UCTP Statement to UN Decolonization Committee

To: UN Special Committee on Decolonization via email

Re: Special Committee decision of 22 June 2015 concerning Puerto Rico: hearing of petitioners, United Nations Headquarters
Monday, 20 June (2 meetings)

Greetings, Mr. Chair:
In May 2016, the United Confederation of Taíno People presented an intervention at the 15th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which we are enclosing with this communication.

The rampant and vicious Environmental Racism Puerto Rico is enduring at the expense of the health of her people, water, land and air, with factors such as Military Waste; Incinerators; GMO experimentation; Carbon Ashes; Water and Natural resources being negotiated to accommodate interests of multinationals and others that just come to the island to squeeze the benefits out while destroying the economy for the locals, for there are more incentives for foreigners than there are to help the locals prosper, are just a some examples of the colonial impacts on the island of Puerto Rico .

For 118 years, the violation of Human Rights, Cultural Rights, the Right to Self-determination, Genocide and Ethnocide in Borikén (Puerto Rico) have gone with impunity while the powers of the empire, which are now on the open continue impacting the people and resources. Violations that this Committee has heard throughout the decades, and/or via the dialogues about the colonial situation of the island of Borikén, are all the result of the lack of transparency about the real relationship between the United States and the colonial powers it continues to execute upon the island and all her peoples, including the indigenous Taino peoples.

The intimidation methods used, where we have seen leaders that work towards the independence of the island, either be shot to death, incarcerated, etc., is another imperialistic way of denying the people of Borikén the right to protest and work towards the inalienable right to self-determination.

With this in mind, the United Confederation of Taino People, joins all the other petitioners and states who have made a call for the immediate release of Oscar López Rivera.

Mr. Chair, it is also our hope, as was stated by petitioner Mr. José Ortiz-Velez, earlier this afternoon, that this process goes beyond just the formulation of yet another Resolution to join another previous 34, but that it results in the release of Oscar López Rivera, and ultimately and finally as is their inherent right, for the United States to begin an immediate process of decolonization of Puerto Rico, to respect the Right to Self –Determination, and the release of this debt that was created by their imperialistic ways, while exploiting Borikén and its diverse peoples and resources for 118 years.

Hahom (Thank you).
Respectfully Submitted,
Roberto Mukaro Agueibana Borrero,
President, United Confederation of Taino People

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