INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND NATIONALITIES OF ABYA YALA
(21-25 July 2004, Quito - Ecuador)
From the Heart of the World, in the place of the vertical sun, as a follow up to the I Summit held in Teotihuacán, Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Abya Yala have summoned ourselves on the July 25, 2004, to meet in the II Continental Summit organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the Organization of Quichua Nationalities of Ecuador (ECUARUNARI) and the Coordinating Body for the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA). With participants from 64 Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities, we express our voice.
We are aboriginal peoples from Abya Yala. Our ancestors, our grandparents taught us how to love and revere our bountiful Mother Earth (Pacha Mama) and how to live in harmony and freedom with the natural and spiritual beings that inhabit Her. Our political, economic, social and cultural institutions are a heritage from our ancestors and form the foundations to build our future.
The valleys and pampas, the forests and deserts, the mountains and snow reservoirs, the seas and the rivers, the eagle and the condor, the quetzal and the hummingbird, the puma and the jaguar, have been witnesses of our collective socio-political systems based on human and environmental sustainability.
Colonizers and national states have robbed us of our ancestral territories; they divided us in order to control us politically and to push us to inhospitable places. The territories we inhabit today are noted for the conservation of biodiversity and the existence of natural resources. Multinational corporations desire these resources, and this provides a new reason for which we suffer further despoliation.
National governments, following the guidelines emanating from the IMF, WB and IDB, are devastating us for the payment of the external debt and are disregarding our collective rights to our land, changing legislation to allow privatization, corporative alliances, and individual appropriation.
We denounce that national governments in the Americas are increasingly using violent repression, and this is expressed in: the violation of our human rights and our rights as Peoples; the criminalization of our actions for the defense of life and religious ceremonies, paramilitarization, removal from our lands, military occupation, the corruption of leaders and local authorities; promotion of projects to "compensate" the damage done by transnational corporations; the so-called equitable benefit-sharing; and forced migration. They promote division, confrontation and armed conflict among the communities to impose their excluding, racist, and oppressive policies.
We firmly oppose the development of plans such us the South American Regional Plan for Infrastructure Integration (IIRSA); Plan Puebla Panama; Plan Patriota; Plan Colombia; Plan Dignidad; Plan Andino, and the establishment of military bases. We also oppose the adoption of the FTAA and FTAs, which are fostered by the WTO for the benefit of the looter countries of the world. They only intend to create infrastructures to facilitate the circulation of their goods, to exploit natural resources on our lands and territories, and to protect transnational corporations. We consider them invasion plans for plundering, destruction and death.
We reject the implementation of territorial organization plans, the exploitation of minerals and hydrocarbons, the establishment of natural protected areas and forest plantations, the payment for environmental services, the privatization of water and air, fumigations, the granting of patents on natural and cultural resources, and the use of transgenic seeds in our territories which only intend to guarantee the reproduction of large transnational capital to detriment of our lives.
We denounce that the nation states of the Americas have customarily violated national and international legal instruments, thus ignoring our collective rights. The ILO Convention 169 is one of those instruments, and we demand its immediate ratification on the part of all the countries in America and in the rest of the world.
We protest a lack of will in the OAS to modify the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous "Populations," which should be done with the participation and decision making of Indigenous peoples.
We object to the United Nations because it proclaimed an empty Decade of the Indigenous Populations, as the necessary steps have not been taken to adopt a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Facing the situation of exploitation of our Peoples:
To create a space for the permanent linkages and exchanges where we can share experiences and proposals, so that our peoples and nationalities can confront together the neoliberal globalization policies.
To develop a common agenda of actions and mobilizations to show our rejection of the exclusionary model and to act together and in coordination under the institutions in which we decide to participate.
To establish alliances with other civil society sectors, particular other social movements, which help allow us to face the policies which oppress us.
To demand unconditional freedom for Indigenous leaders and authorities unfairly imprisoned for defending their land and exercising their autonomy, and the redress for the moral damage done to Indigenous peoples and nationalities by murder committed against their people, as well as compensations to the families of those killed.
To demand from national states the unconditional repatriation of genetic and natural resources which have been legally or illegally extracted from our lands and territories; the restitution of lands; the free transit of Indigenous persons within their territories when these territories are transboundary; the compensation to peoples affected by any kind of impacts and exploitation, and the restoration of their lands and territories to their original conditions; and the full respect for our Indigenous peoples and nationalities' territories, particularly the territories of uncontacted or voluntary isolated peoples.
To demand that governments resolve any conflicts arising from the exploitation of natural resources and from the lack of guarantees on our territories and lives when state and corporate policies are applied, as in the cases of Sarayacu, Raposa Serra do Sol, Plan Colombia, Pilcomayo River, Blue Mountains, Camisea, the gas issue in Bolivia, and Margarita, Ashánica.
To participate in international fora such as the World Social Forum and the Americas Forum with common proposals reflecting the position of the Indigenous movement.
To express our solidarity with the CONAIE that is facing a strong attack from the Ecuadorian government of Colonel Gutiérrez that is trying to undermine its struggle to build a plurinational state.
To express our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and President Hugo Chávez who have defended their national sovereignty in the face of a strong push from the United States government, and we call on them to take action against the referendum scheduled for August 15, 2004.
To express our solidarity with the Cuban people for its continuing anti-imperialist struggle.
That the territories we inhabit are ours due to time, history and right, and so they are inalienable, imprescriptible and inembargable.
That we have our own models which guarantee the reproduction of our Peoples and Nationalities in harmony with nature, and are rooted in our ancestral cultural heritage.
That we do not require legal recognition to create autonomous spaces which may allow us to exercise our peoples' and nationalities' self-determination.
Translated by ALMACIGA.
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