Report reveals criminalization and killings of Indigenous Peoples defending their lands against mining, agri-business and energy companies; incl. co. responses
The annual report of the Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI) revealed patterns of threats and harassment of Indigenous people and human rights defenders working on land, indigenous and environmental rights. By the middle of 2020, IPRI had already recorded 204 incidents of violence and attacks in 23 countries, including killings and criminalization. A number of cases of criminalization and killings of Indigenous Peoples indicate a trend of having links to the defense of their lands and resources against mining, agri-business and energy companies.
For example, in Mexico, the Canadian mining company Equinox Gold launched a campaign to harass the members of the ejido or communal agricultural lands of Carrizalillo. in the Philippines, the long-lasting stand-off between the Indigenous community of Didipio, and the Australian-Canadian mining company, OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) escalated on April 6, 2020, when local police violently dispersed and injured several Indigenous people. In Colombia, the expansion of the Cerrejón coal mine, conglomerate of BHP, Glencore and Anglo-American, is deemed to have devastated a number of Indigenous communities and spurred several attacks against human rights defenders. Wayúu leader Jakeline Romero, who has reportedly endured death threats and harassments over the years of protesting against the mine operations. In Brazil, the real estate developer Tenda Negócios Imobiliários Tenda is planning to build an 8,624 sqm condominium near the demarcated Jaraguá Indigenous Territory, leading to clashes with local communities. According to the report, on January 30, 2020 Tenda felled more than 500 trees, including several cedars that are considered the most sacred trees in Guarani Mbya culture.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond.