AMERICA - REPAM: the right to land is a prerequiste for the exercise of other rights

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Washington (Agenzia Fides) - Considering the violation of the territorial rights of indigenous and Amazonian communities in South America, the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM) has proposed to the International Commission of Human Rights (UN) to examine the possibility, through the rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, to prepare and publish a report on the situation of land rights of these peoples. "We believe that this document would be a useful legal instrument for the defense, at a national and international level, of indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the Amazon", said REPAM with regards to the hearing on March 17 in Washington (see Fides 02/03/2017).
Representatives of indigenous peoples and Mgr. Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, S.J., Archbishop of Huancayo (Peru) and spokesman of CELAM, highlighted the serious damage that the extraction of minerals and other legal and illegal activities in the Amazon have caused and continue to cause not only to the environment and natural resources, but also to the human rights of indigenous peoples and local non-indigenous people, in particular to the law of land. They have therefore appealed to the authorities to seek new ways able to harmonize respect for human rights and the environment with economic and productive development.
During the hearing REPAM focused the attention on the right to the territory as a prerequisite for the exercise of other rights. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/03/2017)