BY JILL K. CARIÑO FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
The ancestral practices of Indigenous Peoples use extraction methods that respect nature and strengthen the community by distributing the benefits. Although they were able to resist the Spanish colonizers, during the 20th century they were overwhelmed by US companies that introduced toxic substances and large-scale mining. These contrast with the government’s mining policy that allowed the proliferation of large mining companies that degraded the environment and affected the living and working conditions of Indigenous Peoples.
BY LOLA GARCÍA-ALIX FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
During his first participation in one of the sessions of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and before the review of the State of the Philippines started, Windel Bolinget, General Coordinator of the organization Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), warned that the government has not complied with the recommendations made by the UPR in previous reviews. While the indigenous leader stresses the importance of the process, he regrets that indigenous peoples cannot speak at the official level. Despite the fact that the government of the Philippines has so far ignored all the recommendations previously made, Windel Bolinget is betting on maintaining his hope that the international community will put a stronger pressure into the Philippine government to comply with its obligations to respect and protect human rights, and in particular the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Rachel Mariano and Betty Belén, Indigenous women and human rights advocates share their incarceration stories due to trumped-up charges and evidence. The cause of their persecution is clear: they defend their ancestral lands. Because of their activities, their families and communities also suffer the impacts of prison. At present, both leaders have currently been released and continue to fight against the development projects of transnational companies in the context of escalating attacks against the Indigenous Peoples of the country.