Justice for victims of the Tampakan Massacre! Cut U.S. military aid to the Philippines!
Hold the 27th Infantry Battalion(IB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and X-strata accountable for the October 18th slaying of Juvy Capion and her two sons in Tampakan, South Cotabato, Mindanao. This is part of a continuing pattern of intimidation and impunity used by the Philippine military, which is supported by U.S. military aid to the Philippines, to violently suppress the growing opposition to aggressive mining development in the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.
Despite the military’s blatant lies to cover up an attack on unarmed civilians, concerned citizens all over the world are enraged by the deaths of Juvy, who was two months pregnant at the time, along with her two sons, Jordan "Pop", 13, and John "Jan-jan", 8. This attack by the 27th IB was due to her husband, Daguil’s, ongoing involvement in the campaign to fight against the Tampakan Gold Project by the Xstrata-SMI mining company.
X-Strata SMI is the largest mining investor in the Philippines with US$5.9 billion investment in Tampakan, South Cotabato. The Tampakan site contains the largest underdeveloped copper and gold deposits in Southeast Asia. The Tampakan project will displace an estimated 2,600 families, or 4,000 individuals, from the Blaan Tribe.
In the case of the Tampakan Massacre and deaths of the Capions, X-Strata SMI worked with the AFP to protect its investments for the "Tampakan Gold Project." Scores of anti-mining leaders and activists have been harassed and subjected to violent abuses either by developers, the government, or a combination of both. With over 114 politically motivated killings, 12 enforced disappearances, 200 plus arrested and detained without warrant or trial, and 20,000 plus victims of harassment from the military and other government forces a culture of impunity has been imbued within the Aquino administration and the culture of the AFP and police.
Instead of tackling the human rights crisis head-on, President Aquino and other key members of the military and police deny that a crisis even exists and tags human rights concerns as “leftist propaganda.” Despite these well-known human rights violations, the U.S. continuously contributes $30 million in taxpayers dollars to military aid in the Philippines every year.
With the aggressive foreign development in various regions of the Philippines, these types of assaults on communities are becoming more and more commonplace in areas showing resistance to foreign development. As outraged individuals and members of community-based organizations in the United States, we demand:
Justice for the Capion family, and a full investigation on the assault leading to the deaths of Juvy, Jordan, and John. Ensure all those responsible for these deaths are held accountable, and are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The AFP withdraw from all Lumad areas in order for the harassment and violence imposed on civilians in surrounding communities to end. Also, the full removal of military units in all areas of the Philippines afflicted by aggressive mining development and ore prospecting.
Xstrata-SMI leave Blaan ancestral domains, abandon the Tampakan Project, and be banned from the Philippines.
All U.S. military aid to the Philippines be cut, since it is funding the death of civilians including women and children.
Committee for Human Rights, full statement: http://nychrp.info/2012/11/13/stop-the-mining-stop-the-killings-justice-for-the-capion-family-of-the-tampakan-massacre/
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights, Palparans prowl and kill in Mindanao - http://www.karapatan.org/Palparans+prowl+and+kill+in+Mindanao
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights, 27th IB’s replacement in Tampakan has EJK record, http://www.karapatan.org/27th+IB%E2%80%99s+replacement+in+Tampakan+has+EJK+record
BAYAN EUROPE, Australian-Swiss mining company Xstrata-SMI must be held accountable for the Blaan massacre - http://www.bayaneurope.org/swiss-mining-company-xstrata-must-be-held-accountable-for-the-blaan-massacre/
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