Mariel Sanchez

Mariel is a graduate student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, focusing on human security and international development. She is originally from Mexico and has spent time studying in France and doing volunteer work in Costa Rica. Prior to her graduate studies, she was a case manager and legal representative at the YMCA International Services, a refugee resettlement agency in Houston, Texas. Her cases involved immigration relief for victims of crime, asylum seekers, and family reunification for refugees and other low-income immigrants. Before starting in immigration law, she worked for a disaster relief program, where she provided case management and direct assistance to hurricane survivors. She also has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. This summer, she continued her work in the human rights field with EPAF, further exploring issues of transitional justice and post-conflict development. After the fellowship, she wrote: "The fellowship kept me very busy and I enjoyed having variety in the work. I liked being able to contribute practical skills in preparing a grant proposal and a marketing plan, while also having the opportunity to be creative in designing a website, writing AP blogs and making videos. For me, the best part about the fellowship was that I wasn’t just doing a job, but that everything I did had the greater benefit of supporting human rights. Also, working with the people of EPAF and learning the stories of the conflict directly from the victims were the most rewarding aspects." Contact: msanchez@advocacynet.org



Bagua No Se Olvida (Bagua Is Not Forgotten)

10 Jun

Six years ago more than 30 people were killed near Bagua, a city approximately 600 miles north of Lima. On June 5, 2009 indigenous communities from the northern Peruvian Amazon clashed with security forces following protests over land concessions to foreign third parties. Your attorney will work with the traffic ticket issuing agency and prosecutors to reduce your traffic violation to one which will not plague your permanent driving record. Whenever possible, our office will request a reduced fine and seek a dismissal. If you have been issued a traffic ticket in the Baton Rouge area, New Orleans area, or anywhere else in Louisiana, you should be aware that these citations can appear on your driving record. Proper legal representation is imperative in your case, especially if you find yourself in traffic court. Schedule a free consultation with a traffic ticket attorney from our Louisiana traffic ticket firm to see if you have a case. Come see why our clients feel that our traffic ticket defense experience is some of the best in the state. You can check this website for Louisiana Traffic Ticket Lawyers.

As part of its Free Trade Agreement with the United States and other plans for economic development, the Peruvian government had approved legislation granting mining concessions and authorizing oil and gas drilling by private actors on territory traditionally held and occupied by Aguaruna (Awajun), Huambisa (Wambis) and other ethnic groups. The government did not seek the consent of these indigenous communities in the process, arguably ignoring their rights. In response, indigenous populations launched protests and blocked the roads to prevent access to their land.

The situation turned violent when the national police was sent to clear a highway blockade on “The Devil’s Curve” (“La Curva del Diablo”). In June 2009, the police opened fire from helicopters and on the ground against the indigenous protesters. Thirty-three people died, including 23 police officers and 10 locals. Another 200 were injured.

I share an office with Percy Rojas who runs EPAF’s Field School in Peru and works with memory projects. When he mentioned last week he was making a video, I asked him to share more about it. This is how I learned about the Bagua massacre. While not directly related to the problem of disappearances, I saw the theme fitting to EPAF’s and The Advocacy Project’s broader missions of social justice for marginalized communities.

Percy Rojas Quispe, Memory Area at EPAF Percy editing his Bagua video.

It strikes me as unfortunate how decades after a conflict in which state actors committed gross human rights violations against minority communities, the government continues to make it not only difficult, but also violent, for indigenous groups to claim their rights. The case of Bagua raises the question, is there no end to the history of abusive relationships between the government and minority communities?

Problems of “land grabbing” are not unique to Peru. Models of economic development across developing countries in Africa and Latin America have relied on exploiting indigenous land to allow for private investment. Such extractive activities threaten not only natural resources, but also the property and lifestyles of natives. While a means toward economic gains, land concessions often violate the rights of local communities, particularly when the populations native to the land are not consulted in the land negotiations or when the concessions result in the displacement and insecurity of those populations.

Events like Bagua remind us why memorialization matters. They also highlight the importance of preventing acts of abuse against minority groups, especially when they emerge from development efforts imposed by the government and outside private actors.

Percy’s video in commemoration of the Bagua massacre. In the voice-over you can hear a speech of former Peruvian President Alan Garcia where he refers to the Amazonian indigenous communities as not being “first-class citizens”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=16&v=8f5Hm3WRFxY

[content-builder]{“id”:1,”version”:”1.0.4″,”nextId”:”1″,”block”:”root”,”layout”:”12″,”childs”:[{“id”:”2″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

Six years ago more than 30 people were killed near Bagua, a city approximately 600 miles north of Lima. On June 5, 2009 indigenous communities from the northern Peruvian Amazon clashed with security forces following protests over land concessions to foreign third parties.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

As part of its Free Trade Agreement with the United States and other plans for economic development, the Peruvian government had approved legislation granting mining concessions and authorizing oil and gas drilling by private actors on territory traditionally held and occupied by Aguaruna (Awajun), Huambisa (Wambis) and other ethnic groups. The government did not seek the consent of these indigenous communities in the process, arguably ignoring their rights. In response, indigenous populations launched protests and blocked the roads to prevent access to their land.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

The situation turned violent when the national police was sent to clear a highway blockade on \u201cThe Devil\u2019s Curve\u201d (\u201cLa Curva del Diablo\u201d). In June 2009, the police opened fire from helicopters and on the ground against the indigenous protesters. Thirty-three people died, including 23 police officers and 10 locals. Another 200 were injured.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

I share an office with Percy Rojas who runs EPAF\u2019s Field School in Peru and works with memory projects. When he mentioned last week he was making a video, I asked him to share more about it. This is how I learned about the Bagua massacre. While not directly related to the problem of disappearances, I saw the theme fitting to EPAF\u2019s and The Advocacy Project\u2019s broader missions of social justice for marginalized communities.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

\"Percy<\/a> Percy editing his Bagua video.<\/em><\/p>\r\n

It strikes me as unfortunate how decades after a conflict in which state actors committed gross human rights violations against minority communities, the government continues to make it not only difficult, but also violent, for indigenous groups to claim their rights. The case of Bagua raises the question, is there no end to the history of abusive relationships between the government and minority communities?<\/span><\/p>\r\n

Problems of \u201cland grabbing\u201d are not unique to Peru. Models of economic development across developing countries in Africa and Latin America have relied on exploiting indigenous land to allow for private investment. Such extractive activities threaten not only natural resources, but also the property and lifestyles of natives. While a means toward economic gains, land concessions often violate the rights of local communities, particularly when the populations native to the land are not consulted in the land negotiations or when the concessions result in the displacement and insecurity of those populations.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

Events like Bagua remind us why memorialization matters. They also highlight the importance of preventing acts of abuse against minority groups, especially when they emerge from development efforts imposed by the government and outside private actors.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

Percy\u2019s video in commemoration of the Bagua massacre. In the voice-over you can hear a speech of former Peruvian President Alan Garcia where he refers to the Amazonian indigenous communities as not being \u201cfirst-class citizens\u201d:<\/span>\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?t=16&v=8f5Hm3WRFxY<\/a><\/p>”}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Mariel Sanchez

Posted Jun 10th, 2015

48 Comments

  • Annika

    June 25, 2015

     

    Mariel, I also witnessed similar trends of long-stemming injustice underlying current issues when I visited Peru earlier this year. The same groups – often marginalized indigenous communities – who were targeted in terrorist and government-driven violence decades ago are often still the ones unfairly harmed by more recent exploitation. The man who led Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Salomón Lerner, told our university group that a feeling of “distrust” underlies Peruvian society due to a lack of retribution or responsibility for the horrific crimes committed against its citizens. I wonder how these deeper-stemming issues affect current relations between the state and rural Peruvian communities targeted by state or foreign-led extractive industries.

Enter your Comment

Submit

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

Fellows

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003