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Brörán peoples of Térraba / Bribri peoples of Salitre

More than half a decade ago, on 30 April 2015, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures (MC 321-12) in favour of the Brörán peoples of Térraba and the Bribri peoples of Salitre. This exceptional measure, the only one of its kind in Costa Rica, was granted in response to the serious danger that the indigenous communities found themselves in, and the total lack of protection by the state authorities.

Five years on, none of the urgent measures required by the IACHR have been adopted, and the State has consistently failed to comply with its treaty obligations to protect and guarantee the rights of the communities. systematic and widespread violence persists in both territories, and is increasing with impunity.

This violence has its origin in the deployment of both illegal occupants and their allies, and of armed and organized groups. Violence, insecurity and constant death threats are faced by indigenous people in their territories.

The situation described is the result of the illegal possession of between 40% and 80% of the lands in the hands of non-indigenous people, despite the fact that the Indigenous Law established since 1977 the exclusive position of these territories by the indigenous groups.

According to Vanessa Jiménez, a lawyer for the Forest People Program, the state has violated the agreements established with indigenous peoples through various actions, such as the unjustified suspension of eviction orders for non-indigenous farmers and the neglect of precautionary measures.
In the last two years, two indugenous leaders, Sergio Rojas and Jehry Rivera, have been killed, and many community members – including women and children – have suffered threats, attacks and injuries. Other leaders have survived assassination attempts and suffered the terror of having their lands burned.
The leaders have raised their voices in a pandemic, courageously recording them in this video that shows in their own words their fears, pain, and demand for justice, and request once again that the IACHR submit its expropriated request for provisional measures to the Court.
indigenous leaders keep raising their voice for human rights and indigenous rights and standing for the protection of their territories, despite the risks.

Credits:

1. Mark n Robert in the Toronto area; Costa Rica 2013 688; February 4, 2013; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 2. Henar Lanchas; Artesanía Maleku; Junio 15, 2009; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 3. Carol; Waiting; March 19, 2013; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 4. Greg Gilbert; P1080736; May 6, 2011; (CC BY 2.0). 5. Susana Soto; Recreo; November 20, 2013; (CC BY-NC 2.0).