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Thread: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

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    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Taking their cue from the indians here who have frequently blocked highways and protested for their land rights, mestizos (or campesinos) are now protesting in much the same way for land titling.

    Last Monday when I flew from Rosita to Managua on La Costeña, there was news that the road from Rosita to Puerto Cabezas had been blocked at Susun (not very far north of Rosita). While folks were concerned that the people who were blocking the highway were creating problems for transit, few seemed very concerned because such roadblocks have recently become commonplace here. That road block did not affect my travel plans.

    On my return flight to Rosita on Thursday, it was reported that an additional roadblock had been established at the bridge at Rio Banacruz on the highway between Rosita and the Empalme de Alamikamba where I was headed. I elected to proceed in that direction with the hopes of negotiating the route without too much loss of time. By the time I reached Banacruz the roadblock had already been moved to the Empalme de Alamikamba. At the Empalme de Alamikamba I was luckily able to pass without a problem and proceed to Alamikamba.

    I am told that the group has now grown to over 300 persons, armed with machetes (and perhaps more), and determined to get something resolved! Motorists tell me that they prefer not to say anything for fear of starting a riot!

    I did have an opportunity to speak with some of the people involved. They were made up exclusively of mestizos or campesinos who are protesting the fact that the indians in the region have recently received titles for their community lands. The mestizos now insist that the national government must also give the mestizos titles to their lands!

    Such a demand might seem reasonable except for the fact that the mestizo lands in question in most instances lie on indian community lands for which the indians now have title. The national government passed a national law, LAW 445, which recognizes the indian communities´ historic rights to their traditional lands and resources. And, the law goes on to say that those lands cannot be sold. In other words, the national government has no legal authority to issue a private title on indian land.

    The problem here is that some indian communities have "sold" (actually approved an escritura de uso and usufructo for) their lands to others, and, the municipal government, municipal judge, and national land registry have accepted those agreements as valid. Now, the question is what is the legal status of those lands. Are they indian lands, private lands, or what?

    This issue may lead to violence very quickly here!

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Last edited by mupitara; 06-26-2010 at 10:59 PM. Reason: I needed to explain what has changed.
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

  2. #2

    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Sounds like the state had no right issueing titles to that land, this seems like something the indians should be holding documentation on, and giving the 99 year lease rather than an all out sale.

  3. #3
    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    I certainly agree with your assessment 3beans. The non-indian government entities (municipal, regional, national, judicial) have for a number of years put themselves in the middle of this issue for personal gain. The reality is that the Nicaraguan legislature has acknowledged land rights to the indians for which those Nicaraguan entities have no jurisdiction!

    While I may be a majority of one, I view the situation as one where Nicaragua has essentially declared that the indians hold sovereignty over their traditional lands (and resources) based on treaties signed over one hundred years ago between Nicaragua and England. I agree with Nicaragua´s decision. But, I do not agree that the proper way for Nicaragua to recognize that sovereignty was to grant titles to the communities. After all, how can Nicaragua issue a title for something that it admits that it never owned! Perhaps a more appropriate terminology would have been to declare indian lands to be "territories" with autonomy over its own lands.

    LAW 445 declares that indian lands cannot be sold. This means that those lands determined to be indian lands cannot be inscribed as private lands in the nicaraguan national land registry because the lands belong - and must always belong - to the indians. When the municipal governments, municipal judges, and national land registry got involved, they could only acknowledge that the aval de uso y usufructo granted to an individual by a community was valid. In essence, because most communities here did not have documentation (ei title) for their lands, the nicaraguan entities were merely acknowledging that they did not contest indian ownership of the land. After all, Nicaragua had already declared that indian lands cannot be sold.

    LAW 445 is a nicaraguan law and thus pertains to Nicaragua. This law cannot mean that indians cannot sell their land into private ownership because Nicaragua does not have the right to determine that! It merely means that indian land must remain in the indian domain (ei indian lands) and cannot be transferred to the nicaraguan domain (ei government lands). After all, if a foreigner buys land in Nicaragua, he becomes a private owner, but, the land remains part of Nicaragua and the "owner" must comply with Nicaraguan law! The same applies to indian land with respect to indian law!

    Private ownership by third-parties of indian land is actually one of the best methods for indian communities to establish an income stream for their communities. Just like Nicaragua and other sovereign entities, indian territories require a tax base in order to operate.

    Many of the mestizos and others who have purchased land from the indians now want the nicaraguan government to step in and protect them from the indians. These buyers understood full well when they purchased this land that it belongs to the indians. What the land buyers should do now is work closely with the indians to establish a proper indian land registry and regulations to govern private ownership on indian lands. If this is not done quickly or if indian lands are transferred into the nicaraguan government domain in order to appease the mestizos and others, violence will likely erupt here.

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Whatever happened to "Moskitia"? Did it fizzle?

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    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Whatever happened to "Moskitia"? Did it fizzle?
    The short answer to that question is YES!

    But, here´s the rest of the story.

    Will the "Moskitia" rise again? Perhaps not. Unless the indians can establish some sort of "basis for wealth", I don´t see this happening. The region´s heavy involvement in drug trafficking also makes it unlikely to receive much support from outside entities for independence.

    Apparently, FSLN outsmarted the YATAMA with the offer for autonomy in the 80´s. That whole process never really benefitted the indians and has left the region ungovernable and heavily influenced by national political parties (FSLN and PLC). Bear in mind, that the indians never represented a majority in either the RAAN nor RAAS because of the way that the regional borders were drawn by FSLN. Autonomy also introduced additional levels of corruption, incompetence, and difficult access to international funding which have impeded development while facilitating the land grab and destruction of natural resources here.

    The other obvious deficiency for the Moskitia has been a severe lack of quality indigenous leaders. The principal YATAMA leaders from the war years have become "yes men" for DOS and have lost most of their esteem from the indian populous. At the same time, they seem to have managed to subdue upcoming potential rivals from the indian rank and file. Indians have lost confidence in their own leadership!

    Last year, there was an indian uprising attempting to declare independence from Nicaragua and establish the Miskitia. This operation was apparently defused from within by what may have actually been people who were strategically planted (probably by the sandinistas) to subvert the operation. Those indians who were deceived by this action are presently licking their wounds and perhaps less trusting than ever of outsiders.

    Personally, I view the issue of establishing an Indian Land Registry with corresponding Indian Land Regulations With Property Tax Assessment as an important step towards Indian Sovereignty. "Strength Through Wealth!", I say.

    I think that the indians need to establish that Indian Lands and the Personal Property Thereon are taxable exclusively by the indians (NOT national, regional, nor municipal governments!)! This would be a great first step for the Indians! I believe that the international courts (but, obviously NOT the nicaraguan courts) would uphold such a claim, too.

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    You mention
    Quote Originally Posted by mupitara View Post
    Unless the indians can establish some sort of "basis for wealth"
    And then
    Quote Originally Posted by mupitara View Post
    The region´s heavy involvement in drug trafficking...
    Which makes me think it's not a lack of wealth since drug trafficking brings cash, it's a lack of desire to maintain and build on the wealth they receive, however ill-gotten the wealth is.

    It's a common cultural problem worldwide. Live for today, because you may be dead tomorrow. Sounds like the inner city USA.

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Quote Originally Posted by mupitara View Post
    The short answer to that question is YES!

    B

    The other obvious deficiency for the Moskitia has been a severe lack of quality indigenous leaders. The principal YATAMA leaders from the war years have become "yes men" for DOS and have lost most of their esteem from the indian populous. At the same time, they seem to have managed to subdue upcoming potential rivals from the indian rank and file. Indians have lost confidence in their own leadership!



    Aisabe,
    Papatara

    Sounds like the USA.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    You mention


    And then


    Which makes me think it's not a lack of wealth since drug trafficking brings cash, it's a lack of desire to maintain and build on the wealth they receive, however ill-gotten the wealth is.

    It's a common cultural problem worldwide. Live for today, because you may be dead tomorrow. Sounds like the inner city USA.
    Most people in illegal businesses who actually do make real money get their money into legitimate businesses as fast as they can and become the most law and orderly of people, big with God and all that. As soon as the money is invested in a real business, the law protects the owner. Illegal businesses are unprotected; legal business are protected from the more overt kinds of stealing and fraud. Ex-bootleggers are amazingly law and order types. I haven't known any ex-drug wholesalers, but I suspect their children get the best educations money can buy for starters.

    The street corner kids at the bottom who are the most visible make McDonalds level wages (see FREAKONOMICS for details). They face the most risks, make shit wages, and live at home with their mothers.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    I agree except for the "most people" part. I would posit that only a tiny minority of people in illegal businesses have the slightest desire to be clean. That's why they got into an illegal business in the first place; they knew right from wrong and they made a choice. There is a huge underclass that prefers to live under the radar for whatever twisted psychological condition they have, and don't give a damn about following the rules you and I would die to defend. They think it makes them cool to defy our laws.

    That's one facet of why our current world is on the brink of collapsing.

  10. #10
    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    more titles , a lot of natives should benefit from this, hopefully they opt for long term lease rather than sell.

    http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2010/06/2...tamentos/29442

    Quote Originally Posted by tresfrijoles View Post
    Sounds like the state had no right issueing titles to that land, this seems like something the indians should be holding documentation on, and giving the 99 year lease rather than an all out sale.

  11. #11
    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    You are right. The state did not have a right nor legitimate reason to issue titles. In my opinion, Nicaragua also should not have issued titles to the indians because the Indians and not the State have and always have had dominion over these lands.

    Actually, I see no real difference between a 99 year lease and sale so long as the agreement is between a legal entity and the Indians who hold dominion over that land. Also, bear in mind that Indians haven´t issued titles to anyone. What they have given is an escritura de uso y usufructo. Its the State which has in most cases utilized this escritura document to create a title and charge for that service. The problem is that Indians have created neither a registry of their own nor written rules by which to govern land ownership yet.

    My point is, if someone buys land in Nicaragua (except on Indian land), the buyer is the owner. But, the land is still nicaraguan. The "buyer" cannot declare that land to be something else (Costa Rican for example). The State - because it has dominion over it - has every right to assess the value of the land and its improvements and charge appropriate taxes upon it forever!

    Apparently, however, most people don´t realize that if someone buys property on Indian land, the buyer is the owner. But, the land is still indian. The "buyer" cannot declare that land to be something else (Nicaraguan for example). The Indians - because they have dominion over it - have every right to assess the value of the land and its improvements and charge appropriate taxes upon it forever!

    The situation discussed in La Prensa is not the usual one here although I am aware of some other similar situations where huge tracts of land with very old nicaraguan titles are being contested by the Indians. In most cases, the "owners" purchased land from the Indians. So, their ownership should be honored by the Indians. However, in the Cayos Perlas cases, the "owners" purchased land from title holders who got this land from the State and without the consent of the Indians. The Indians really have no obligation to honor those titles because the State did not have the right to issue them!

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    Reports reaching us from El Empalme De Alamikamba 40 km away indicate that since last Monday no vehicles (except motorcycles) are being allowed to pass the mestizo road block. We have also been hearing that the mestizo group plans to come to Alamikamba to seize the Alcaldia here to mount a protest.

    Local Indians also tell me that at least two panga loads of Indians from communities downriver have arrived in Alamikamba during the last few days with the intention of somehow interfering with the mestizo protests. Noone seems to know who the leaders of these groups are. I hope that this does not result in violence nor destruction of property.

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

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    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Blocks Taking a New Turn in the RAAN

    I was told that the roadblock in El Empalme De Alamikamba was taken down yesterday. Noone here seems to know what agreements were made. Everyone seems pleased that traffic is moving.

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

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