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Communiqué from the Assembly of the Guarani People of Itika Guasu (APGIG) for the National and International Public.
Given the situation created as a result of the conduct of multinational companies in TCO territory (territory of community origin) owned by the indigenous groups which we represent as the Assembly of Guarani People of Itika Guasu (APG IG), the disputes we have with the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, as well as certain racist behaviour displayed against our brothers in the area of Cuevo, a few kilometres from Camiri, the APG IG Executive Committee and the Area and Communal Mburuvichas, pursuant to their legitimate and legal powers:
HEREBY DECLARE AS FOLLOWS:
OUR RIGHTS OUR INALIENABLE
I) That our conduct in defence of the interests of the APG IG is based on the provisions of international law, in particular of the Convention No. 169 of the ILO which was incorporated into domestic law in July 1991, and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples enacted in September 2007 and which has been the law of the Republic since November 2007 as a result of the initiative of the current Bolivian government
II) That as stated in the communiqué of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of 25 April 2008, 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.
III) That also applicable are the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the supplementary Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
IV) That we consider that the events which took place on 3rd April in the area of Cuevo, a few kilometres from Camiri - where a delegation of indigenous Guarani people were intercepted and savagely attacked by a mob of people at the behest of landowners in the area - constitute a flagrant violation of the above laws, and therefore acts which clearly connote racism, xenophobia and slavery.
Similarly, we expressly support the petition of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights which "condemns these developments and reminds the State of Bolivia 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".
Consistent with this demand we require the Attorney-General of the Republic to act pursuant to article 6 of the Organic Law of the Public Ministry, entitled "Obligatoriedad" ("Obligations ") 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".
Similarly, we ask the legal and jurisdictional authorities to proceed with the criminal prosecution of those responsible for these events, bearing in mind that if, as we believe, officials with the obligation to apply international and national law participated in the planning thereof, this should be treated as an aggravating factor in the consideration of their behaviour and should result in the preventive suspension of their duties until such time as their responsibility for the events has been investigated and addressed.
THE OIL COMPANIES MUST RESPECT OUR RIGHTS
V) With respect to the conduct of the company Transredes, we have advised the Minister of Hydrocarbons of our intention that the current law be complied with and that the rights to consultation be respected as should our rights as owners of the TCO; and therefore that other aspects of the security of our people should be borne in mind.
We believe that it is the responsibility of the State to ensure compliance with the law by that company and trust that this will occur as from 1 May 2008, the date on which the Government becomes the majority shareholder of the said company.
We therefore await the response to our letters addressed to his Excellency the Minister of Hydrocarbons explaining our demands in detail; these letters were sent on the 21st April 2008 and 23rd April 2008 and, among other things, concern the conduct of the company Transredes.
VI) With respect to the Spanish-Argentinian multinational company Repsol YPF S.A.:
a) As of today we continue without response to our Notarial letter sent to the Board of Directors of the said company located in the city of Madrid (Kingdom of Spain), on the 29th October 2007, which we made public in our communiqué of 11th March 2008 and which is available online at http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/bolivia/doc/apg3en.html
Due to this lack of response there is currently no legally appointed representative of the multinational company in connection with the negotiation of our draft agreement.
b) Given that on 9th April 2008 we received a letter from UN E&P Bolivia, signed by Repsol YPF Bolivia, we requested on 23rd April 2008 that the person who signed the said letter should send us his duly registered powers for consideration by our legal advisers in order to establish the extent of the said powers and the fact of his proper commercial appointment as representative.
c) We have acted similarly with respect to the Board of Directors of the said company (Repsol YPF S.A., located in the city of Madrid (Kingdom of Spain), requesting a clarification with respect to the company UN E&P, by letter dated the 23rd April 2008 which we sent by facsimile transmission.
This is customary and usual practice in the commercial marketplace and in negotiation with commercial enterprises which, as in the case of the Spanish-Argentinian corporation, Repsol YPF S.A., notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (Washington, USA) of modifications to shareholder structure and subsidiary holdings, and where appropriate, express reservations to the Commission as to the disclosure of legal, accounting and financial information.
As of today we have received no response to our request for information.
THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT OWES US AN EXPLANATION
VII) With respect to these matters we have carried out the following actions:
a) We held a meeting on 5th April 2008 with the Vice President's Office and with the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, to whom we delivered a detailed memorandum concerning the legal complexities of the negotiation with the Spanish-Argentinian company Repsol YPF S.A.
The Government, via the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, promised to inform us prior to 10th April 2008 of the time its legal team would require to carry out an in-depth study of the said issues. Despite reminding the Government of its said agreement in two subsequent letters dated 21st and 23rd of April 2008, as of the date of this communiqué we have received no response.
b) In a meeting held on 5th April with his Excellency the Minister of Hydrocarbons, his Excellency promised to immediately issue an Official Communication concerning the changes introduced by Transredes in Project GVT Phase II. Noting the delay in the issue of the said Communication we sent a reminder on 15th April via fax to the office of his Excellency.
As of today we have received no reply nor has the said Communication been published.
VIII) In all the documents we have sent to the companies Transredes S.A., Repsol Bolivia S.A., UN E&P Bolivia and/or Repsol YPF S.A., we have reserved our rights in that "we consider that none of the pending issues have been dealt with but we wish to make it clear that the APG IG has not given its legal consent to any act relating to its right to consultation in relation to this or any other project affecting our rights in respect of the TCO territories".
We have written to His Excellency the Minister of Hydrocarbons on the same terms and have sent a copy of all these documents to the Office of the Vice President of the Nation and the People's Ombudsman for the purposes of proper and public notification.
As of the date of this communiqué, we have received no response from any of the said institutions.
IX) It is evident that our demands have at all times followed commercial practice, customs and norms in ordinary usage in national and international commercial law with respect to the said Companies and this is inherent in our right as a legal institution independent both of the State and of the said Companies.
X) We consider it impossible to continue with the increase in situations that interfere with the lawful and legitimate exercise of our rights and we have expressly asked the State and Governmental authorities to adopt appropriate measures to resolve in an honourable way, each and every problem that currently affect us.
XI) We advise all the parties concerned that we reserve all our legal rights with respect to those criminally responsible for racist and xenophobic practices and practices of slavery, as well as in order to ensure that we are properly compensated for the damages suffered by our indigenous community represented by the APG IG as a consequence of the acts of multinationals or arising from the acts or omissions of public officials.
Entre Ríos, 1st May 2008
Signed by the Directors of the APG IG
Never Barrientos, President
Florentino Zeballos, Vice-President
Fernando Cuellar, Head of Production
Benito Arce, Head of Health Matters
Gregorio Barrientos, Head of Educationn
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 02May08 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.|