Solidarity to the town of Araona
An urgent action must be taken soon
La Paz, 28 of March of 2003
victim of the Bolivian Amazon was kidnapped, tortured and threatened to
death by defending the forest resources.
Pirates of Timber with the support of the Bolivian Naval Force members abducted and tortured the leader of the indigenous Araona town in the north Bolivian Amazon.
of wood with the support of members of the Naval Bolivian Force (FNB)
abducted and tortured the Secretary of Land and Territory of the
Headquarters of the Araona Town, Carlos Ramírez, who later was freed
under the threat of death not to return to the attacking wood area that
was confiscated inside the Common Territory of Origin (TCO) applicable
to Araona town, which is located in the extreme north of the province
Abel Iturralde of the Department of La Paz in the Republic of Bolivia.
violation of the human rights was carried out on March 11 at 2100 hours
in the community of Port Araona, situated on the river Manupare, in
forest resources of the Bolivian Amazon, when the Araona required the
seize of the exploitation and illegal traffic of the forest resources
within their territory, besides being refuse to permit the exit of wood
that had been confiscated by Mr. Miguel Vásquez, recidivist pirate of
wood in the zone.
the demand of the natives, Mr. Vásquez responded by force leading Ramírez
to disappointment. Three
members of the FNB that were together with Mr. Vásquez performed
various fire weapons shots in the contour of the leader’s humanity
aiming to the edges of his feet. Ramírez then suffered the plucking of
his hairs and other tortures to the lower extremities of his body
including the hanging of his head inside the water with the clear
intention to be drowned. This action lasted approximately 15 minutes and
he was generally hanged for many hours.
Subsequently, he was remained with the hands tied until 5 p.m. of
the following day’s afternoon on the 12th of March, and at
the moment of his liberation was “sentenced” to death by his
kidnappers if he would not transfer the other leaders of the Araona town
by the military camp to sign documents of authorization for the exit of
the confiscated timber. When
he was freed from his aggressors, he was placed in a wallet containing
400 Bolivians and their personal documents.
In his desperation, the soldiers returned and started shooting
him. Among the last, the
non-commissioned Officer David Condori was identified.
accusation was done by leading the Araonas and the CIRABO –Central
Natives of the Amazon Region of Bolivia- in Riberalta, another city in
the department of Beni, to accede to the river from Port Araona in a
crossing that takes 5-6 days this time of the year when the waters are
grown. In the dry season,
the delay is greater. For
that reason, in the relative isolation in which the TCO Araona is found
is that it persists the unpunished illegal extraction of wood of this
native territory protected by the laws of the Bolivian Republic.
town Araona is one of the those recently contacted (1963-64), after the
elusion of its members to more far away territories on the banks of the
Madre de Dios River where they inhabited before the pursuit being object
by the operators of rubber (1880-1920) that captured them to utilize
them as labour slaves. In
the 60’s, they were contacted visually by air by the missionaries of
the New Mission Tribes in the banks of the river Manupare and, years
later they were grouped in this area that today is known as Port Araona.
With the arrival of the democracy in Bolivia and the recognition of the
rights of the natives and their towns in the Amazonía after the
historic March in the Dignity and the Territory in 1990, the President
then Jaime Paz Zamora recognized legally their territory by means of the
supreme decretal No. 23110 of 1992.
ethnic group is conformed by 94 members and suffers a violent genetic
process of deformation that is causing the women’s birth absence by
which the survival of the Araonas is not guaranteed.
Ii is a respected town of “extreme vulnerability” and lives
in an almost absolute state of defencelessness relating to the
aggressions that suffer from part of the national company and the
facts of the 11th and 12th of March added a long
chain of abuses that the Araonas suffering since 1998 from a part of
large estate owners and lumber businessmen that suffered in a enduring
way and with impunity of their rights and territory.
CIRABO (Central Natives of the Amazon Region of Bolivia) has emitted a
press release where denounce in public and declare the following thing:
DENOUNCE in public the soldiers of the Naval Force Boliviana (FNB) and
Mr. Miguel Vásquez, responsible for ABDUCTION, TORTURE AND THREAT OF
DEATH of the companion Carlos Ramírez, Secretary of Land and Territory
of the Native Town Araona who through the power of the force took
advantage of the non protection of our brothers to assure that these
actions have remained in the impunity.
WILL INTERPOSE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT against the soldiers of the FNB and
Mr. Vásquez so that they respond for the abduction, the tortures and
the threats of death against our brother and they will not be protected
in the impunity of their military regulations, whose responsibility we
will pursue until they pay for the consequences of their criminal acts.
DEMAND by means of an URGENT ACTION to the INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS,
to interpose the actions that correspond in the Bolivian state for the
preservation of the security in the native town of Araona”
the seriousness of the accusation, we request a further communication
with the following institutions that will offer more detailed
Central Indígena de la Región Amazónica de Bolivia
Sr. Fanor Amapo
Centro de Estudios Jurídicos de Investigación Social
Sr. Cliver Rocha
Sr. Jhonny Cárdenas
Germán Rivero Talamaz
ARAONA, OTB ARAONA
Radio Frecuencia USV 8245 de 7 a 12 AM
In the national environment, the attorney general of the Bolivian Republic Dr. Oscar Crespo Solís proceeded to this accusation on the 24th of March and the defender of the Town Mrs. Ana María Romero on the 25th.
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