Last week, Venezuela celebrated the 5-year anniversary of the United Nations Educational, ScientifIc and Cultural Organization’s declaration that the plague of illiteracy has been successfully eradicated in the South American nation.
Commemorations in Venezuela continued today in the context of October 12th, Indigenous Resistance Day. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, over 400 representatives of indigenous peoples gathered for the 4th Abya-Yala Great Nation Congress of Anti-Imperialist Indigenous Peoples. On Wednesday, demonstrations were held in solidarity with the Yukpa people and imprisoned Yukpa Chief Sabino Romero.
By Rick Kearns - Indian Country Today, Aug 4th 2010
For the first time in Venezuelan history, an indigenous newspaper won a National Journalism Award in 2010. On July 4, the Venezuelan Ministry of Communications awarded Wayuunaiki with a National Journalism Award for layout of its 10th anniversary issue dedicated to “alternative communication with an indigenous essence.”
Over 80 Yukpa indigenous Venezuelans are protesting in front of Venezuela's Supreme Court in order to demand a ruling on whether three arrested Yukpas can be judged under indigenous law rather than the national legal system, in the wake of a conflict over land demarcation.
The 5th Zulia State judge Erika Carroz suspended the trial against Yukpa Chief Sabino Romero and two other indigenous leaders who are facing charges of murder after the jury failed to appear for a second time yesterday.
Defence lawyer Ricardo Colmenares filed a constitutional appeal before the Venezuelan Supreme Court on behalf of three indigenous leaders who were arrested in Zulia state, arguing that the indigenous people have a right to be tried by the legitimate authorities of their own people.
The Venezuelan National Assembly passed a new law on Thursday to preserve, promote, and strengthen indigenous artisanship through legal recognition, the creation of indigenous artisan councils, and a special development fund.
The Venezuelan government handed land titles to 41,600 hectares to three communities of around 500 Yukpa Indians on the western border with Colombia. However, the question of the demarcation of the broader ancestral territory of the entire ethnic group, made up of around 10,000 people, is still pending.
On Tuesday, the day after the national government granted more than 40,000 hectares of land to Yukpa indigenous communities in northwestern Venezuela, assassins attacked the community of Yukpa chief and indigenous rights activist Sabino Romero, killing two and injuring at least four.