Confrontations between indigenous and settlers
Mayangna indigenous demand authorities put an end to occupation of their territories.
Leonardo Juwith Benlis, vice president of the Mayangna Sauni Arungka Territory, urged the government to send a commission to clear some 1,000 families that occupy more than 40 percent of its territory, located between Bonanza and Rosita communities. The Mayangna Sauni Arungka Territory, located in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, obtained its land title in 2010 and has 490 square kilometers (189 square miles), which is divided into eight communities with an estimated population of 4,800 people.
According to information from local media, the confrontations occurred when some 60 settlers attempted to end the blocking of the road between Bonanza and Rosita. The settlers demanded that the government free the indigenous lands to allocate them for farming.
The president of the Mayangna Sauni Arungka Territory, Armando Edwin, declared that the dialogue with the settlers is no longer effective and demanded that the government abide by Law 445 of the Framework of Communal Properties of the Indigenous and Ethnic Communities of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua and the Bocay, Coco, Indio, and Maíz rivers, which “guarantees the indigenous and ethnic communities the full acknowledgement of rights to use, administer, and manage traditional lands and natural resources, which forms the administrative framework of the indigenous and ethnic communities as a political and administrative base unit, differentiating it from the rest of the country.”
Mayangna leaders have demanded the Supreme Court and the Office of the Attorney General to immediately emit an order requiring settlers to abandon the lands. Since the land titles were granted, settler families have illegally settled in the center of the Bosawas Reserve and destroyed its forests. In addition to the Mayangna Sauni Arungka Territory, three other Mayangna territories are located within the Bosawas Reserve: Mayangna Sauni As, Mayangna Sauni Bas and Mayangna Sauni Bus, as well as two territories of the Mískitu community (Kipla Sait and Li Lamnit) and one intercultural territory Mískitu-Mayangna (Tasbaika Kum). However, the Mayangna Sauni Arungka Territory is the most affected because it is located in the eastern part of the reserve, the zone bordering the farming area. —Latinamerica Press.