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Costa Rica: Indigenous defenders receive death threats for defending their ancestral territories

"Attempts to usurp indigenous land, threats and intimidation against indigenous rights defenders", 30th July 2020

On 21 July 2020, human rights defender and indigenous leader José Enrique Ortíz received a death threat by a land usurper known for targeting indigenous communities in Salitre. Days later, on 26 July, a group of landowners threatened and intimidated families from the Maleku community who owned restituted land in the Maleku indigenous territory. On 27 July, the Crun Shurínz plot of land was invaded by usurpers and was badly damaged. Indigenous rights defenders Pablo Sibas Sibas and Roberth Morales Villafuerte, both members of the Brörán indigenous community that owns the land, received death threats during the incident...

José Enrique Ortíz is a Bribri indigenous leader from the Uniwak clan and a defender of the rights of indigenous peoples. He is involved in efforts to reclaim land in the Río Azul de Salitre community. In September 2018, he became involved with land recovery processes and achieved his first successful restitution of ancestral territory occupied by usurpers...