It happened in the polygon 7, in the tropic of Cochabamba. The settlers are in favor of the construction of a road that crosses the Tipnis. The members of the commission, as well as the journalists who accompany them, have been banned from using their phones and cameras.
The commission of the International Court for the Rights of Nature, which was trying to reach Isinuta and Nueva Aroma (communities located in the polygon 7, in the tropic of Cochabamba), has been detained and banned from using telephones and cameras . The coca growers, who are in favor of a road splitting the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (Tipnis) in two, have prevented them from entering, said Leonardo Tamburi.
Tamburini, who is an environmental lawyer and part of the Environment Coordinator, informed EL DEBER Radio that a group of coca growers had retained the commission , which also includes press teams.
Tamburini, who shared work with current government minister Carlos Romero when they were both part of the NGO Cejis, asked the authority to fulfill its promise . Romero, four days ago, guaranteed not only the security of the commission , but his work in the area of Tipnis.
The members of the Court (in which Alberto Acosta, Enrique Viale and Shannon Biggs) visit Bolivia in order to verify whether the rights of Mother Earth, consigned in the 2010 Declaration of Cochabamba, are in force in the country .
The commission has already visited Santa Cruz, where it held meetings with defenders of the environment and the Tipnis, collected complaints from the indigenous people who oppose the construction of a road through the middle of its territory and that to defend this cause were victims of a repression Police ordered by the Government in September 2011 .
This journalistic house tried, through telephone, to communicate with Minister Romero, but until the publication of this note it was not possible.
UPDATE FROM Maria del mar Iturralde – August 19, 2018:
“I‘m a member of this Commission, but unfortunately was not able to go to Bolivia. I am in communication with the organizers of this Commission. It is my understanding in talking with Natalia Green, one of our Latin America organizers with the Global Alliance of Rights of Nature (GARN) is the Commission members have been released. This is good as they should not have ever been detained in the first place. The Bolivian government and local authorities had been previously informed of the visit of the Commission. It is my understanding Carlos Romero, the Minister of the Presidency gave his word that the security of the Commission would be protected.
This International Commission is to gather facts of the actions of the Bolivian government to build the highway that will cross the protected lands of Indigenous Peoples called Indigenous Territory and Isiboro Secure National Park (TIPNIS). As a member of GARN we have been concerned of this highway construction violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the territorial integrity and rights of Mother Earth. TIPNIS is a vast territory that has an ecosystem and forested landscape that is rich in biodiversity and cultural diversity. The mandate of the international fact finding team is to meet and gather information from all parties, from the local communities, who are supportive and opposed to the TIPNIS road development including the Government of Bolivia.
A report will be filed before the International Court of Nature’s Rights on any possible violation in the case of the TIPNIS of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Mother Earth that was adopted in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010 by the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
If the Bolivian authorities have any concerns that the information being given to our team is inaccurate or incompetent we invite them to meet with the team to put forward their perspective. We believe that preventing the Commission from fulfilling its mandate will only generate more misunderstanding and conflict which will be detrimental to all parties.” – Tom BK Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network and member of the Global Alliance of Rights of Nature