CIDH Urged Argentina to Protect Toba Community
Published on Fri, 2011-04-29 08:26
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) decreed this month safety measures to guarantee the return of the members of the Toba indigenous community known as “La Primavera” to its land at the Argentinian province of Formosa. The action was promoted by the State Prosecutor’s Office of this Latin American country and the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, CELS), national focal point of Social Watch.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has officially requested the Argentine State to protect the members of the Toba indigenous community known as “La Primavera”.
The IACHR has officially requested the Argentine State to “adopt the measures necessary to safeguard the lives and physical integrity” of the members of the Toba-qom Navogoh community known as “La Primavera”.
In a resolution, the AICHR backed on Thursday 21 April the safety measures the community had appealed for, which were sponsored by the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, CELS).
The Commission requested the Argentine State to protect these indigenous people “against possible threats, aggression or harassment by members of the police, public authorities or other State agents”. The IACHR has also exhorted the State to guarantee the safe return to Formosa of the community leader Félix Díaz and his family.
This call for safety measures came after members of the community were expelled from their homes and repressed on 23 and 24 November 2010. As a result of this brutal police operation, two people died and dozens were seriously wounded, and children, pregnant women and old people were detained en masse. Members of the community had their houses burned down and consequently lost their personal belongings and documents.
The Commission has also asked the Argentine State to submit a report on “The action taken to investigate the facts that gave rise to the adoption of the security measures”. Legal proceedings were initiated after the repressive police action but this was in the local courts and up to the present time the only people who have been charged are members of the indigenous community.”
Some community representatives who have been camping out in Buenos Aires since December started this week a hunger strike, and they blocked the main thoroughfare Avenida 9 de Julio. They are demanding that Argentine State authorities keep an agreement they made on 30 December to safeguard the health and safety of the members of the community.
The IACHR ruling opens a new dialogue initiative between the indigenous community, the Federal State and the authorities of the province of Formosa to find a solution to the conflict. With the Commission’s intervention, all measures that are taken must be agreed beforehand with members of the community and their representatives.
The Spanish version of the communiqué from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to the Argentine State is available in pdf format at http://www.cels.org.ar/common/documentos/Cidh.qom.cautelares.pdf