Cetera on May 3-4,1493 the precursor estates that have led to the present colonial nation state formation on this continent were given their empowerment in terms of the international legal system of the so called “West.”  It was under the jurisprudence of this international decree, clothed in the religious authority of the Vatican, that the colonization, terracide and genocide of this hemisphere acquired its initial justification as a civilized action, again in terms of the “West”, and specifically for the representative political powers of the time: the royal families of Spain and Portugal. Under this edict, the geographical fact of discovery was tied to the politico-religious act of dominion implemented with exclusivity in favor of the European American invaders.  

The New World was such for the West not just in the geographical sense, it was new and revolutionary in the fact that the Indigenous Peoples social contract that gave context to the political infrastructure of the culture emanated through a spirituality appreciative of the elemental forces of nature, in which there was no concept of things outside of nature or “supernatural.”  Nor was the human society given preference or exclusivity as the being the dominant personality of society, which included the other life forms of winged, crawling, swimming, etc., creatures in the natural world order.  It was these egalitarian political precepts that upon arrival in the Europe of the 1500’s, gave germination to the revolutions of liberation which eventually toppled the rule by royalty in this hemisphere, and gave birth to the modern republic-states presently internationally recognized and in status as members of the UN. In the transition, however, from colony to republic, not one of the newly formed nation states of the hemisphere has revoked the initial claim to jurisdiction established under the Papal Bull of 1493.
In fact, although the UN General Assembly resolution 1514 proclaims colonization as a violation of international law, and the criteria and protocols for decolonization clearly are relevant and should be applied to the indigenous nation territories, a Doctrine of Denial and complicity exists among the government states of the western hemisphere to block implementation by the Indigenous Nations and Peoples to the right to decolonization.

In other words, the processes of decolonization applied after World War II to the African continent and other colonial territories is not to be repeated or made inclusive of the Indigenous Peoples.  To accomplish this duplicity, the government states of the United Nation systems refused to accede to identifying the Indigenous Peoples as Peoples, referring to us as "indigenous populations" only or in the singular as “indigenous people” thus precluding the right to self determination and collective rights within the global matrix which is the established international legal system of the so called “civilized world.”  Specific to North, South and Central America, the government states of the continent have colluded to enforce the Doctrine of Denial under the international legal system and the United Nations, within which these governments are recognized as "indigenous to the hemisphere" thus shielding them collectively as violators of UN General Assembly Resolution 1514.
The call for a permanent forum within the United Nations system for Indigenous Peoples derives from the historical resistance movement of the Indigenous Peoples and Nations worldwide to colonization. In the implementation, the UN has established within the Economic and Social Council the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The concept of a forum is a description of social space, wherein a dialogue is possible.  Any true dialogue requires a minimum of two perspectives, a dynamic of duality must be present at all phases of the process, including planning, implementation, and evaluation. Within the diplomatic language of the international system, unless the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is to be simply a dis-empowering token exercise for the Indigenous Peoples, there must be recognition from the start that the Permanent Forum operates under a Dual Mandate.
We have arrived at the moment in history of the world where a dialogue among civilizations and world views is necessary at the global level.  Only so will the hope for Peace and Dignity with justice for our human society survive, established through a sustainable ecological relationship to the Mother Earth itself as foundation.  This is the Mandate of the Indigenous Peoples; it supersedes that of the United Nations system; it is an expression of the jurisprudence of indigenous international law: it is the path of Tradition and Liberation.
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
Contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

UNPFII 2018: Statement by Global Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus

Global Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus

Seventeenth Session of the UNPFII 16–27 April 2018


We note the dominant themes of our Global Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus for 2018 as being self determination, indigenous justice, the doctrine of discovery, access to Indigenous lands territories and resources, and water sovereignty – which includes our rights to  define our own freshwater and ocean policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to our unique circumstances. We note the continued contamination of water for the purposes of resource extraction and nuclear weapons industries. Access to justice for Indigenous Peoples remains an issue, in particular for Indigenous women, Indigenous children, and Indigenous defenders of lands, resources, territories and human rights. With this in mind the caucus offers the following recommendations:

1.     We echo president Evo Morales’ call in 2008 for a UN Convention on Water, to be developed with full participation of Indigenous Peoples. The water is life issue reminds the world community of the need for action to protect, and enhance water quality by first aligning all initiatives related to water with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We assert our human right to water and the role of water in our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, communal and environmental wellbeing. We take a position against aquacide, the killing of the waters.

2.     That the Permanent Forum request a report on the implementation of the recommendations made, to be submitted to the forum at its 18th session, in 2019. The report should analyse the challenges as well as the associated factors that United Nations agencies and funds, member states and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations have faced.

3.     We call upon the UN to put in place monitoring systems to protect Indigenous Peoples and secure their rights to justice. Concerns continue around the violations of human rights of Indigenous women, children and water and land protectors. Disproportionate  incarceration, serious injury, and death are all linked to the criminalization of Indigenous rights to land and water protection.

4.     We further call upon the Permanent Forum to put in place a monitoring system to promote and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples reporting to the Permanent Forum in their capacity as Indigenous communicators and human rights defenders.

5.     We call upon the Permanent Forum to continue to advance the work and recommendations of the UN Preliminary Study on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery (2010), the Study on Cross-border issues (2015), and update the Treaty Study by Dr. Miguel Alfonso Martinez (1999), without discrimination and in full recognition and respect for the Rights of Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples,  "Equal to all other peoples...". This report should be a full comprehensive and complete report that focuses on the systemic violations on the rights of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples,  and should extend to the co-development of treaty-centered national constitutions. We remain disappointed that there has been little in the way of education on the ongoing human rights violations normalized by the perpetuation of colonial doctrines, with increased potential for miseducation in the memorializing of the illegal invasions of Indigenous territories.

6.     We further recommend that the Permanent Forum reiterate their call for member states to repudiate all instances of the discovery doctrine, and that states discontinue the memorializing of colonial invaders through official holidays, monuments and events.

7.     We echo the 2017 calls of Chief Oren Lyons and member state South Africa for the advancement of a Convention for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recommend that a working group be established, led by Indigenous Peoples, to consider advancing towards a United Nations Convention on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is our view that self determination on our own terms will remain elusive while inaction towards a Convention persists. This evidenced in the continued difficulties of access for Indigenous Peoples to the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues.

8.     As a recourse for peoples who face political persecution for presenting, or experience continued barriers to attending, we call for the return of prioritisation to the Global Indigenous Peoples and Womens’ Caucuses.

9.     Furthermore, we reaffirm that our participation, advice and recommendations to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples in defense of the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth, does not constitute the devolution or reduction of the Mandate of Indigenous Peoples now or in the Future Generations.