© 2018 by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition of 15 Partners, 7 Affiliated Networks, 14 International Fellows, and more than 150 collaborating international, regional, and community organizations dedicated to advancing the forestland and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The views presented on this site are not necessarily shared by the agencies that have generously supported this work, nor by all the Partners and Affiliated Networks of the Coalition. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0. View our privacy policy,

 

© 2018 por la Iniciativa para los derechos y recursos (Rights and Resources Initiative, o RRI por sus siglas en inglés). RRI es una coalición mundial de 15 socios principales, 7 redes afiliadas, 14 miembros internacionales y más de 150 organizaciones colaboradoras a nivel internacional, regional y comunitario, que se dedica a
fomentar los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales sobre la tierra y los recursos forestales. Los puntos de vista presentados aquí no necesariamente los comparten los organismos que generosamente patrocinaron el presente trabajo o todos los socios y redes afiliadas de la coalición RRI. Este trabajo es bajo Creative Commons License Atribución Creativa CC BY 4.0.

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THE STAGES OF CRIMINALIZATION

Criminalization typically occurs as part of the government “push back” when Indigenous Peoples oppose large-scale projects. Leaders are targeted as a strategy to suppress and silence the entire community. While the process can vary, it often follows a similar pattern:

SMEAR

CAMPAIGNS

CRIMINAL

CHARGES

ARREST

WARRANTS

ILLEGAL

SHORTCUTS

MASS

CRIMINALIZATION

1. SMEAR CAMPAIGNS

Fueled by hate speech based on racism and discrimination, smear tactics and defamation campaigns on social media portray Indigenous Peoples as members of criminal gangs, guerrillas, terrorists, and threats against national security.

2. CRIMINAL CHARGES

Indigenous leaders and their communities are often accused of vague charges—such as “perturbation of public order,” “usurpation,” “trespassing,” “conspiracy,” “coercion,” and “instigation of crime.” “States of emergency” are used to suspend judicial guarantees and suppress peaceful protests.

3. ARREST WARRANTS

Warrants are repeatedly issued despite poor evidence and uncorroborated testimony. At times, accusations fail to name people, leaving an entire community accused of a criminal act. Many times, warrants are left pending, unexecuted, leaving the indigenous person affected under a perpetual threat of arrest.

4. ILLEGAL SHORTCUTS

The prosecution of indigenous individuals often includes pre-trial detention that can last up to several years, as procedural guarantees are frequently flaunted. Indigenous Peoples seldom have the means to seek legal counsel or even an interpreter. If acquitted, indigenous individuals are rarely awarded remedies.

5. MASS CRIMINALIZATION

Indigenous organizations have been subject to illegal surveillance and confiscations while laws imposing registration requirements and funding controls weaken their mobilization and restrict their support. Civil society organizations and lawyers who assist indigenous communities have been physically attacked and even killed.