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6 Okt 2015

Hannibal Rhoades, Intercontinentalcry.org

Colombia: Indigenous group wins legal battle over protection of territory against mining company Cosigo

After five years of legal contests… the Colombian Constitutional Court has confirmed that Yaigojé Apaporis, an indigenous resguardo (a legally recognized, collectively owned territory)… has legitimate status as a national park. The decision is cause for celebration for Indigenous Peoples who call the region home. But it is less welcome news for Canadian multinational mining corporation Cosigo Resources… The court’s ruling immediately and indefinitely suspends all mining activities in the park, including Cosigo’s license to mine gold from one of Yaigojé’s most sacred areas… The decision recognizes the authority of the area’s Indigenous Peoples and protects their fundamental rights to culture, identity and consultation… [It] is regarded as a significantly positive precedent for future conflicts between mining operations, protected areas and their indigenous inhabitants… [Judges] found sufficient evidence of wrongdoing by Cosigo to ask Colombia’s Justice Minister to open an investigation into the company’s consultation processes and interactions with communities in the Yaigojé area...