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Communiqué of the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu concerning the El Porvenir massacre and the looting of indigenous organisations' offices and further demanding the replacement of the Attorney General.
For the attention of the national and international public.
Of the serious events that have taken place in the Republic of Bolivia, we wish to highlight the following:
- 1) the massacre that was carried out on 11 September 2008 near the town of El Porvenir, 30 kilometres from the city of Cobija, capital of the department of Pando, in which at least 30 individuals were killed according to the official announcement of the Government.
According to all of the testimony obtained, the alleged perpetrators of this act of extermination are hired assassins organised and used by the authorities of the Department of Pando.
- 2) the attack on, looting and destruction of the headquarters of the Coordinator of Ethnic Peoples of Santa Cruz - CPESC (Coordinadora de Pueblos Étnicos de Santa Cruz), which took place on 11 September 2008 in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and was publicly reported by our sister organisation in its communiqué of 14 September 2008.
- 3) the attack on and looting of the headquarters of CIDOB (Confederación de los Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia), which took place on 11 September 2008 in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and was reported by the said organisation in its communiqué published on 14 September 2008.
- 4) the attack on and looting of the headquarters of the Centre of Legal Studies and Social Investigation (Centro de Estudios Jurídicos e Investigación Social - CEJIS), which occurred on 9 September 2008 in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, according to the communiqué published by the said organisation on 10 September 2008.
The Executive Committee of the APGIG and the Area and Communal Mburuvichas in furtherance of their legitimate and legal powers:
HEREBY DECLARE AS FOLLOWS:
- 1) We express our solidarity with all the indigenous organisations of Santa Cruz de la Sierra affected by these lootings which clearly are racially motivated.
- 2) We express our solidarity with the victims of the massacre of El Porvenir, the leaders, organisers and material perpetrators of which expressly intended to commit a racially motivated act of extermination.
- 3) We ratify our communiqué dated 1 May 2008 with respect to the events at Cuevo, and in which we supported the statement of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of 25 April 2008 holding that there are international instruments which are part of International Human Rights Law to which the Republic of Bolivia is party and therefore, they prevail over the Constitution of the State and are of mandatory application by judges, prosecutors, and all governmental authorities; and we refer in particular but without limitation, to the American Convention on Human Rights, the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, and to article 8 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
We also required that the President of the Republic take specific measures to ensure that these acts were not repeated, echoing the request of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights which expressly reminded the Bolivian State "of its obligation to adopt the necessary measures to prevent them from being repeated and to investigate and punish those responsible, with strict respect for human rights".
- 4) We should point out with profound concern that neither the events at Cuevo nor the other acts of racist violence have been investigated pursuant to the international norms of due process by the Attorney General of the Republic, according to the legal documentation in our possession and we are not aware of any preventive or protective measures taken to guarantee that these acts are not repeated. On the contrary, from the facts it would appear that even the police failed to take preventive action.
- 5) We insist that the Attorney General of the Republic acts in accordance with article 6 of the Organic Law of the Public Ministry entitled "Obligations" ("Obligatoriedad") according to which "the Public Ministry, under its own responsibility and initiative will instigate public criminal action whenever it becomes aware of punishable acts and there exist sufficient facts to verify the commission thereof".
- 6) We repeat our request to the competent legal authorities that they proceed to criminally prosecute those responsible for these acts, bearing in mind that if, in the planning of these acts, as we believe, there existed the participation of authorities who have an obligation to apply international and national laws arising from their position as public officials or elected authorities, this would constitute an aggravating factor in the analysis of their behaviour and should lead to a preventive suspension of their duties until such time as their responsibilities have been investigated and addressed.
- 7) We expressly support the request made by the Chiquitana Indigenous Organization in its communiqué of 12 September 2008 in which it expressly resolved to "ADMONISH President Evo Morales Ayma that he should comply with the Constitution and the laws of the Republic, as well as international treaties and conventions protecting the rights of indigenous peoples; and that he should immediately institute constitutional measures of conservation and preservation of public order and, hence, for the protection of our Lands and Natural Resources (Art.8 para a); Art 111 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bolivia; from the threats of the criminal, violent and fascist groups who obey the orders of Rubén Costas and Branco Marincovick, faithful puppets of the North American Empire who are attempting with their divisive policies to achieve grief and pain for our families, denying any kind of institutionality to the Bolivian State".
- 8) We ask the President of the Republic to take the necessary measures to guarantee the security of the headquarters of indigenous organisations and the personal safety of its leaders and activists and that he give the necessary orders to establish preventative security plans for these purposes.
- 9) We consider that the Attorney General of the Republic and the delegated prosecutors who have investigated the various racist acts and the serious violations of human and indigenous rights have shown excessive leniency; we ask the President of the Republic to take the necessary steps to replace this public official in the exercise of his duties and similarly to replace all those responsible for failing to take necessary and appropriate preventive measures to avoid the occurrence of these types of acts.
Entre Ríos, 15 September 2008
Signed by the Directors of the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu (APG IG)
- Never Barrientos, President
- Florentino Zeballos, Vice-President
- Fernando Cuellar, Head of Production
- Benito Arce, Head of Health Matters
- Gregorio Barrientos, Head of Education
- Zacarías Cuellar, Head of Infrastructure
- Benildo Vaca, Head of Natural Resources
- Plácido Rojas, Head of Communication
- Jorge Delffin, Head of Land and Territory
- Justino Molina, Mburuvicha Zonal, Zona 1
- Celestino Virela, Mburuvicha Zonal, Zona 2
- Fabián Cayo, Mburuvicha Zonal, Zona 3
DDHH en Bolivia
|This document has been published on 16Sep08 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.|