According to indigenous Representative José Poyo Cascante, President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas (PIA), the PIA will begin meeting in Caracas as of March 30th, when a ceremony marking the start of a new session will be held at the National Assembly.
Poyo indicated that this ordinary session of the PIA will include assembly members, congresspersons and representatives from the legislative bodies of Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Over the next three days they will discuss the fundamental issues faced by the indigenous peoples of the continent.
Among the attendees are the presidents of permanent commissions for indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala and Venezuela.
Representative Poyo emphasized that the indigenous peoples of Abya Ayala (‘Continent of Life’ in the Kuna language, meaning the Americas) are fighting every day to for the rights of the continent’s native peoples. He noted that part of the job of indigenous parliamentarians is to make legislation that protects the rights of their people.
“One of the fundamental topics to be debated are the events representative of what is going on in rural areas of countries; for example, in Colombia, where the indigenous are being displaced and repressed in their own lands. In the case of Bolivia, the situation relating to the implementation of the National Constitution, approved last January. Open pit mineral extraction and the recently approved Mining Law of Ecuador, and the participation of PIA in international organizations such as ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas], the Parliament of the South, the People’s Trade Treaty (TCP) and other instruments relating to integration that are going on in our continent as part of 21st century socialism,” said Poyo.
He added that they will also debate and propose alternatives “for the problems of the global financial crisis” from the perspective of indigenous peoples.
The ordinary session of the PIA will also feature the participation of Venezuelan state legislators from areas that have indigenous populations, as well as the National Assembly’s indigenous representatives, who form part of the Venezuelan Parliamentary Group of the PIA.
Radio Nacional de Venezuela, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 30, 2009