SOURCE: The Guardian (www.guardian.com)
IN SOUTH AMERICA - BOLIVA
Bolivia enacts law to protect Amazon pink dolphins
Bolivian President Evo Morales has enacted a law aimed at protecting a unique species of dolphins that live in the country's Amazon rivers.
The new legislation bans fishing freshwater pink dolphins and declares the species a national treasure.
At a ceremony along the shores of the Ibare river, President Morales called on the armed forces to protect the habitats of the pink dolphins
The species is threatened by erosion, pollution and logging in the Amazon.
The Bolivian pink dolphin, whose scientific name is Inia boliviensis, is similar to mammals found in neighbouring Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.
Male Bolivian freshwater pink dolphins can weigh up to 200kg (440 pounds).
An appendix to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) says the species is vulnerable because of overfishing in the Amazon basin.
But it says the main threat is the contamination of rivers in the region by mercury, used in illegal gold mining operations.
SOURCE: WINNEMUCCA INDIAN COLONY (www.winnemuccaindiancolony.com)
IN NORTH AMERICA - WINNEMUCCA, NEVADA
The Winnemucca Indian Colony of the Western Shoshone people is making history, but not if the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has its way.
On Saturday September 17, the new administration for the Winnemucca Indian Colony began re-occupation of the tribal offices following a historic ruling on Tuesday, September 4th 2012 when Nevada District Court Judge Robert Clyde Jones decided in favor of tribal sovereignty by upholding Thomas R. Wasson as Chairman of the Winnemucca Indian Colony.
For the first time since the implementation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, an Indian nation has freely elected their leadership without interference from the United States Government. This election has now been upheld in a United States district court.
This ruling is also the next step in a long quest for justice that began in February 2000 when traditional Winnemucca Shoshone chairman Glenn Wasson was assassinated outside colony offices. His murder remains unsolved, and serious questions remain about interference from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Following the assassination, the Bureau of Indian Affairs aided the coup by supporting the installation of non-Indian William R. Bills, a prime suspect in the murder, into power. The “Bills and Ayers” group has occupied the Community Administration Building and assumed administrative responsibilities despite overwhelming opposition for 12 years.
Bills was publicly in favor of relations with the BIA despite repeated Shoshone claims of stolen land and resources.
Tuesday’s ruling upheld a September 20th 2011, District Court of Nevada Injunction extending a Temporary Restraining Order (Case No. 3:11-cv-006220RCJ0VPC) resulting in the recognition of Thomas R. Wasson as the Chairman of WIC.
Judge Jones put matters to rest stating,” Bureau of Indian Affairs Western Region did not comply with my Order.”
Since the ruling people from other Indigenous nations have traveled to Winnemucca, Nevada in support of this historic occasion, including members from the Paiute, Cherokee, Northern Arapaho, and Lakota nations.
One indigenous supporter offered: “Other nations are continuing to arrive in support of this great victory. This is something that all nations can do when they start asserting their sovereignty. We have this right according to the Vienna convention of 1961.
SOURCE: SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL (www.survivalinternational.org)
IN INDIA – ORISSA
Victory: Vedanta to close Orissa refinery
Supporters of India’s Dongria Kondh tribe are celebrating after controversial British mining company Vedanta Resources declared it will close its bauxite refinery in the state of Orissa, this December.
The news is a major breakthrough for the tribe, who have fought a David and Goliath battle against Vedanta’s plans to extract bauxite from their land.
Dongria leader, Lodu Sikaka, said today, ‘We will be happy if the company leaves. If the refinery is there, they will keep trying to take our mountain, if not today, then tomorrow, or two years, 10 years from now.’
The Lanjigarh refinery sits at the base of the Dongria Kondh’s Niyamgiri Hills, which are home to the 8,000-strong tribe, and the seat of their god Niyam Raja. The company has spent more than one billion US dollars expanding the site without securing all the required clearances, as well as knowing it was unable to source enough bauxite to run the refinery at capacity.
“News sources today include Survival International, the Guardian and Winnemucca Indian Colony. ”
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This Week's Program: Wednesday, September 19, 2012