INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU

January 27, 2014
Ref.:

Case No. 12.639
Pueblos Kaliña y Lokono
Surinam

Dear Mr. Secretary,
I am pleased to write to you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights to submit to the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court
of Human Rights Case No. 12.639, Pueblos Kaliña y Lokono in respect of the Republic
of Surinam (hereinafter “the State of Surinam” “the Surinam State,” or “Surinam”).
The instant case is related to a series of violations of the rights of eight communities
of the Kaliña and Lokono indigenous peoples of the Lower Marowijne River, in
Suriname. The specific concern is the continuation in force of a legal framework that
impedes recognition of the juridical personality of indigenous peoples, which to this
day continues to keep the Kaliña and Lokono peoples from receiving such
recognition. The State has also refrained from establishing the legal bases that
would make it possible to recognize the collective property rights to the lands,
territories, and natural resources of the Kaliña and Lokono indigenous peoples. This
lack of recognition has been accompanied by the issuing of individual property titles
in favor of non-indigenous persons; the granting of concessions and licenses for
carrying out mining operations in part of their ancestral territories; and the
establishment and continuation of three natural reserves in part of their ancestral
territories.
The violations of collective property rights that stem from this situation
continue to date. In addition, neither the granting of mining concessions and
licenses and their continuation to date, or the establishment and permanence of
natural reserves have been subjected to any consultation procedure geared to
obtaining the prior, free, and informed consent of the Kaliña and Lokono indigenous
peoples. All these events have taken place in a context of a lack of judicial protection
and a lack of judicial defense since Suriname lacks any effective domestic remedy
for indigenous peoples to be able to demand their rights.
Suriname ratified the American Convention on November 12, 1987, and
accepted the contentious jurisdiction of the Court that same day.
Señor
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretario
Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Apartado 6906-1000

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