Abdón Justiniano, one of the leaders of the march and president of the organ of the Beni Indigenous Peoples’ Central (Cepib), faced the government’s criticism of his mobilization, called for his march in defense of his territory and regretted that the Deputy Minister of the Autonomies, Álvaro Ruiz, understood the demands of the indigenous peoples, because “you live in four walls”.
“The struggle of the peoples is fair (…) we are very clear about our demands, namely the defense of our territory, now that the Vice Minister says that he does not understand our demand, well, it is difficult to understand when the officer lives between four walls and he doesn’t know his surroundings, “Justiniano told the ANF.
He recalled that there were several petition documents from indigenous peoples that had not been heard since the 1990 march; One of their demands is respect for their territory and their self-determination as well as the rejection of submission and indiscriminate felling of trees.
He stressed that one of the effects of indiscriminate cutting of trees is climate change, high or very low temperatures, and droughts. He said that these are issues of respect for nature that often cannot be understood unless they live in the area where they have lived for several years.
He added that any claims they have will not be discussed with the government while they are on the march, but that they will do so once they arrive in Santa Cruz city. “If you really want to understand the reality of the indigenous peoples, we will ask you to show up and talk in Santa Cruz, not in the street,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Autonomy, Álvaro Ruiz, stated that they did not receive the petition for the indigenous march, knowing that it was in defense of their territory and against submission, but that no document had reached the government.
“I understand that they would march in defense of their territory, if this is the march the protest will be respected, but it is clear that the territory is guaranteed (by the Constitution). The Common Origin Areas (TCO) are established.” in our constitution, not just because of political will, but because of our constitution; there cannot be those of submission because they are territories of the indigenous peoples, “Ruíz said in PAT.
He said that as a government they are open to dialogue and will guarantee that the march reaches its destination, the city of Santa Cruz; although, in his reading, the march, which was aimed at the east of the country, would have political undertones and would be supported by the community and creemos.
The march of the indigenous people takes place on the 14th and today it goes very early from the municipality of San Pablito to Ascención de Guarayos, where the indigenous parliament is being formed.