Costa Rica indigenous group does not want U.S. military in its territory

September 10th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The mayor of Talamanca, Melvin Cordero requested permission from President Laura Chinchilla last month to permit incursions by the United States Southern Command within the Bribri Indigenous Territory, but the indigenous community and farmers say they are not comfortable with the plan.

 

In a letter to President Chinchilla, the mayor requested the establishment of a “humanitarian air bridge” with the U.S. Southern Command to facilitate access to the community by institutions such as the CCSS, Ministry of Education, the Institute for Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture and the municipality.

 

The U.S. Southern Command is the U.S. military force in charge of security operations, surveillance, and counter-narcotics operations in more than 31 countries in the region.  Its aim is to ensure U.S. interests in Latin America.

 

According to Cordero, the request is intended as a means by which to provide essential services to the communities of Alto Telire, but communities have expressed their opposition to military troops entering their territory.

 

In an interview with Radio Ceiba, native Bribri, Leonardo Buitrago said that such an action would threaten the public and would facilitate the entry of military troops into indigenous territory without consulting the communities involved.

 

Buitrago said he fears the measure because the U.S. Southern Command has helped dispossess indigenous people of their lands in other countries.  Buitrago also questioned Cordero’s motives, saying that extreme poverty doesn’t exist in the community, which Cordero says is the primary motive for the request.

 

Farmer Wilbert Gomez said that an incursion by U.S. troops is unjustified, saying that humanitarian missions can be carried out by the communities themselves and various institutions responsible for the welfare of the population.

 

Gomez added, “military power is used to suppress the people, and to impose power over the people, but we love our sovereignty and freedom, and we believe that we ourselves have the ability to decide what we want.”

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  • Aitor Xaranga

    No way the narco-fiesta is going to be interrupted by nasty gringos!

    • Frank Castle

      You might be right but who really knows?

  • disqus_r8w0IwvvLw

    At least the us military told the truth as the article states= Its aim is to ensure U.S. interests in Latin America. The military “helps”as a bribe to get its feet in the door and then it goes down from there. Read your history.
    The “nasty gringos”are part of the narco-fiesta as WHERE IS THE END DESTINATION? usa

    If you have been following the history of the military from 1970s to present you see all the horrible things they have been involved in-coups to break down countries, cocaine brought up into Miami by CIA, many times caught no time punished.

  • http://alligatorsnroadkill.blogspot.com/ John Dungan

    An offer of assistance equals “incursion,” huh? Funny how things can get twisted, isn’t it? So, leave ‘em alone. They don’t want help? Then, don’t dare ask for help when a disaster strikes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fhuh.kew Fhuh Kew

    John. You’re a B00B. They need some FreeDumb and DemoNcracy injected into the tribe ??? Like Iraq? Afghaniland ? Detroit? Chitcago?

  • Frank Castle

    Look, I understand the history of the U.S. military in Latin American affairs has been abysmal but what I find amazing is how two countries that have had pretty good relations, can’t work this out. The US Southern Command should try to work with other US agencies, like the Peace Corps, for example, to perform this service. I don’t think that should be too much of a leap. I don’t think Costa Rica would have a problem with that either.

    John,
    We have meddled in the affairs of Central American countries since the Spanish American War, or even earlier if you count William Walker. Anyway, it’s okay to help but let’s keep the military out of it. Their track record is terrible. Oh, I served for 30 years in our armed forces so I do have a little knowledge on this subject.