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  • Rojas was one of the beneficiaries of the IACHR’s precautionary measure.

    Rojas was one of the beneficiaries of the IACHR’s precautionary measure. | Photo: @BHRRC

Published 10 April 2019
Opinion

There have been ongoing land-ownership conflicts involving some 12,000 hectares of land that were distributed to the Indigenous peoples of Costa Rica.

Following the murder of land rights leader Sergio Rojas, the government and Indigenous peoples of Costa Rica has come to an agreement on matters related to security and territorial protections, Casa Presidencial website said Sunday.

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According to an official statement from the office of President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, bilateral negotiations are “moving forward” with both the Bribri and Teribe Indigenous groups of Puntarenas in southern Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s deputy minister stressed the commitment of the government to comply with precautionary measures established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and "to continue in a constructive process of dialogue and respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples within the framework of the Inter-American Human Rights System.

Rojas was one of the beneficiaries of the IACHR’s precautionary measure.

Following the brutal murder of Rojas, the United Nations Human Rights Commission had urged the authorities to take the necessary action to resolve the killing of the social activist as well as guarantee the protection of the people of Salitre.  

Vanessa Jimenez, the lawyer who filed the case before the IACHR, noted that the Costa Rican state is responsible for not enacting the precautionary measures or preserve Indigenous peoples’ lands. 

Additional talks are scheduled for the week of April 22 to 26 in Buenos Aires.

There have been ongoing land-ownership conflicts involving some 12,000 hectares of land that were distributed to the Indigenous peoples of the southern region of the Central America country under a 1977 Indigenous edict.

Rojas, President of the Association for the Development of the Indigenous Territory of Salitre and coordinator of the National Front of Indigenous Peoples (FRENAP) in Costa Rica, was killed on March 18.

The Indigenous land rights defender was murdered by gunmen, who shot the activist as many as 15 times, according to neighboring residents.

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