Why Should You Care?

miskitu people

As intelligent compassionate and humane human beings, we aspire for greatness through self-sacrifice, not at the sacrifice of others. We speak about the history and what we could have done, had we been there… Well… you are here! History repeats itself only because we believe ourselves powerless to change the world! Yet it has always been the masses who have changed the world and those who rule from a place of privilege and inexperience. Today you are one of those people you wondered about in the pages of history and their inactions. We tolerate injustice as long as it is not happening to us and overlook atrocities and wrongdoings. What if the tables were turned? Would you like some help perhaps to be saved?

We are coming into a new age and turning away from 600 years of hate, brutality, and racism. A perfect example of the errors of the past that still haunt our present can be found in the writings of Ephraim George Squier, a key figure in the developing field of American Anthropology, an ardent opponent of the British and the Miskito, had been appointed U.S. Charge d’ Affairs for all Central America to negotiate treaties with Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. U.S. policy. In his book Notes on Central America, Squier challenged the legitimacy of existing U.S. maps on Central America: Nearly one-third of Central America is assigned to the ‘Mosquito Shore’, which is represented as a distinct and sovereign state…. The Indians known as ‘Mosquitos’ are only a few thousands of miserable savages…. Even if these savages were entitled to rank as a nation, they have not, nor could they ever have the shadow of the pretense of sovereignty over the fractional part of the wide expanse of territory, which this map assigns to them…. The portion of territory assigned by this map to the fictitious Mosquito nationality above the Rio Wanks or Segovia belongs to Honduras; the part below pertains to Nicaragua” (p. xi).38 Squier continues, “The nearest approach to a nomad life is found among the mongrel savages of ‘Moscos’ or ‘Mosquitos’, on what is known as the ‘Mosquito Shore’. They are a mixed breed of negroes and Indians….”39 doomed to extinction.4 Silence and inaction are the same as if you are the perpetrator, the tyrant, the racist, the psychopath!

Empathy combined with service is as rewarding as winning the lottery. Karma, (what you do comes back to you) have been scientifically proven. We cannot say that the past is in the past when it still affects our and present. Our current global state is the outcome of the errors of a time past where hatred and degradation ruled men and women. We are the present and creators of the future. All original people who are genetically connected to and stewards of the earth have a place on this planet and the right to choose and live as their inalienable and territorial rights demand it! It is not about who has the money or not but your convictions and belief in what is right just and for the highest good of all.

We all have the right to enjoy, evolve, preserve, advance and be healthy. We can’t eat money and drink oil. Their fight is our fight. When we die we only leave a legacy for future generations, all other material possessions including our physical bodies we leave behind. But our essence and the good we bring to the world stay.

The Miskitu—Are the original native tribes of the Central America land mass and its rainforest that expands from San Andres Providence, to Belize, Guanacaste, Grey Town, Awan Rio Coco, besides Honduras and Nicaragua through the five republics and a few Caribbean islands—are in danger of being wiped out, along with protected rain forest known as the “Lung of Central America”.

Contrary to the outrageous racist ramblings of the times people with love and vision also wrote about the Miskitu and their friendly, warm trusting culture

In the Book “Sketch of the Mosquito shores including the territory of Poyais descriptive of the country”  In 1822 The Author Thomas Strangeways wrote:

“He may here be permitted to observe, that there seems good reason to believe that at least a part of the native tribes of Mosquitia, (perhaps the Poyers in particular), where at one period better acquainted than at present with many of the arts of civilization; and some of the customs of the Poyers, and others in the interior, together with the antiquities found in their country, and there, hereditary enmity to the Spanish nation, seems clearly to indicate their descent from some of those brave Mexican tribes who declined submission to the yoke of the destroyers, of the unfortunate Montezuma; and although a barbarous policy has retarded their return to or advancement in civilization they themselves have repeatedly shewn an anxious desire to acquire the arts of Europe, as is manifest by their repeated invitation to the English to form settlements among them, as well as their offer to cede a part of their country to Great Britain…

Their friendship for the British has indeed been constant and uninterrupted, and their honesty and good disposition manifested not only by their fidelity to the former English settlers but also by their kindness to every peaceable person, who for the purpose of trade or otherwise, has occasionally resided among them…

FWJ (fourth world journal) Editor in chief wrote :

Development is the byword of “progress” in the world that has been swept over by starry claims of neo-liberal economics. In this issue, we focus on the governments of Nicaragua and China pushing forward the development of a new canal across Central America cutting through the Miskitu and Rama territories in utter disregard of these nations’ consent. This “progressive change” comes more than twenty years after a ten years war against the Miskitu, Sumo and Rama peoples prompted by greed in Nicaragua’s capital Managua headed by Daniel Ortega. We see the influences of economic change in India on Fourth World peoples and the consequences of those changes on the millions of Fourth World peoples’ lives and property in reports appearing in Intercontinental Cry Magazine , The Guardian , Aljazeera and The Ecologist .

The PR Chinese government has begun plans to build a high-speed railway across Central Asia to Europe through hundreds of Fourth World Territories. The destruction to these peoples and their territories can only be measured by the levels of destruction suffered by many nations as a result of more than 70 years of “development”—expansion beyond the capacity of nature to renew. The lifeways, philosophies, sciences and knowledge systems of Fourth World nations are under perpetual stress and violence from state and corporate development energized by neo-liberal economic concepts that are neither workable nor sustainable—for any of the world’s populations. Rolling back the unsustainable “development madness” of states and corporations seeking to expand their power and enrich the 1,810 billionaires (Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/) who have amassed $6.5 trillion from their development investments is a priority agenda item for Fourth World nations. Leadership among Fourth World nations in the coalition has become essential to avoid the growing human catastrophe many nations face…

The Miskitu—Are the original native tribes of the Central America land mass and its rainforest that expands from San Andres Providence, to Belize, Guanacaste, Grey Town, Awan Rio Coco, besides Honduras and Nicaragua through the five republics and a few Caribbean islands—are in danger of being wiped out, along with protected rain forest known as the “lung of Central America”.

Contrary to the outrageous racist ramblings of the times people with love and vision also wrote about the Miskitu and the friendly, warm trusting culture

In the Book “Sketch of the Mosquito shores including the territory of Poyais descriptive of the country”  In 1822 The Author Thomas Strangeways wrote:

“He may here be permitted to observe, that there seems good reason to believe that at least a part of the native tribes of Mosquitia, (perhaps the Poyers in particular), where at one period better acquainted than at present with many of the arts of civilization; and some of the customs of the Poyers, and others in the interior, together with the antiquities found in their country, and there, hereditary enmity to the Spanish nation, seems clearly to indicate their descent from some of those brave Mexican tribes who declined submission to the yoke of the destroyers, of the unfortunate Montezuma; and although a barbarous policy has retarded their return to or advancement in civilization they themselves have repeatedly shewn an anxious desire to acquire the arts of Europe, as is manifest by their repeated invitation to the English to form settlements among them, as well as their offer to cede a part of their country to Great Britain…

their friendship for the British has indeed been constant and uninterrupted, and their honesty and good disposition manifested not only by their fidelity to the former English settlers but also by their kindness to every peaceable person, who for the purpose of trade or otherwise, has occasionally resided among them…

FWJ (fourth world journal) Editor in chief wrote :

Development is the byword of “progress” in the world that has been swept over by starry claims of neo-liberal economics. In this issue, we focus on the governments of Nicaragua and China pushing forward the development of a new canal across Central America cutting through the Miskitu and Rama territories in utter disregard of these nations’ consent. This “progressive change” comes more than twenty years after a ten years war against the Miskitu, Sumo and Rama peoples prompted by greed in Nicaragua’s capital Managua headed by Daniel Ortega. We see the influences of economic change in India on Fourth World peoples and the consequences of those changes on the millions of Fourth World peoples’ lives and property in reports appearing in Intercontinental Cry Magazine , The Guardian , Aljazeera and The Ecologist .

… The PR Chinese government has begun plans to build a high-speed railway across Central Asia to Europe through hundreds of Fourth World Territories. The destruction to these peoples and their territories can only be measured by the levels of destruction suffered by many nations as a result of more than 70 years of “development”—expansion beyond the capacity of nature to renew. The lifeways, philosophies, sciences and knowledge systems of Fourth World nations are under perpetual stress and violence from state and corporate development energized by neo-liberal economic concepts that are neither workable nor sustainable—for any of the world’s populations. Rolling back the unsustainable “development madness” of states and corporations seeking to expand their power and enrich the 1,810 billionaires (Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/) who have amassed $6.5 trillion from their development investments is a priority agenda item for Fourth World nations. Leadership among Fourth World nations in the coalition has become essential to avoid the growing human catastrophe many nations face…

The Miskitu—Are the original native tribes of the Central America land mass and its rainforest that expands from San Andres Providence, to Belize, Guanacaste, Grey Town, Awan Rio Coco, besides Honduras and Nicaragua through the five republics and a few Caribbean islands—are in danger of being wiped out, along with protected rain forest known as the “lung of Central America”.

In 2013, the Government of Nicaragua approved the concession for a 173-mile canal to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Group (HKND). As the Western Hemisphere’s second poorest nation, Nicaragua has attracted the promises of economic growth that may come as a result of the Canal Project. This would be to the detriment of the Miskitu people and their rainforest. The Canal would bisect 16 watersheds, 15 protected areas, and 25 percent of Nicaragua’s rainforest. The impact of this mega project is already negatively unfolding with deforestation of biodiversity, contamination of watershed services, and displacement of thousands of Miskitu people from their indigenous communities. The internal refugee numbers are alarming and growing daily.  In 1996, Law No. 217 was enacted to standardize the use and conservation of the environment and natural resources of Nicaragua. Under the terms of Nicaragua’s “autonomy law” – or Law 28-  indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples were awarded the right to the preservation of their cultures and languages, self-governance, and resource control and declared that communal lands were inalienable, meaning they could never be sold, leased, donated or taxed. However, the development of Nicaraguan Canal threatens the biodiversity and people of this once peaceful rainforest land mass.

Although laws are in place to protect both the people and the environment, the Nicaraguan government continues to allow Miskitu ancestral lands to be colonized and invaded.

The new constitution, amended in December of 2016 to accommodate the concession of the canal, along with [the new] Canal Law 840, grants HKND the right to expropriate land and natural resources as it sees fit for the success of the project and sub-projects.

To add insult to injury, and despite these legal protections granted to the Miskitu, and their rainforest, the coastal peoples of Nicaragua are once again fighting for their survival in the face of violence and on-going land grabs. Since 2013, a group is known as mestizo colonists or “Colonos” have killed thousands, wounded hundreds, and kidnapped Miskitu men with the intention of weakening the rebellion of the indigenous.  The colonists’ attacks on Miskitu communities continue unabated in Wangki Twi-Tasba Raya, Li Aubra,  Lilamni Tasbaya Kum territories to name a few.


“I will not stop killing the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean Coast until leaving only stone with the Sandinista System implanted in the entire region.”  -CDTE. Tomas Borge Martinez

*Co-Founder of Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua

*One-time Interior Minister of Nicaragua under President Daniel Ortega.



As a result, some 3,000 Miskitu people— mainly women, children, and the elderly— have become internally-displaced refugees, forced to flee to Waspam, Puerto Cabezas-Bilwi, and Honduran border communities, such as Sují.  The refugees lack basic medical supplies. Many children have not attended school for over 2 years. Today, Colonos settlers are believed to be illegally occupying nearly half of the indigenous and Afro-descendant ancestral territories of the Caribbean.



Amidst the decline in the agricultural industry, large, land-owning cattle ranchers have consolidated their own land holdings in the country. In some cases, these ranchers pay the colonos to settle indigenous lands in order to eventually control the land for themselves. Nicaraguan cattle ranchers also supply settlers with weapons, and many have flipped large swaths of land, selling the property to large agro-industrial businesses, and shamelessly even to narco-traffickers.



 

The Nicaraguan government has quietly supported the exchange of fraudulent land titles and dispossession by the Colonos through its promotion of extractive industries and mega-projects in Muskitia. The FSLN government has approved mining and forestry concessions to companies such as HEMCO mining, a Colombian company, and ALBA Forestal, a logging company that operates under the protection of the state institution MARENA (Ministerio del Ambiente y Los Recursos Naturales). ALBA Forestal, launched in 2009, is a joint Nicaraguan-Venezuelan company controlled by President Daniel Ortega and the FSLN. As such, the company operates with little transparency and has contributed to the rapid deforestation of the Mayangna Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, an area that is considered to be the “lungs” of Central America.

We are asking the international community to join us in donating funds to

Miskitu Nation Foundation (MNF) calls upon the international community to help save our climate by restoring original farming traditions, respecting the sovereignty of indigenous peoples, where thriving bio-diverse ecosystems and traditions are honored and protected.


Miskitu women denounce violence - this woman's daughter (yellow shirt) was shot in the head by colonos (Photo by Courtney Parker)