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Resolution of the APG Itika Guasu concerning the commission of serious racist acts and their subsequent legal treatment by the Prosecutor of Entre Rios.
Extraordinary meeting of the Board of the APGIG to consider the serious events which occurred in the Community of Zapaterambiá
Following an urgent summons of the President, Never Barrientos, the Board of the APGIG (Asamblea del Pueblo Guaraní Itika Guasu) met together with Mburuvichas at the headquarters in Entre Ríos to consider the following matter as the sole item on the agenda:
- The matter of Esteban Barrios Rodríguez.
- As part of his affidavit in the case filed by its Legal Department on behalf of the APG IG, the Zone Mburuvicha and Grand Captain of Zone Three, Fabian Cayo, resident in the Community of Zapaterambiá, one of the 36 communities of the APG IG, Fabián Cayo, who will testify in the case, stated as follows:
On the morning of the 19th. August, together with my son-in-law Cecilio Aguilar, I was beginning to sow some onion and carrot seeds which I had just obtained. We started by hollowing out some trenches for planting and we left various instruments including a machete under a tree in the shade. Meanwhile from 8am that morning, my wife, my sister-in-law and various others saw the accused Sr Barrios, loitering around near me (passing by in his car and walking between the houses and so on). Sr Barrios was accompanied by two other younger and stronger men. The situation was such that my wife asked me to leave what I was doing but I refused, thinking they would not do anything to me.
At 1pm after lunch, I returned with my son- in-law to the place where we were working and I saw the accused stop and get out of his car with two others (presumably the same two that had been seen earlier). Barrios said "come here so that we can talk". I went across but before I got there I saw that one of the other men took my machete from its place under the tree. As I arrived, the accused shouted "fuck you, you bastard" and at the same moment his two accomplices took out their guns. They began to hit me with the butts of the guns they were carrying, one hitting me in the left eye and the other in the right side of my face. I fell to the ground and they began to give me a serious beating which left me almost unconscious and in a very bad way. My son- in-law wanted to come to my assistance but Barrios who had pulled back so he could photograph the beating, warned that if I tried to approach him, Barrios would shoot me. He said to him "this has nothing to do with you 'negrito', stay quiet or I'll shoot you". That's how he saw that he was taking various photos of me on the ground.
Towards the end of the fight they shot me. I couldn't see if they aimed for my body but I know that I thought I was already dead. My wife and sister-in-law ran to the scene (they hadn't seen what happened but heard the shot, as did everyone else in the community) and when they arrived they found me on the ground covered in blood while Barrios and his killers stood around unperturbed). My wife went to him and shouted at him, asking why he had done this - and to her whom he had known all his life. He replied "now your husband is a man" (a comment with which he intended to say, to everyone listening, that this man who calls himself "Captain" is no-one compared to him). The weapons were in plain view of everyone.
- 2) In another extract from his affidavit the Zone Mburuvicha and Grand Captain of the Zone 3 stated:
Not more than 2 or 3 months ago, Sr. Barrios decided to move into a house in an area belonging to the Community of Zapaterambiá without the consent of the Community. The house was assigned to Celestino Sambrano, a relative (nephew) of my wife. When this was a fait accompli, in other words, when he was already occupying the house, he decided to come and find me, knowing that I am the Captain, so that I could authorise him to live there. After giving my nephew a complaint for his wrongdoing I told Barrios that as the authority of the community I was obliged to ask him to leave as he could not be accepted as a "third party" in the community given that he didn't comply with the rules for obtaining a conditional authorisation. Barrios told me that he did not intend to comply with any rules and that I didn't have the right to give him orders, nor did the other Captains nor the Assemblies nor the Guaranis. He told me that he was not going to leave the area and later went on to set up a bar with music and served alcoholic drinks every night against the wishes of the community who forbids this conduct. It was then that the threats against my family and the other Captains began; threats which sadly I didn't take seriously (notwithstanding the suspicions of my wife) and therefore did not report.
In this situation, while the threats were continuing against my entire family and all the Captains wherever their location, I went with my wife to Palos Blancos on 15th August to a fiesta in the city. After the celebrations were over I stayed with some friends and went to a bar in the area while my wife returned home. At the bar I got drunk and ended up asleep on the street there until I returned to my home in the morning. Apparently the woman who served at the bar is said to be having a relationship with Barrios.
- 3) On the 19th August, Never Barrientos, an adult with identity card no. 6237450-S.C., and President of the Board of the APGIG, with a power of attorney granted by the Assembly of Mburuvichas on 12 November 2009 duly protocolised before the Public Notary in the city of Entre Ríos and residing in calle Potosí, 471, between Ingavi and Ayacucho, filed a complaint about what had happened almost contemporaneously with the events.
In the complaint, it was expressly stated that the three men responsible for the criminal acts were driving a small dark grey, double cap pickup truck and fled via the Huancaya road where it was seen at approximately 2pm. This road has an exit to Montigudo or to Cuevo.
The complaint also expressly requested that the Prosecutor "proceed to order the arrests of Esteban Barrios Rodríguez for attempted homicide and that of his two accomplices, and to give the appropriate orders to the police to set up the necessary road blocks to effect their arrest and avoid their escape".
- 4) As far as is known to the Board, as of the date of this meeting the Prosecutor Juan Carlos Ferrufino has taken no measures to detain those responsible for the criminal acts and so far has not issued a summons to appear before a court to either Fabián Cayo, any of the witnesses or any of the authorities of the APGIG who filed the complaint.
- 5) Surprisingly the Prosecutor has orally advised that what he has done is to commence an investigation in which Fabián Cayo, Zone Mburuvicha and Grand Captain of the Zone 3, will be accused of acts which have nothing to do with the complaint filed, which patently do not constitute a crime and which, investigation, in our opinion, has the sole and clear intention of ignoring and denying the legitimacy of the authority elected by the Community itself pursuant to Guarani uses and customs as recognised by international law and the Constitution of Bolivia.
As a result of the foregoing, the Board of the APGIG in accordance with the powers granted to it by the Assembly of Mburuvichas on 12 November 2009, duly protocolised before the Notary Public of the city of Entre Ríos which grant specific powers to take legal proceedings in any jurisdiction in the defence of our rights:
- A) To expressly support the resolution of the Community of Zapaterambiá to the effect that Sr Esteban Barrios Rodríguez must comply with the decision to expel him from the jurisdictional zone of Zapaterambiá in accordance with Guarani uses and customs and pursuant to article 190 and seq. of the Constitution.
- B) That this resolution is of mandatory application including by the ordinary jurisdiction of the Plurinational State pursuant to the laws concerning indigenous justice of the native peoples as recognised by uses and customs and the Constitution.
- C) That it is necessary that the business set up by Sr Esteban Barrios Rodríguez be closed forthwith for failure to comply with the rules of the APG IG and for selling alcoholic products to minors, thereby seriously affecting the conduct of our youth and violating the domestic laws of the Plurinational State.
- D) That Sr Esteban Barrios Rodríguez, in violation of the domestic law of Bolivia and our uses and customs, is in illegal occupation of lands that form an integral part of the Communal Original Lands of the APGIG pursuant to the "Resolución de Dotación y Titulación No. TCO-DOT-TIT-005-2002".
- E) That the Prosecutor Sr D. Juan Carlos Ferrufino has failed to comply with his duty to protect the members of the community of Zapaterambiá in that following the submission of the complaint on 19th August 2010, and this failure made it possible for Sr Esteban Barrios Rodríguez to threaten almost all the members of the Community, to publicly demonstrate his refusal to acknowledge the authority of the Guaranis and the right of property of the APGIG; in view of this all, an investigation of the criminal liability arising from this should be carried out with the commitment of whatever legal resources may be necessary to ensure the maximum defence of our rights.
- F) That the acts which occurred are, in our view, manifestly serious in that they are aimed at the territorial occupation of the Community, and they entail the denial of Community authority, the use of racist and public aggression as well as public humiliation as a means of abrogating the legitimacy of the Community authority,the use of threats and the commission of acts attempting the murder of the Zone Mburuvicha and the Grand Captain of the Zone 3, Fabián Cayo.
Taken together these acts constitute a racially motivated crime. They are committed with the intention to humiliate and displace the community and with the objective, in our view, of achieving the disappearance of the community itself by usurping community property and causing the displacement of the members of the community by the use of terror. This was done, as Sr Barrios made clear in public, in order to supplant indigenous authority and replace it with his own authority, based on the use of violence, terror and serious and specific threats.
- G) We expressly authorise the use of all legal means to achieve the investigation and indictment of Sr Esteban Barrios Rodríguez for crimes against indigenous peoples with racist objectives and that it be legally required that he comply with the orders of the Community and that he be expelled from the lands which he illegally occupies and returns their use to the APGIG.
This resolution is signed by the members of the Board present and by all the Mburuvichas present at the meeting, and two identical legal copies of this resolution are hereby executed in the city of Entre Ríos on 25th August 2010.
DDHH en Bolivia
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