On July 3, the Chiquitano People received land titles in perpetuity for the territory of Monte Verde, after 12 years of struggle on part of the Chiquitano. The territory, located in Southeast Bolivia near the Brazilian Border, is approximately one million hectares in size.
From Oxfam– The land titling comes following a long process of internal organisation of the indigenous communities, advocacy work carried out by the organisations representing them, and public activities, including five pacific protest marches by indigenous men, women, and children, who, on different occasions, walked almost a thousand kilometres each time, in order to reach the seat of government and claim their rights to these lands.
“This enables the Chiquitano People to recover land which has traditionally belonged to them,” says Jorge Velazquez of Oxfam International in Bolivia. “It is the beginning of a new stage in the history of the Chiquitano people
The demand for land titling of the Community “Territory of Origin” [indigenous territory] of Monte Verde was undertaken by the Indigenous Central Organisations of San Xavier, Concepción, and Lomerío, together with their mother institution, the Chiquitano Indigenous Organisation. The Chiquitano people will also be receiving land ownership titles for the Community Territory of Origin of Bajo Paraguá. (1)
In related news, the Confederation of Bolivian Indigenous Peoples have recently demanded the president of Pro Santa Cruz Civic Committee, Branko Marinkovic, return 27,000 hectares of lands belonging to the Guarayo, which were illegally appropriated through the use of false documents.
Branko insists the lands were obtained legally—however “Vice Minister of Land Alejandro Almaraz on Thursday cited “abundant evidence” that Marinkovic amassed his family’s empire at the expense of Santa Cruz’s Guarayo Indians.” (2). The attorney General intends to sue “Marinkovic for ideological falseness and use of false documents ” (3)
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