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Sequeira Rankin, Francisco Community autonomy and territorial governance : guide for training workshops on collective rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples / Francisco Sequeira Rankin, Víctor Manuel del Cid Lucero. — 1ª ed. — Ma­na­gua : Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L., 2015 40 p. Texto en inglés ISBN 978-99964-910-1-6 1. GOBIERNO LOCAL–COSTA CARIBE (NICARAGUA) 2. DERECHOS CIVILES Y POLÍtICOS 3. DERECHOS SOCIALES Y ECONÓMICOS 4. DERECHOS TERRITORIALES

authors Francisco Sequeira Rankin

Lawyer with mention in human rights, development and interculturality

Víctor Manuel del Cid Lucero

Anthropologist and sociologist with mention in autonomy

general direction & review Charlotte Lesecq

Executive Director, Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L.

Jairo Valle Urbina

Manager, Intercultural Governance Program, IBIS in Nicaragua

english translation Judy Butler editing, design, layout, illustrations & map Jorge A. Fiedler photography Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L. documentary video José Wheelock

Director of the documentary video ‘Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory’

©2015 Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, optical, electronic or digital medium, existing or future, without the prior consent of the publisher. Nor may it be copied, stored or transmitted by said media, whether for private or public use. Exceptions are allowed in the case of justified use in the form of brief quotes or extracts published in any media, which shall always include the corresponding credits: book title, name of authors, place and date of publication and publisher information. Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L. km 12.7 carr. Sur, (fte. entrada a Serranías) Managua, Nicaragua +505 2265-8679 info@ceibo-arte.org www.ceibo-arte.org www.facebook.com/ceibo.nicaragua The opinions expressed in this document are the exclusive responsibility of its authors. This publication was produced with financial support from IBIS in Nicaragua, and its content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of that organization.


Contents 5 6

Part 1

Introduction Use of the guide Collective rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples

8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12 13 14 18

Multiethnic autonomy of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast British Protectorate in the Mosquitia Incorporation of the Caribbean Coast into the State of Nicaragua The Caribbean Coast during the Somoza family dictatorship (1936–79) The Caribbean Coast during the Sandinista Popular Revolution (1979–90) The Caribbean Coast during the Liberal governments (1990–2006) The Caribbean Coast during the second Sandinista government (2007 to today) Milestone events of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast Recognition of multiethnic regional autonomy Limitations to the consolidation of autonomy Progress in the recognition of collective rights Territorial Autonomy and the Awas Tingni case Collective rights as a process of struggle

20 20 21 22

Empowerment of the Rama and Kriol government Introduction to Rama and Kriol culture Territorial regulatory framework Main instruments of governance in the Rama and Kriol Territory Constructing empowerment

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Part 2

24 24

Guide for training workshops The workshop as a learning arena Methodological profile of the workshop Workshop organization

Content and activities 26 Watching the video, taking notes and presenting ideas 27 topic 1 • Governance in the Rama and Kriol Territory 27 Introduction to Rama and Kriol culture 28 Right of the Rama and Kriol Territory to self-government 31 topic 2 • Freely determining our development 33 topic 3 • Clearing the title in order to live securely 33 Review of Law 445

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35

Annexes 36 37 39

Evaluation

International legal instruments Nicaraguan legislative framework Bibliography

Acronyms

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amasau Awastingni mayangna community (Awastingni mayangnina sauni umani) cadpi Center for Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples cidt Inter-sectorial Demarcation and Titling Commissions conadeti National Demarcation and Titling Commission fsln Sandinista National Liberation Front gtr-k Rama and Kriol Territorial Government ihnca/uca Institute of History of Nicaragua and Central America marena Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources minsa Ministry of Health misura Miskitus, Sumus and Ramas United ohchr/oacdh Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ilo/oit International Labor Organization ophi Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative pada Autonomous Development and Administration Plan pgr Office of the Attorney General of the Republic undp/pnud United Nations Development Programme sear Regional Autonomous Educational System


Introduction The Art Cooperative CEIBO R.L. is making this guide available in the hope that it will serve as a methodological tool to facilitate collective reflection processes and construction of new knowledge on the issue of the collective rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples of Nicaragua, as well as to strengthen knowledge of the international and national laws that safeguard these peoples’ rights and the progress of and challenges to their fulfillment.

This experience has been captured in the documentary Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory, in which the protagonists tell of their concerns about the presence of third parties in their territory and how this has changed their way of life. However, they also show that co-existence between cultures is possible based on respect for the collective rights of people and a striving for harmony, an important message in these times, in which the presence of mestizo settlers and other third parties is generating tensions in other indigenous territories of the Caribbean Coast and in the Special Regime Zone of the Upper Wangkí-Bocay. We hope that both the documentary and the guide will promote an understanding of the challenges the Rama and Kriol people face in their search for self-determination, as well as to build awareness, commitment and empowerment in compliance with the collective rights of the original and Afro-descendant peoples in the framework of the Nicaraguan State’s diversity.

José Wheelock

President Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L.

Charlotte Lesecq

Executive Director Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L.

community autonomy & territorial governance

Our point of departure has been the experiences of the communal governments and of the Rama and Kriol Territorial Government (gtr-k) located in the southeast area of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, which constitute a referent on issues of territorial organization, construction of inter-cultural consensuses, environmental protection, advocacy and strategic litigation.

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Use of the guide The purpose of this guide is to facilitate a pedagogic mediation process regarding the messages and contents laid out in the documentary video Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory, as well as helping to develop capacities for critical, complex and relational analysis, in order to strengthen the demands of the original and Afro-descendant peoples for effective compliance with their rights. This guide is designed for those seeking to develop training processes on the collective rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples, particularly: Y Indigenous and Afro-descendent authorities who belong to the communal assemblies and governments as well as the territorial government Y Representatives of various government authorities (municipal, regional and national) Y Technical teams of the territorial or communal governments Y Facilitators of educational processes that include within them the rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples

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Y University educators and students of careers related to the social sciences (sociology, law, anthropology)

Parts

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Y Human rights promotors from civil society organizations and associations

Part 1 Information about the international and national regulatory framework pertaining to the rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples

Part 2 Pedagogical activities to expand the content addressed in the video Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory


Collective rights of original and Afrodescendant peoples


Multiethnic autonomy of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast This section describes Nicaragua’s historical and institutional context in order to understand the regulatory framework covering the rights of its original and Afro-descendant peoples

British Protectorate in the Mosquitia The current relations between the Caribbean Coast and the Nicaraguan State are preceded by historical dynamics marked by the period of the British protectorate over what was called the Kingdom of the Mosquitia (1600–1860).

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In 1687, Great Britain regularized its presence in the region by supporting the creation of the Kingdom of the Mosquito Coast with a dynasty of Miskitu kings that lasted 207 years. The result of the protectorate is the presence of Protestant churches and the use of English as a lingua franca.

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The 1860–94 period was characterized by the installation of a regime of self-government or reserve, recognized by the State of Nicaragua for the inhabitants of the former kingdom. In 1894 that reserve was forcibly annexed to the State of Nicaragua as a means and strategy for national integration, which was determined by a mono-ethnic, mono-cultural and monolingual vision—including the imposition of Spanish as the official language—as well as the national government’s interest in expanding its political dominion and exploiting the region’s natural resources.1

Incorporation of the Caribbean Coast into the State of Nicaragua The incorporation of the Caribbean Coast into the State of Nicaragua is understood as a process conditioned by the changing correlation of forces between the United States and England.2 It reflects the evident power of state control and territorial regulation by the Liberal government of José Santos Zelaya (1893–1909) and marks a point of reference in his political project of consolidating the Nicaraguan Nation-State. The national narrative during a large part of the 20th Century described Nicaragua as a racially and culturally mestizo nation3 resulting from relations between Spanish and indigenous people of the Pacific and central regions of the country. This narrative rendered invisible the ethnically and culturally diverse reality of the Caribbean Coast as a territorial part of the Nicaraguan nation.

2 Pérez Baltodano, 2003, p.355 1 González Pérez, 1997. This and all further notes are detailed in the

bibliography.

3 Kain et al., 2006; Pérez Baltodano, 2003; González Pérez, 1997.

2005

pnud,


The Caribbean Coast during the Sandinista Popular Revolution (1979–90)

The approach to the Caribbean Coast did not vary during the Somoza family dictatorship; to the contrary, the vision of the region’s utilitarian exploitation only intensified. The relations of subordination between Nicaraguan authorities and the United States—both governmental and private enterprise— conditioned the proliferation of multinational extractive companies, consolidating enclave economies that offered temporary, high-risk and low-pay employment.

The revolutionary government adopted different multicultural policies to resolve the armed conflict generated among the indigenous peoples who had joined what were called the Contras (counterrevolutionary guerrilla forces who tried to bring down the Sandinista National Liberation Front with support from the United States)7, among them acceptance of the country’s ethnic diversity and recognition of the historical rights of the original peoples and ethnic communities, particularly their right to autonomy or self-government.

This economic dynamic influenced the ethnic-labor hierarchy within the Caribbean Coast. Miskitus, Mayangnas and Ramas4 made up the bulk of the labor force of the mining, banana and lumber companies, while Creoles and mestizos5 occupied middle-level administrative posts in public institutions and were in charge of commerce in the main urban seats such as Puerto Cabezas and Bluefields.6 This limited integration of the region and its population was characterized by the scarcity of political links and the coast population’s limited participation in the social, economic and cultural spheres of national life.

This recognition provided an opportunity for dialogue that led to the signing of agreements between the armed indigenous groups8 and the Sandinista government. These included a ceasefire, a basic plan for the return of refugees and internally displaced to their communities of origin and an agreement on the principles that would underpin the State of Nicaragua’s recognition of the Caribbean Coast people’s right to autonomy. In October 1987 the autonomy regime for the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua became law.9

4 Original peoples of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. 5 They migrated to the Caribbean Coast upon the incorporation of the

Mosquitia into the Nicaraguan State. Despite their uninvited entry, what are today referred to as “coast mestizos” are considered an ethnic community separate from the mestizos of Nicaragua’s Pacific, central or northern regions. This difference is based on their long coexistence with other ethnic communities and indigenous peoples, as well as their use of the territory and natural resources, historical memory, social relations, language and culture. 6 The North American economic enclaves, together with the companies linked to the Somoza family, centered their lumber, gold, shellfish and banana extracting activities (1900–79) in the municipalities of Waspam, Puerto Cabezas, Bonanza, Rosita, Siuna, Pearl Lagoon, Kukra Hill, Bluefields and Corn Island. Frühling et al., pp.28–36

7 Hooker, 2010, p.181 8

misura (Miskitus, Sumus and Ramas United) and its different factions.

9 González et al., 2014, p.288

community autonomy & territorial governance

The Caribbean Coast during the Somoza family dictatorship (1936–79)

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The Caribbean Coast during the Liberal governments (1990–2006)

The Caribbean Coast during the second Sandinista government (2007 to today)

The Regional Councils and government coordinators took office in 1990 following the election of the first autonomous regional authorities. As of 2014 seven Regional Councils have been consecutively elected, which is an important element with respect to the arenas of political participation for indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples.10

Since 2007 greater respect for the rights of original and Afrodescendant peoples has been promoted through different mechanisms, of which these are the most outstanding:

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However, this possible electoral consolidation has not translated into a greater level of real autonomy and has been increasingly generated from and through the national political parties. Starting in 1990, the neoliberal center-right national governments of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990–96), Arnoldo Alemán (1997–2001) and Enrique Bolaños (2002–06) generated legal or administrative instruments to limit the institutional competencies and capacities of the regional governments in both autonomous regions.11

10

Y Creation of the Council and Secretariat of Development of the Caribbean Coast as an articulating authority among the Regional Councils and the municipal and territorial governments of both autonomous regions Y Drawing of a Human Development Strategy that recognizes the region’s diversities, the multiple exclusions to which they have been subjected historically and their potentials as agents of their own development Y Demarcation and titling of 21 indigenous and Afro-descendant territories of Nicaragua’s Northern and Southern Caribbean autonomous regions These advances have not been free of tensions. The title clearance of the indigenous and Afro-descendant territories, as well as the due respect for prior, free and informed consultation, are aspects that present limitations in the fulfillment of the collective rights of the original and Afro-descendant peoples.

10 González et al., 2014, p.293 11 Hooker, 2010, p.186


1687 Kingdom of the Mosquito Coast (British protectorate) is founded 1860 Mosquito Kingdom becomes a self-governing reserve within the State of Nicaragua 1894 Incorporation to Nicaragua, invisibilization of its identity, history and ethnic diversity 1936 Somoza family dictatorship, proliferation of multinational companies and growth of extractive processes (mining) 1979 Sandinista Popular Revolution 1987 Autonomy Regime becomes law 1990 Regional Councils and government coordinators take office 2004 Rama and Kriol Territorial Government (gtr-k) is formed since

2007 Assorted accomplishments (Council and Secretariat of Development of the Caribbean Coast, Human Development Strategy, demarcation and titling of 21 territories)

Recognition of multiethnic regional autonomy Generally speaking, autonomy can be understood as: …a formal and juridical political regime of territorial selfgovernment in which the State recognizes both collective and individual rights of the indigenous peoples [and other ethnic-cultural groups, such as for example Afrodescendant people] so they can exercise the right of selfdetermination.12 The autonomous regime is underpinned by the following legal instruments: Y Political Constitution of Nicaragua, Art. 180 Y Political Constitution of Nicaragua, Art. 181 Y Autonomy Statute of [Nicaragua’s] Atlantic Coast (Law 28) Y Law of the Communal Property Regime of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities of the Autonomous Regimes of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and of the Bocay, Coco, Indio and Maíz Rivers (Law 445) This recognition of juridical guarantees and rights brings with it a political system and regime made up of a set of traditional and formal institutions that enable different levels of government (communal, territorial, municipal and regional).

2009 Rama and Kriol Territory is titled as of

2014 7 Regional Councils consecutively elected

12 González, 2010, p.38

community autonomy & territorial governance

Milestone events of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast

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Each autonomous region (North and South) has a Regional Council made up of 45 directly elected members with legislative functions and competencies, and a government coordinating body with executive functions and competencies in the areas of health, education, production, natural resources and social policies. The administration of justice, electoral processes and public security, and the protection of national sovereignty—as spheres, competencies and functions considered to be of national Interest—have been reserved for the State through the lead institutions of these sectors.

12

Limitations to the consolidation of autonomy The mechanisms to limit the progress and consolidation of the autonomy regime have implied13 direct repudiation of the right to self-determination of the peoples of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. In turn, they have been a means to limit the scope of the autonomous regime and thus to retain control over the administration, use and exploitation of the natural resources found in the region. The progress in configuring the autonomous regime, its juridical and institutional consolidation, as well as its effectiveness as a political regime and form of government that seeks to realize the right to self-determination of the Caribbean Coast peoples has been marked by the relations between the State and the autonomous institutions. In the period 1990–2006, the main national political actors have ranged between positions contrary to the autonomous regime (the governments of Violeta Barrios, Arnoldo Alemán and Enrique Bolaños) and of opportunist support of it (the fsln party). In the majority of cases, these positions have helped slow down or weaken regional autonomy.14

13 Frühling et al., 2007; González, 2010; Hooker, 2010; González Pérez, 1997 14 Frühling et al., 2007; González, 2010; González Pérez, 1997


Progress in the recognition of collective rights

Pending challenges in the consolidation of autonomy

Despite the political seesawing, important advances have been made in the recognition of the collective rights of the peoples of the Caribbean Coast, especially in: Y Bilingual intercultural education Y Regulation of the territorial demarcation process Y Recognition of the traditional mechanisms of organization Y Participation and representation of indigenous and Afrodescendant peoples These achievements aside, autonomy has shown weaknesses in the real decentralization of the public function at a regional level, as well as in the definition and implementation of development plans by the autonomous regional actors and institutions.15

The weaknesses in the functioning of the autonomous institutions limit the expansion of its legitimacy as a system of government and political regime, as well as of its capacity to generate human development opportunities for the peoples of the Caribbean Coast. It is worth mentioning that:

Y

Poverty and unemployment are perceived as the main socioeconomic problems in both autonomous regions16

Y

The human development indices of both regions are situated between “medium” and “low”17

Y

The municipalities with a greater incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty are found in these regions18

16 Aranibar & Canedo, 2012 17 pnud, 2005, p.67 15 Aranibar & Canedo, 2012

18 ophi, 2014

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Y Intercultural health care systems

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Territorial Autonomy and the Awas Tingni case Law 445 was approved on 13 December 2002 and published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial No. 16 of 23 January 2003.

Articles of Nicaragua’s Constitution which protect the territorial rights of original and Afrodescendant peoples

By promulgating this law, the Nicaraguan State complied with the resolution issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (iachr) in the Awas Tingni vs. State of Nicaragua case, after the latter had granted a concession to the Korean company Sol del Caribe, S.A. (solcarsa) to exploit lumber on communal lands without consulting the indigenous owners of those lands. Point 3 of said resolution, which found in favor of the SumuMayangna community of Awas Tingni on 31 August 2001, states that:

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[The Court] decides that the State must adopt in its domestic law, pursuant to article 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights, the legislative, administrative, and any other measures necessary to create an effective mechanism for delimitation, demarcation, and titling of the property of indigenous communities, in accordance with their customary law, values, customs and mores‌19

14

The iachr decision was a landmark ruling on issues of the collective rights of indigenous peoples of the American continent, and a victory for the original peoples of Nicaragua in their long struggle to obtain recognition, respect and guarantees for their rights.

19 cadpi, 2014

Art. 5

recognizes the existence of indigenous peoples and their right of ownership over their lands

Art. 89

recognizes the communal forms of ownership of the lands and territories of the indigenous peoples and ethnic communities of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua

Art. 107

characterizes the sui generis nature of the land ownership regime

Art. 180

guarantees the validity of the communal property forms


Definition and scope of Law 445 The Law of the Communal Property Regime of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities of the Atlantic Coast Autonomous Regions of Nicaragua and of the Bocay, Coco, Indio and Maíz Rivers was approved on 13 December 2002 and went into effect upon its publication in La Gaceta Diario Oficial on 23 January 2003.

Number and area of titled territories According to the executive report of conadeti and cidt, 21 territories had been titled as of 21 April 2013:

Y

16 in the North Caribbean (18.95% of Nicaragua’s territory)

Y Y Y

3 in the South Caribbean

Law 445 defined communal property as the collective ownership of the lands, water, forests and other natural resources in them that have traditionally belonged to the community. Also defined as collective ownership are the knowledge, traditions, intellectual and cultural property, biodiversity resources and other goods, rights and actions belonging to one or more indigenous or ethnic communities.

Based on that law, two institutions were created for the legalization of the indigenous lands and territories:

Y National Demarcation and Titling Commission (conadeti), alternatively chaired by the presidents of the Autonomous Regional Councils and made up of representatives of the State and the ethnicities Y Inter-sectorial Demarcation and Titling Commissions (cidt), an operational authority in which representatives of the State and each of the ethnicities participate

2 in the Special Regime Zone Total: 21 territories titled (36,439.98 km2, 28.14% of Nicaragua’s territory)

Population benefited

Y Y

289 indigenous communities 183,945 inhabitants

community autonomy & territorial governance

That law defined the mechanisms for demarcating and titling communal territories in the Caribbean Coast. It also recognized the indigenous and Afro-descendant communities as political-administrative units, creating a new form of government: territorial governments. This laid the groundwork for the community members—represented by their territorial authorities—to be the ones who define the management of the territory’s resources and the development model to be followed in the territory.

15


Demarcation and titling process This process consists of the following five stages: 1. Presentation of the request 2. Resolution of conflicts 3. Measurement and boundary marking 4. Titling 5. Title clearance Title clearance refers to the obligation of the State and the competent Institutions to legally and administratively resolve the situation of third parties distinct from the communities, be they natural or juridical, that allege to have property rights and are legally or illegally settled in an indigenous or ethnic territory. Art. 38 of Law 445 states that:

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‌third parties on indigenous lands, who have no title at all, shall leave said lands without receiving any compensation

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However, this same law allows them to remain in those indigenous lands as renters, paying a rental fee to the community for use of the land.

Achievements in demarcation and titling Y Titling of 21 territories with a total titled area of 3,643,997.91 hectares (equivalent to 36,439.98 km2, or 28.14% of Nicaragua’s territory) Y Preparation of the Single Title Clearance Manual for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Territories, endorsed by 23 indigenous territories and presented to the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (pgr) and conadeti Y Creation of the Social and Economic Coexistence Guide, proposed to mitigate social and environmental conflicts in the territory


Y

The execution of mega-projects and development initiatives modifies the ecosystem of the territories of the original and Afro-descendant peoples in the Caribbean Coast

Y

The original and Afro-descendant peoples of the Caribbean Coast are still waiting for title clearance of their territories as the final task of the territorial titling process determined by Law 445

Y

The continuing advance of the agricultural frontier puts their ways of life at risk and threatens an irreparable loss of the ecosystems and forest cover of Nicaragua’s largest biological reserves

Y

Y

The clash between the different cosmovisions and concepts of land and its use held by the original and Afro-descendent peoples and the invading mestizos from the Pacific and central part of Nicaragua opens the way for frictions between individuals and communities

As of June 2015, of the 21 indigenous territories demarcated, registered and titled only 5 have begun the process of title-clearing;20 some territories have had their title for more than 5 years but, not having carried out their title clearance, are vulnerable to massive invasion by settlers and the destruction of their ecosystems

Y

Given the delays of this process, some original and Afro-descendant peoples are threatening to do their own title-clearing and demand the reordering, rental or eviction of invaders despite the possible confrontations this entails

20 Among the territories with title clearance initiatives are amasau, WangkĂ­ Twi-Tasba Raya, Mayangna Sauni As, Matumbak and the gtr-k.

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Unresolved challenges in demarcation and titling

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M

Y

Y

Y Y Y

Y

Y Y Y

Collective rights as a process of struggle Despite the acceptance of this national and international regulatory framework for recognition of the original and Afrodescendant peoples as subjects who must enjoy the same rights as the rest of the Nicaraguan citizenry, effective compliance with it is still pending.

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The National Follow-up Dialogue on International Processes to Promote and Defend the Rights of Indigenous Peoples took place in Bilwi on 6–8 April 2015.21 The main priorities and challenges of the indigenous territories were synthetized into five fundamental areas, presented below. π

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21 The National Dialogue of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples was called by the Secretariat for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Affairs of the Foreign Relations Ministry and the North Caribbean Regional Government. More than 80 people participated, including indigenous authorities of the Autonomous Regions, Upper WangkíBocay, Pacific, Center and Northern regions of Nicaragua, as well as Regional Council members and representatives of the National Army, National Police and other governmental institutions.

Fundamental areas

This shows the existence of a gap between the recognition of rights and their full exercise in conditions of equality and nondiscrimination. We therefore state that recognition of and effective compliance with the rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples can only result from social struggle, applying the principles of equality and nondiscrimination in the search for a harmonic intercultural coexistence that empowers the capacities of all peoples through mutual recognition and valuing.

Territorial rights

Weaknesses in the organization, functioning and administration of territorial and communal governments Little harmonization between different government levels (national, regional, municipal, territorial and communal) Advance of the colonization frontier Illegal sale of land and invasion of settlers Loss of biodiversity due to tree felling and contamination Incompliance by the inter-institutional commission responsible for the ownership route (demarcation and titling) Little progress in title clearance process Complementary areas that are not attended to Cross-border conflict, Wangkí-Honduras case

Health

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Lack of primary hospitals in strategic places of the territories Insufficient articulation between the official health system and the traditional indigenous system No incorporation of cultural filiation illnesses on the minsa record sheets Ignorance of traditional medical knowledge and practices No application of Law 759, Law of Ancestral Traditional Medicine


Education Y

Y

Y Y Y

Y

High percentage of untrained teaching personnel (empirical teachers) Lack of didactic material for bilingual intercultural education High percentage of Illiteracy, mainly in women Inadequate educational infrastructure Little access of indigenous youth to higher education Scant treatment of indigenous topics in school curricula at different educational levels

Production

Y

Y Y Y

Y

Y

Lack of financing policy for indigenous communities Illegal trafficking of lumber and gold Little diversity in food production Lack of technical assistance to indigenous producers on the part of governmental entities Lack of economic initiatives for women artisans and women farmers Effects on food sovereignty and security

Justice Y Y Y Y

Increased violence against women and children Increased alcoholism and drug addiction Insecurity due to the presence of drug traffickers Conflicts between indigenous people and settlers

M

Lines of action to address priorities & challenges Y Comply with the 5th stage of title clearance; assign necessary resources; set up inter-institutional commission to lead the property process and ownership route Y Establish dialogue and concertation among communities, territories and governmental entities to achieve consensus on priority actions Y Ensure greater participation of women in different organizational spheres and decision-making Y Convert communities into safe places for indigenous women and their families Y Convert indigenous families and communities into productive economic centers Y Design and implement a system of monitoring, followup and evaluation of compliance with the rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples Y Draft plans for sustainable use of natural resources for each community and territory, taking traditional internal norms into consideration Y Strengthen the health system at the communal and territorial levels

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Empowerment of the Rama and Kriol government This section describes Nicaragua’s historical and institutional context in order to understand the process of empowerment of the Rama and Kriol Territorial Government (GTR-K)

Introduction to Rama and Kriol culture According to the 2005 national census, the population of the Rama and Kriol territory consists of: Y 4,185 Rama people, living in 6 communities Rama Cay Wiring Cay

Sumu Kaat Bangkukuk

Tiktik Kaanu Indian River

Y 600 Kriol people, living in 3 communities

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Monkey Point

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Corn River

Graytown

Their relationship with Nature is their most valued good and they have many natural resources, among them the Greater Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. The basis of their subsistence in the Rama and Kriol territory is mainly traditional agriculture and fishing. The hunting and gathering activities assume an alternative to obtain provisions during critical times of the year, when there is a food scarcity. These communities have cultivated lands in Corn River, Wiring Cay, Punta Gorda River, Kukra River, Turswani and Dukuno.

A significant aspect of their culture is the practice of natural medicine, in which their beliefs and traditions are reflected. There is a rich biological and cultural tradition involving the strong use of medicinal plants for satisfying their population’s health needs.22

Territorial regulatory framework In 2004, motivated by Law 445 and the desire to conserve their natural resources, the Rama and Kriol peoples formed the Rama and Kriol Territorial Government (gtr-k), making them the first ethnic groups in Nicaragua to self-determine as a territorial government. The gtr-k is a public institution that acts as an administrative body which holds the legal representation; its Territorial Assembly, in which all the communal governments are represented, being the highest authority. The Rama and Kriol Territory was titled on 19 December 2009 and covers an extension of 405,356 land hectares as well as 539,600 maritime hectares (equivalent to 4,053.6 and 5,396 km² respectively) in exclusive rights for their use.

22 oacdh


Main instruments of governance in the Rama and Kriol Territory Y Statute of the Rama and Kriol Territory, approved by the Territorial Assembly of the gtr-k in 2007 Y Territorial Title, granted in favor of the Rama and Kriol peoples in 2009

Y The Joint Management Agreement of the protected areas within the Rama and Kriol Territory, signed by marena, gtr-k and the Autonomous Regional Government of the South Caribbean Coast in 2011 These instruments define the development aspirations of the Rama and Kriol peoples as well as their government institutions and corresponding areas of competence.

Adapted from Kjaerby & MartĂ­nez GaitĂĄn, 2012, p.9

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Y Autonomous Development and Administration Plan (pada) of the Rama and Kriol Territory, approved by the Territorial Assembly in 2009

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Constructing empowerment

22

Y

The empowerment of the gtr-k can be understood as a direct but not the only result of the capacity of both peoples to construct dynamics of intercultural coexistence and visions of future development compatible with their cultural values, practices and historical trajectories.

Y

The experience of the gtr-k demonstrates that intercultural coexistence is possible and that it strengthens the struggles to rescue the collective rights of the original and Afro-descendant peoples.

Y

That coexistence and mutual recognition permit personal and collective fulfillment based on their different identities, and also facilitates a structure of selfgovernment that promotes protection and respect for Nature and sustainable use of natural resources. These elements constitute the basis of their collective empowerment.


Guide for training workshops


The workshop as a learning arena This section proposes a methodological framework for developing a workshop based on this guide’s contents

Methodological profile of the workshop Y Workshop name Self-government and self-determination in the Rama and Kriol Territory

1. T  ime allotment. The workshop is tailored for a session of approximately 2 h 25 min (145 min); this may vary according to the characteristics of the group and its need to discuss certain subjects in greater or lesser detail

2. N  umber of participants. No limit is defined, but collective processes of constructing knowledge are usually more enriching with small groups (20 –25 people)

This guide must be considered a tool that can be modified according to the dynamics, complexity and depth of the participants’ reflections.

3. S pace. It is important to have ample and well ventilated space where the participants feel comfortable

It is not a list of tasks for logical, ordered and strict fulfillment, but rather a framework for the participatory construction of knowledge using the dialogue among different experiences and wisdom as the main tool in an act of mutual enrichment. In this regard, the following suggestions are offered:

4. E  quipment and materials. Prepare before the participants’ arrival all multimedia equipment (computer with dvd reader, video projector, sufficiently loud external speakers, video documentary dvd), as well as all auxiliary tools (flip charts, writing board, eraser, adhesive tape, paper, markers, pencils, etc.)

Y General objective Learn the mechanisms for defending and promoting the collective rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples Y Time organization and distribution See table in p.25 π

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Workshop organization

24


contents

methodology

time

Y Watch the docuVideo documentary Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory

mentary video Y Use cards with generating words Y Exchange opinions

45 min

Y Introduction by the

5. Welcome. Start the session with a welcome that includes a declaration of group objectives and expectations of the facilitation team 6. Personal introductions. Allow adequate time for the participants to introduce themselves individually 7. Rules of behavior. Jointly define certain basic rules of behavior so the session will be valuable to all (respect others’ opinions, do not interrupt the current speaker, define appropriate time for comments, regulate the length of each intervention, proper use of computers or cell phones, etc.)

30 min

Y Sketch the gover-

nance system in the Rama and Kriol Territory

Y Introduction by the Topic 2 Freely determining our development

facilitator(s) Y Plenary dialogue using generating words

30 min

Y Fill out matrix Y Introduction by the Topic 3 Clearing territory titles in order to live securely

facilitator(s) Y Plenary dialogue using generating words

30 min

Y Summary Evaluation

Questions

10 min

community autonomy & territorial governance

Topic 1 Governance in the Rama and Kriol Territory

facilitator(s) Y Plenary dialogue using generating words

25


Content and activities This section proposes to conduct a set of pedagogical activities and methodological moments that permit a participatory construction of knowledge

Watching the video, taking notes and presenting ideas Y Prepare and distribute color cards Before watching the video, prepare cards in various colors, write a keyword in each card (for example: culture, land, territory, titling, title clearance, settlers, third parties, intercultural coexistence and rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples); distribute one card per participant so that each person gets a specific topic

cooperativa de arte ceibo r.l.

Y Watch the video Invite the group to watch the documentary video Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory

26

Y Write ideas on cards Ask the participants to write on their cards the ideas they get while watching the video, according to the topic written on them or on any of the other topics Y Present ideas When the projection is over, ask each participant to stick his/her card on the wall and briefly explain what they wrote; this activity is done standing, in a free manner Y Workshop topics After the explanations, mention that these topics are the ones that will be worked on during the rest of the session


topic 1 Governance in the Rama and Kriol Territory What does territory mean to original and Afro-descendant peoples? Do a collective reflection on

How can agreements be reached to obtain political, social, cultural and economic control of our natural resources? What strategies must we use to conserve territorial governance?

“Getting through all the stages required in the demarcation and titling process has been important, but, as a strategic impact, recognition by the State through the issuing of the property title is the most significant. With this, the doors were opened to a greater guarantee and security in different initiatives and advocacy regarding implementation of our Autonomous Development and Administration Plan for the territory. In the near future we also need to implement a strategy for jointly managing the protected areas and their plans. Together with title clearance of the territory and taking the other actors into account, we will guarantee the development and administration of the territory.”

Introduction to Rama and Kriol culture Activity 1 After watching the video, read the words of Aldrick Beckford Dearing, a leader of the gtr-k. In the plenary, invite the participants to answer the following questions about the reading: Y Why is the State’s recognition of collective ownership of the Rama and Kriol Territory significant? Y How should the territory be administered? Y What does development mean in the Rama and Kriol peoples’ cosmovision? Y Motivate the participants to share their opinions (brainstorming) Y Write these down on a flip chart or chalkboard Y Summarize all of them

community autonomy & territorial governance

—Aldrick Beckford Dearing

27


Activity 2 After summarizing the opinions generated by the participants, offer new knowledge about the issue of collective ownerships of the lands and territories, and governance and administration of the territory. Use the following information as a reference: Y On 19 December 2009 the State of Nicaragua granted the property title to the gtr-k for a territory of 405,356 land hectares (4,053.6 km²) of communal ownership and 539,600 maritime hectares (5,396 km²) with exclusive rights to the maritime resources Y In the gtr-k there are six communities of Rama people Rama Cay Wiring Cay

Sumu Kaat Bangkukuk

Tiktik Kaanu Indian River

as well as three communities of Kriol people Monkey Point

Corn River

Graytown

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It is known as Rama and Kriol Territory because both peoples have coexisted many years without any conflicts over use of the territory

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Y The territory’s highest authority is the Assembly of the Rama and Kriol Territory in which the territory’s communal authorities participate; the gtr-k is made up of 18 authorities, two from each community; and there is one authority for each community on the Board of Directors Y There are three protected areas located in the indigenous territories Cerro Silva Natural Reserve Punta Gorda Natural Reserve Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve These reserves are part of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua

Right of the Rama and Kriol Territory to selfgovernment Activity 3 Divide the participants into small groups. Ask each group to make a drawing or graph that describes the Rama and Kriol peoples’ system of traditional values, cultural norms and political-administrative organizations (see the next-to-last point in activity 2). Describe how the Rama and Kriol peoples organize themselves to regulate the access, use, control and protection of their territory. Discuss the differentiated participation of women, men, elderly and youths in decision-making. Ask the participants to draw various concentric circles as shown below, placing in each circle the governance principles and cultural norms of the Rama and Kriol peoples for administering their territory.


Ask each group to stand up and present and explain their drawing in the plenary. The facilitator will talk about control and governance of the Rama and Kriol Territory using the following ideas:

Y idea 2. Take ecological control of their territory to achieve sustainable use of its natural resources (flora, lumber, fauna, marine products, soil, sand, precious metals, etc.) Y idea 3. Take cultural control of their territory, which implies making collective decisions to protect their cultural values (language, dress, customs, knowledge, beliefs, etc.) Y idea 4. Achieve economic control of their territory, which implies regulating the economic exchanges the members of the territory make with the rest of society and with local, regional, national and international markets Y idea 5. Take political control of their territory; this involves creating or strengthening their political-administrative organization to promulgate or ratify its norms, rules and principles. They must ensure the following points: participation of men and women, community democracy, political autonomy and recognition of customary law To close this activity, comment on the original and Afro-descendant peoples’ right to self-government, according to the texts quoted in this page and the next (Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua, Art. 5; ILO Convention 169, Art. 7; and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art. 23).

Liberty, justice, respect for the dignity of the human person, political and social pluralism, recognition of the original and Afro-descendent peoples and their own identity within a unitary and indivisible State, recognition of the different forms of property ownership, free international cooperation and respect for the free self-determination of peoples are principles of the Nicaraguan nation…

—Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua, Art. 5

community autonomy & territorial governance

Y idea 1. The first action which the communities want to carry out is to take physical control of their territory, which implies delimiting it (placing markers) and recognition thereof by the State and the neighboring communities

29


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30

Y Y Y

The right to ownership of the territory Control of the natural resources Indigenous self-government and the right to free determination

Y

The spiritual relationship peoples with their lands

Land as an expression of identity

Y Y

Y

The right to possession, utilization and control based on the traditional form of occupation

Y

Legal recognition through the titling of the lands

Y

Consultation, consent and mitigation measures

Freedom of decision on all aspects of life

Y Y

Y

Internal structures and decision-making procedures

Y Y

Participation in all affairs that affect them

of

indigenous

The lands and resources as a fundamental aspect for survival

Ancestral forms of self-government and their own political, social and economic systems

Prior consultation about issues that affect them —ILO Convention 169, Art. 7 —United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art. 23

Activity 4 Ask the groups to draw how the governance system works in the Rama and Kriol Territory. Draw a big circle to represent the territory, then place paper sheets with the name of the organizations, groups or specific people which hold the political-administrative leadership in your area. Each group will in turn present and explain their work in the plenary. This activity ends topic 1 and serves as an evaluation of the work done so far.


topic 2 Freely determining our development Objective: share the Rama and Kriol thinking about

The meaning of the word “development” Reflect on ideas and practices that ensure the ways of life and production systems of the Rama and Kriol Territory

Invite the participants to respond to these questions: Y How can the Rama and Kriol peoples’ way of life be described in words? Y What are their norms, principles and values for coexistence in the communities and in the territory? Y What does the tangible and intangible cultural heritage23 of the Rama and Kriol territory consist of? Using the brainstorming technique, note the conclusions on a chalkboard or flip chart and synthesize them. Prepare beforehand two posters with the texts quoted in this page and the next (ILO Convention 169, Art. 7, and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art. 23). Stick them to the wall, chalkboard or flip chart, and ask someone to read them aloud.

23 Tangible: something that can be touched. Intangible: something that

cannot be touched; immaterial. As applied to cultural heritage, a painting or sculpture is a tangible good while a song, dance, celebration or oral history is intangible.

The peoples concerned shall have the right to decide their own priorities for the process of development as it affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or otherwise use, and to exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own economic, social and cultural development. In addition, they shall participate in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of plans and programmes for national and regional development which may affect them directly.

—ILO Convention 169, Art. 7

community autonomy & territorial governance

Activity 5

31


Share the following points about the issue of development:

“

Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.

�

—United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art. 23

cooperativa de arte ceibo r.l.

Promote a dialogue about how these articles can be applied in planning the development of the Rama and Kriol Territory. Do a summary at the end of the conversation.

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Y Control over the indigenous lands and territories24 which are the spiritual and material base of the existence of original peoples Y Respect for and conservation of the environment. The international declarations refer to universal issues such as climate change, globalization and social equity, which implies that the vision of original peoples is relevant for global society as a whole Y Recognition of and respect for the identity and culture of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, which implies that their values, knowledge, customs and languages deserve the same appreciation and respect as the other cultures that make up Nicaraguan society Y Assure the participation of the original and Afro-descendant peoples in any decision that could affect their territories To conclude this activity, ask the groups to reflect on the development priorities for the Rama and Kriol Territory and the strategy to follow, the participants and/or people in charge for each one, preparing a table as follows:

priorities

strategies

participants

24 In international law, the term land refers to a physical space, portion

of land or geographic area, while the term territory describes the manifestations of cultural life associated with that space, expressed in the use of land and its resources, the ceremonial and spiritual links, and the multiple ways of being and of conceiving the habitat and the world. The notion of territory does not describe a good or property with a given economic value, but the value of life in general and of cultural life in particular.


topic 3 Clearing the title in order to live securely Problems generated by mestizo settlers’ invasion of their territory

Review of Law 445 Activity 6 In the plenary, go over the main parts of Law 445. Y The Law of the Communal Property Regime of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities of the Autonomous Regions of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and of the Bocay, Coco, Indio and MaĂ­z Rivers was approved on 13 December 2002 and went into effect upon its publication in La Gaceta Diario Oficial on 23 January 2003. Y Law 445 defined communal property as the collective ownership of the lands, water, forests and other natural resources in them that have traditionally belonged to the community. The knowledge, traditions, intellectual and cultural property, biodiversity resources and other goods, rights and actions belonging to one or more Indigenous or ethnic communities are also collective property.

Changes this implies for their way of living Loss of biodiversity Importance of title clearance as a tool of sustainable territorial governance within a framework of intercultural coexistence The stages of the demarcation and titling process are: 1. Presentation of the request 2. Resolution of conflicts 3. Measurement and boundary marking 4. Titling 5. Title clearance Title clearance refers to the resolution of conflicts with third parties25 that allege property rights within a communal land or indigenous territory. Art. 38 of Law 445 states that: ‌third parties on indigenous lands, who have no title at all, shall leave said lands without receiving any compensation However, this same law allows them to remain in those indigenous lands as renters, paying a rental fee to the community for use of the land. 25 Term used to describe natural or legal persons, not belonging to the

indigenous or Afro-descendant communities. In Spanish: terceros.

community autonomy & territorial governance

Objective: share the Rama and Kriol thinking about

33


Problems with third parties In the video documentary Images of my Rama and Kriol Territory, the people interviewed referred with great concern to the presence of mestizo settlers on that territory. We share here some of their declarations:

“The problem with the third parties is affecting our community” “The settlers offend us” “They shoot the birds and animals” “These people are everywhere”

“The mestizos from the Pacific are invading our territory and doing business with our land”

“They have taken over everything”

“They are taking out all our shellfish and fish and other resources from our territory”

“We can’t go where we went before”

“We can’t work like we want to” “The mestizos come and cut down all the lumber” —Junie Macelroy

—Pastor Cleveland McCrea

“If they lived like us, they would understand better the way we live in our territory. When they come, they just measure and negotiate our lands.” cooperativa de arte ceibo r.l.

—Grace Sambola

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“More than 20,000 mestizos have invaded our territory” —Francisco McCrea

“We don’t destroy the land. We just plant things that are useful for us” —Cristina Cooper


Ask each group to respond to the following questions:

In the plenary:

Y What do you think about what the leaders of the Rama and Kriol Territory are saying?

Y Promote a group dialogue about the title-clearing experience in the Rama and Kriol Territory

Y Do you know of other problems caused by the presence of mestizo settlers?

Y Avoid emphasizing the negative aspects of the conflicts with third parties; instead, try to instill a mutual recognition of the territorial reality

Y What is being done in the Rama and Kriol Territory to comply with the title clearing? Summarize the responses of each group.

Y Summarize the discussion

iii Questions

Upon concluding any workshop or training activity, an evaluation must always be done, in order to know whether the planned objectives were reached

Evaluation

Y Were the objectives met?

iii

Y Were all the contents addressed?

Items to evaluate

Y Did all the planned activities take place?

Y Activities developed

Y Was it all done on time?

Y Functioning of the workshop

Y Did it respond to the participants’ expectations?

Y Participation of the group

iii

Y How should attendance be evaluated? Y Was the workshop useful for strengthening the participants’ work in their communities and territories?

iii

community autonomy & territorial governance

Y End the workshop

35


Annexes List of the main international legal instruments adopted by the State of Nicaragua in recognition of specific rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples

International legal instruments International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. Executive Agreement nº 15, dated 19 September 1977, ratified 3 December 1977

Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará). Ratified 9 June 1994

American Convention on Human Rights (Pacto de San José). Decree nº 174 of the Government Junta of National Reconstruction. Ratified 25 September 1979

Convention on Biological Diversity. National Assembly Decree nº 1079. Dated 27 October 1995, ratified 16 November 1995

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International Pact on Civil and Political Rights. Decree nº 255 of the Government Junta of National Reconstruction. Dated 8 January 1980, ratified 12 March 1980

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International law has advanced in the recognition of original and Afro-descendant peoples as subjects of specific and collective laws. The instruments listed here form part of the legal corpus defending such rights

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Dated 17 July 1980, ratified 27 October 1981 Convention on the Rights of the Child. National Assembly Decree nº 324. Dated 19 April 1990, ratified 25 September 1990

Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Right of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Approved via Executive Decree nº 3510–2003, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº 62, 28 March 2003

Of the instruments listed here, two are considered milestones of recognition of rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples:

Y United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. National Assembly Decree nº 001 –2008

Peoples in Independent Countries

Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. International Labor Organization (ilo), 1989. National Assembly Decree nº59–34, dated 6 May 2010, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº105, 4 June 2010, formal ratification on 25 August 2010, date of reception by ilo

The table on p.37 summarizes the categories of rights recognized by both instruments π

Y


Y Equality and nondiscrimination

Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

Gender equality

Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

Right to lands, territories and natural resources

Prohibition of the use of force or coercion Respect for the right to identity Participation of indigenous peoples Free and informed prior consultation and consent Right to a nationality Right to life, integrity, liberty and security Autonomy and self-government Safeguarding of indigenous heritage Right to development based on identity, equality and nondiscrimination Economic, social and cultural rights Right to work and professional preparation Right to social security Right to health Right to education Right to access to justice and the administration of indigenous law Source: onu, 2009

Nicaraguan legislative framework for the application of the international treaties and conventions Main juridical instruments of the State of Nicaragua which recognize specific rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples Law nยบ 61. Law on Education in Languages in the Atlantic Coast. National Assembly Decree nยบ571, approved 25 November 1980, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nยบ279, 3 December 1980. First law to authorize teaching primary education in Miskitu and English in Caribbean Coast schools in areas inhabited by indigenous and Creole communities. It orders the Ministry of Education to plan, regulate, coordinate and evaluate the authorized teaching; it also orders the Ministry of Culture (today the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Nicaraguan Institute of the Atlantic Coast (at the time), to establish programs for the purpose of preserving, rescuing an promoting the Miskitu, Sumu, Rama and Creole cultures, and others still in existence. Decree nยบ 571, Law on Education in Languages in the Atlantic Coast. Approved 25 November 1980, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nยบ279, 3 December 1980. Art. 1: By the present law teaching in pre-primary and in the first four grades of primary in the Miskitu and English languages is authorized on the schools of the areas that said indigenous and Creole communities of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua respectively occupy. At the same time, teaching in the Spanish language must be gradually introduced.

community autonomy & territorial governance

Categories of rights recognized by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries

37


Law nº28, Autonomy Statute of the Atlantic Coast. Approved 7 September 1987, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº238, 30 October 1987. It establishes the underpinnings for the functioning of the autonomous regimes of the Atlantic Coast communities of Nicaragua, granting political and social participation to the indigenous, ethnic communities and inhabitants of traditionally marginalized regions for the first time. It creates an autonomous institutionality, distinct from the political and administrative division in the rest of the country, adjusting it to the cultural identities of the regions’ inhabitants.

cooperativa de arte ceibo r.l.

National Assembly Decree nº 3584, Regulatory Law of the Autonomy Statute of the Atlantic Coast. Approved 9 July 2003, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº186, 2 October 2003. It regulates Law nº28 and guarantees the applicability of the law’s provisions.

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Law nº162, Law of Official Use of the Languages of the Communities of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. Approved 22 June 1993, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº132, 15 July 1996. Establishes Spanish as the official language of the State but the languages of the Atlantic Coast communities will be of official use in the Atlantic Autonomous Regions. Law nº217, General Law of the Environment and Natural Resources. Approved 27 March 1996, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº105, 6 March 1996. Art. 62: It is the duty of the State and all its inhabitants to see to the conservation and use of the biological diversity and national genetic assets in accord with the princi-

ples and standards consigned in Nicaraguan legislation, and in the International Treaties and Conventions signed and ratified by Nicaragua. In the case of the indigenous peoples and ethnic communities that contribute genetic resources, the State will guarantee that said use is granted in conformity with conditions determined in consultations with them. Law nº 287, Code of Children and Adolescents. Approved 24 March 1998, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº 97, 27 May 1998. It recognizes the cultural identity and traits in the cultural formation of the children of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. The State will guarantee the rights that correspond to the children and adolescents belonging to such indigenous communities or social groups in common with the other members of their group: their own cultural and educational life, to profess and practice their own religion and customs, and to employ their own language and enjoy the rights and guarantees consigned in this Code and other laws. Law nº 260, Organizational Law of the Judicial Branch. Approved 7 July 1998, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº 137, 23 July 1998. Art. 61: The Judicial Branch respects, promotes and guarantees the Autonomy Regime of the Regions inhabited by the indigenous peoples and ethnic communities of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. Law nº 445, Law of the Communal Property Regime of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities of the Autonomous Regions of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and of the Bocay, Coco, Indio

and Maíz Rivers. Approved 13 December 2002, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº 16, 23 January 2003. It recognizes the communal property of the peoples belonging to the communities of the regions mentioned. Law nº423, General Health Law. Approved 14 March 2002, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial nº91, 17 May 2002. It gives the Nicaraguan Atlantic autonomous regions the power to to define their own health model based on their culture and traditions. Law nº582, General Education Law. Approved 2 August 2006. It establishes the general education guidelines and includes the Regional Autonomous Educational System (sear) as one of its sub-systems. Law nº641, Penal Code. Approved 13 November 2007. Art. 20: The offenses and misdemeanors committed by members of the indigenous peoples and ethnic communities of the Atlantic Coast within said communities and between community members, whose sentence does not exceed five years of prison, will be judged in conformity with customary law, which in no case may contradict the Political Constitution of Nicaragua. Nonetheless, it protects the right of the accused to choose the system of state justice at the beginning of the prosecution and absolute respect for the prohibition of multiple penal sentencing. Law nº 690, Law for the Development of the Coastal Zones. It regulates the use and sustainable exploitation of the coastal zones of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea and guarantees the population’s access to them.


Decree 15–2013, Decree creating the Inter-institutional Commission for the Defense of Mother Earth in Indigenous and Afro-descendant Territories of the Caribbean and Upper Wangkí-Bocay. The commission will provide follow-up to the last stage of the Territorial Demarcation and Titling process, known as “Title clearance.” Law nº870, Family Code. Approved 26 August 2014, published in La Gaceta Diario Oficial, 8 October 2014. It recognizes and respects the community life and structure of the original and Afro-descendant peoples, underpinned in the practice of solidarity and complementarity of their families and authorities, in harmony with Mother Earth within their paradigm of living well.

Bibliography Aranibar, Antonio, Francisco Canedo. Sostenibilidad institucional y socioeconómica de la Autonomía de la Costa Caribe. Nota Conceptual papep-Costa Caribe, Nicaragua. Programa regional de análisis político y escenarios prospectivos (papep). Managua: pnud, 2012 Centro para la Autonomía y Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (cadpi). Demarcación y Titulación de Territorios Indígenas. La reivindicación de derechos ancestrales. Bilwi, raan: 2014 Frühling, Pierre, Miguel González Pérez, H.P. Buvollen. Etnicidad y nación: el desarrollo de la autonomía de la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua (1987– 2007). Guatemala: f&g Editores, 2007 González, Miguel, Vivian Estrada Jiménez, Víctor Manuel Del Cid. “Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Social Movements in Central America”, in Handbook of Central American Governance, Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, Salvador Martí i Puig (eds.). United Kingdom: Routledge International Handbooks, 2014 González, Miguel. “Autonomías territoriales indígenas y regímenes autonómicos (desde el Estado)”, in La autonomía a debate. Autogobierno indígena y estado plurinacional en América Latina. Quito, Ecuador; Copenhague; México, df; San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas [México]; flacso Ecuador;

community autonomy & territorial governance

Law nº759, Law of Ancestral Traditional Medicine. Approved 29 March 2011. It recognizes the right to and respects, protects and promotes the practices and expressions of ancestral traditional medicine of the indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in all their specialties and the individual and collective exercise of them on behalf of their own and intercultural health and establishes adequate guarantees that correspond to the State for their effective application and development.

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gtz; Ministerio Federal de Cooperación Económica y Desarrollo: iwgia; ciesas; Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas, 2010

González Pérez, Miguel. Gobiernos Pluriétnicos: la Constitución de Regiones Autónomas en Nicaragua: un estudio sobre el Estado Nacional y el proceso de Autonomía Regional en la Costa Atlántica-Caribe. México, df: Plaza y Valdés, 1997 Hooker, Juliet. “De la autonomía multiétnica a…? Supervivencia cultural, relaciones inter-étnicas, autogobierno y el modelo de autonomía en la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua”, in La autonomía a debate. Autogobierno indígena y estado plurinacional en América Latina. Quito, Ecuador; Copenhague; México, df; San Cristóbal de Las

Casas, Chiapas [México]; flacso Ecuador; gtz; Ministerio Federal de Cooperación Económica y Desarrollo: iwgia; ciesas; Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas, 2010 Kain, M.C., A. Jacobson, S. Manzanares, E. Mairena, E. Gómez, J.S. Bush. Anotaciones sobre el racismo por razones étnicas en Nicaragua. 2006 Kjaerby, Claus, Walter Martínez Gaitán. Atlas y Experiencias del Territorio Rama y Kriol. Titulación y Manejo Conjunto de las Áreas Protegidas en el Territorio. Managua: ibis in Nicaragua, 2012 Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (oacdh). Diagnóstico sobre los Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Central, tomo ii

Organización de las Naciones Unidas (onu). Derechos de Pueblos Indígenas y Afrodescendientes. Instrumentos Internacionales. Managua, 2009 Pérez Baltodano, Andrés. Entre el Estado Conquistador y el Estado Nación: providencialismo, pensamiento político y estructuras de poder en el desarrollo histórico de Nicaragua. Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica (ihnca /uca), Universidad Centroamericana, Fundación Friedrich Ebert in Nicaragua, 2003 Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (pnud). Informe de Desarrollo Humano 2005: las regiones autónomas de la costa Caribe; ¿Nicaragua asume su diversidad? Managua: pnud, 2005

Community autonomy and territorial governance: guide for training workshops on collective rights of original and Afro-descendant peoples

cooperativa de arte ceibo r.l.

Francisco Sequeira Rankin, Víctor Manuel del Cid Lucero

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print run 250 copies, softcover materials inner pages printed in 2 colors (black & Pantone 471u) on coated stock 90g; cover printed 4 colors cmyk on coated cover stock #12 typography text, subtitles, tables & map: Fontin Sans (exljbris, Jos Buivenga,

2007); heads, subheads & ornaments: Berlin Sans (The Font Bureau, David Berlow, 1992); part numbers: Cafeteria (The Font Bureau, Tobias Frere-Jones, 1993), illustrations: Market (FontShop International, H.A. Simon, 1996)

editorial published by Cooperativa de Arte CEIBO R.L. Printed by MultiGrafic Managua, Nicaragua, August 2015


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