After the murder of the indigenous environmental leaders Sergio Rojas and Jerhy Rivera, along with the constant threats to native indigenous lands, our society has been left with many expectations and lots of fear.
Those who are members of ecological movements and native-land rights organizations, with a struggle of years, continue to hold the State accountable for the “violent situation” that the indigenous peoples are experiencing.
On February 29th, the recuperators of Kono Ju and Sá Ka Duwé Senaglö of the Cabecar Territory of China Kicha clarified that they have no agreement with the Government of Costa Rica. This was expressed due to the publications made by Channel 14 (February 28th) and the newspaper El País (February 29th).
“The government ordered that we stop the land-territory recovery processes that have been carried out, a proposal that was flatly rejected and no other agreement has been reached with the government on this or any another point,” declared the spokespeople of these organizations.
In their opinion, the processes of territorial recovery and reaffirmation are by national and international legislation and legitimate according to their culture. They also state that: “The Costa Rican Government is responsible for complying with the duty of returning, through the corresponding evictions, the lands that are seized from those people who do not belong to the native indigenous inhabitants.
The recuperators of Kono Ju and Sá Ka Duwé Senaglö of the Cabecar Territory of China Kicha, repudiated the murders of Sergio Rojas and Jerhy Rivera; “It is clear who is violent, who are the murderers, who carry out the aggressions, who are the ones who threaten and these events continue with impunity. It is a constant fear that defenders of native indigenous lands will continue to be lost.”
The National Front of Indigenous Peoples (FRENAPI) continues to denounce what it considers racist violence.
Since February 23rd (the day before Jerhy Rivera’s murder), groups of landowners have come to Térraba to intimidate and attack indigenous people from the four new territorial recoveries. “The thirteen recovering families have witnessed racism, and gave an early warning, reporting that the usurpers are acting out of xenophobia against indigenous peoples, and have witnessed premeditated strategies by non-indigenous people to perpetrate acts of dispossession and violence, in coordination with, or blind-eye by, official authorities.
The following is part of the statement made public by the spokespeople of the “FRENAPI”:
“To the public opinion, that might be confused by the declarations of those who maliciously seek to delegitimize the indigenous cause, we remind you that the Brörán and Bribri Indigenous Peoples act according to their Land / Territory Right, protected by Indigenous Law No. 6172 of 1977, ILO Convention 169, as well as the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights.”
“The Government of Carlos Alvarado has not been able to comply with the Autonomous Territorial Affirmation Process (sanitation), nor with the application of the Precautionary Measures, nor has it done justice in finding the material and intellectually responsible for the crime of Sergio Rojas Ortiz.”
“This impunity, as we have expressed, emboldens usurpers of bad faith to the point of constantly manifesting threats against the lives of those who are peacefully recovering the Lands / Territories that rightly belong to them. “