IACHR to hold hearing on the right to indigenous resistance to extractive industries: requested by more than 70 organizations from Canada, Mexico and the United States

SOURCE: Originally published by the Water Protector Legal Collective, North America, translated into Spanish by Awasqa.

Bismarck, ND – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recently announced that it will hold a hearing on the suppression of indigenous resistance by extractive industries in North America.

The hearing was requested by the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) and the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program and is supported by more than 70 national and international organizations and indigenous government institutions.

The hearing will examine the militarized response, criminalization and use of unlawful arrests, abusive conditions of confinement and the use of excessive force against water and land protectors. The Commission will hear live testimony from human rights defenders arrested and injured by police and security forces, receive and consider written reports documenting violations of the obligations of the United States, Canada and Mexico under the Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Testifying at the hearing will be Leoyla Cowboy (DinĂ© Nation), an organizer with WPLC. Cowboy said, “NoDAPL political prisoners have made the ultimate sacrifice. Their sacrifices will be honored through this hearing when we mention their names.”

In addition, Michelle Cook, WPLC Board member and founder of the Divest, Invest and Protect campaign, will provide testimony. Cook stated, “At Standing Rock, I watched as my fellow elders and mentors were stripped, persecuted, brutalized and criminalized for protecting their Treaty and human rights. I also witnessed their courage and bravery in defending human rights, water and ancestral territory at great cost. What does the future hold for our people, when the state, at the behest of big oil, strangles our freedoms, criminalizing our ability to peacefully assemble and speak out against harmful extractive projects that negatively affect the cultural survival of indigenous peoples? Indigenous peoples deserve documentation, recognition, as well as an independent and objective accounting of human rights violations by state and non-state actors at Standing Rock.”

The IACHR is an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the hemisphere. This hearing will bring much needed international attention to the urgent and growing crises as governments and extractive industry corporations continue to try to suppress indigenous peoples’ resistance to pipelines, power plants, fracking and mining in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as indigenous resistance to the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the construction of which is tied to fossil fuel interests.

The hearing will take place on May 9, 2019, from 9AM to 10AM in Kingston, Jamaica, during the 172nd session.

Read thecomplete application here.