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indigenous peoples

Costa Rica top court blocks US trade pact approval
Costa Rica’s highest court on Thursday overturned an intellectual property law demanded by the US prior to the enactment of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The Constitutional Court ruled that lawmakers improperly passed the bill — which included provisions on biodiversity — without consulting Indian groups.
Peru: Indigenous occupations end with victory in Congress
On August 22nd, the Peruvian Congress repealed two legislative decrees at the root of the indigenous demonstrations that paralyzed various roads and energy installations from August 9th through 20th. The indigenous movement of the Amazon, home to 65 different indigenous nations, declared victory.
Peru: indigenous uprising claims victory — for now
Indigenous groups in Peru ended more than a week of militant protests Aug. 20 at key energy sites after lawmakers agreed to overturn a new land law issued by President Alan García, which sought to ease corporate access to communal territories. García had issued the law by decree earlier under special powers Congress granted him to bring Peruvian law into compliance with a new free-trade deal with the US. A congressional commission voted to revoke the law Aug. 19, and floor vote is expected later this week.
Peru: Native groups protest laws facilitating sales of land
Since Aug. 9, indigenous demonstrators have been demanding the repeal of two decree laws that promote private investment in their territory, and the reestablishment of a clause from the 1979 constitution — which was replaced by the new constitution in 1993 — which stated that communally owned land in indigenous territory could not be sold or embargoed. The decree laws were approved by the executive branch under special powers granted by the legislature for the implementation of the free trade agreement signed with the United States.
Chevron lobbies White House to pressure Ecuador to stop $12bin Amazon pollution lawsuit
Chevron is being accused of promoting geopolitical blackmail in its efforts to stave off a lawsuit accusing it of contaminating the Ecuadorian rain forest. Nearly 30,000 Amazon residents are seeking $12 billion from Chevron for dumping billions of gallons of toxic oil waste. According to Newsweek, the oil giant is urging the Bush administration to yank special trade preferences for Ecuador if the country’s government doesn’t force the Amazon residents to drop the case.
Pacific ministers agree to broaden work on PACER
This may include setting up a regional office to focus on issues of traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights.
Peru: Social rebellion spreads nationwide
New street protests were called for Thursday in some Amazon regions, in response to decrees issued by President Alan García, making it easier for private investors to enter the territories of native communities. The decrees were set in motion thanks to the powers granted by the legislative branch to the executive under the free trade agreement (FTA) signed with the United States. Political analysts say the government has exceeded its legal powers.
Canada-Colombia FTA: When democracy gets in the way, just sign it, eh?
Many Canadians may never know the difficulties of people resisting the military imposition of an economic model that is ultimately intended for the entire planet, or for ’our Mother Earth’ as the indigenous peoples in Cauca call it. Many Canadians may not know the extent to which they are kept in the dark through the entrenched telling and retelling of the "Canada the good" mythology. It’s time to wake up, eh?
Maori divided over free trade deal
Ngai Tahu Seafood, the lucrative fisheries arm of one of the largest Maori tribes, says the Government’s controversial free-trade pact with China is a good deal and will earn the iwi millions of dollars.
Costa Rican Indigenous protest FTA
Hundreds of Costa Rican indigenous people began a protest against the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States. They accused the FTA of imposing the use of patented seeds that prevent traditional crops and warned that the use of transgenic seeds from the United States would affect ancestral crops closely linked to the people’s view of the world and spirituality.
Costa Rica: Indígenas reclaman consulta sobre Convenio de Obtenciones Vegetales
Con un recurso de amparo ante la Sala Constitucional, los pueblos indígenas reclaman nuevamente su derecho a ser consultados debidamente sobre el Convenio de la Unión para la Protección de Obtenciones Vegetales (UPOV 91).
Colombia: indigenous protest in capital
Some 1,700 indigenous people participated in a July 23-27 caravan to Bogota from Santander de Quilichao in the southwestern Colombian department of Cauca to demand peace, to call for popular unity and to oppose a "free trade" agreement (TLC, from its initials in Spanish) that the government of President Alvaro Uribe has signed with the US.
Indigenous peoples’ summit: defending their right to the land
The fight for land and territory and opposition to neoliberalism and free trade treaties (FTAs) with the United States are the main issues at the Indigenous People’s Summit currently meeting in Iximché, Guatemala.
FTA paves way for biopiracy
Under CAFTA, indigenous heritage becomes intellectual property for the United States.
Costa Rica: Es obligatorio consultar el TLC a pueblos indígenas
“El texto del proyecto de ley que se tramita bajo el expediente No. 16.047, ‘Tratado de Libre Comercio República Dominicana - Centroamérica - Estados Unidos’ (TLC), en virtud de contener disposiciones normativas que pueden afectar directamente a los pueblos indígenas, debe ser consultado a esas comunidades (...)”. Con este párrafo concluye un informe en el cual el Departamento de Servicios Técnicos de la Asamblea Legislativa se pronuncia sobre la obligatoriedad de consultar a las comunidades indígenas del país sobre el polémico tratado comercial.
Ecuador: Government gears up for Oxy fallout
Showing the door to Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) and scuttling US free trade negotiations have long been agenda priorities for Ecuadorian social movements and political sectors. But following government steps that have all but made these goals a reality, the atmosphere seems more anxious than celebratory.
Protester killed during Colombia protests
Farmers and members of indigenous tribes clashed on Tuesday with police during protests against a free-trade agreement with the US and the re-election of President Alvaro Uribe, and protest leaders said an Indian farmer was killed.
Macho men and state capitalism - is another world possible?
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is widely seen to be at the center of Latin America’s transformation by building a regional trade bloc through the creation of ALBA and Venezuela’s membership in Mercosur to oppose US dominance and its constant push for free trade agreements with Latin American governments. However, the true democratic debate has been silenced in this simplified two-sided fight between the projects of macho men.
Ecuador: People want referendum on FTA
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) has demanded the government Sunday to suspend the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with the US and hold a referendum on that deal.
Indigenous-led uprising challenges FTA, US domination
Ecuadorian Indigenous organizations are in the leadership of the most recent uprising in that country, which began on March 13. Tired of being lied to, exploited and excluded, they have taken on the courageous road of challenging the Free Trade Agreement that is secretly, behind closed doors, being negotiated with the United States by President Alfredo Palacios.