Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This indigenous leader has been shot dead during a fight between landowners and his own community in Costa Rica.
The murder took place in the community of Mano de Tigre in the province of Puntarenas in Western Costa Rica.
According to the Costa Rican Public Ministry, Jehry Rivera, a leader of the Broran indigenous community, was shot dead during a fight between 20 people who were armed with firearms and machetes.
Reports said that the fight was between landowners in the area and a group of indigenous people.
The Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado wrote on Twitter: “I condemn the murder of the indigenous leader Jehry River. I am deeply sorry for the violent incidents in that community. The alleged murderer has already been arrested.”
Reports said that the alleged killer, whose name has not been reported, turned himself in to the police after the crime.
The Coordinator of the United Nations in Costa Rica, Alice H. Shackelford said: “We cannot tolerate the loss of human lives. The murder of Jehry must be investigated. It is a responsibility of the state to guarantee the rights of the indigenous people.”
The Indigenous Law of 1977 established that indigenous territories are inalienable, imprescriptible, non-transferable and exclusive to communities.
However, in the southern part of the country, non-indigenous landowners say that their farms belong to them because they were legally obtained.
According to the Costa Rican National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) there are eight villages and 24 indigenous territories with a population of 104,000 people in the country.
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