No date yet for IACHR hearing on Isseneru land rights petition
No date has yet been set for a hearing of the petition by the Amerindian community of Isseneru, which last year asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to apply measures to uphold its rights over both titled and traditionally-owned lands, in light of concerns about mining claims and what it calls the failure of the authorities to protect its rights. Attorney for the Region Seven community David James told Stabroek News on Wednesday that they had submitted the information requested by the IACHR but have heard nothing as yet as pertains to a hearing of the case. After the submission of the petition, the Commission had requested further information from the petitioners and also from the government.
Villagers had said that they decided to send the petition to the Commission after they had exhausted all domestic remedies and after they found that the State had failed to offer protection in relation to their basic human rights. “Even before we took this petition to the Inter-American Commission, we had sought government intervention and we had made public the problems we had been encountering. These problems are documented in the petition and include, among others, the loss of our ancestral land to mining interests, pollution of our water ways, mercury contamination through mining, and health and social problems,” Dwight Larson, the secretary for the Region Seven village council, had said last year.