"London, March 26, 1787 .... Parliamentary Intelligence."  "House of Lords.--- Censure of the Convention with Spain.

1. "The order of the day being read for the Lords to be summoned, Lord Rawdon rose to make a motion declaratory that the Convention concluded between his Britannic Majesty and the King of Spain and signed at London the 14th of July, 1786 did not meet the favorable opinion of the House. His Lordship stated, that the Miskito Shore, given up to Spain by the Convention, had been in the possession of Great Britain for more than a century; that it consisted of a territory between four and five hundred miles in length, and was nearly of the depth of one hundred miles inland from the sea: That there were on it various settlements, and that the residents at the time of its ces-sion, consisted of near 1500 British subject, including whites, male and female, persons of mixed color, and their slaves; That a regular form of government had been established on it, consisting of a Council,…many years since. In exchange for this valuable settlement, he said the British Ministers had contented themselves with accepting a narrow slip of territory between eleven and twelve miles in extent only."

Lord Osborne, Marquis of Carmarthen, rose up in favor of the Crown and observed that: "If he had signed the Convention complained of and given up the Mosquito Shore, merely for purpose of taking a narrow slip of territory of not more than between eleven and twelve miles in extent, in exchange for a territory of between three and four hundred long, and near one hundred in depth inland from the sea, he would be most gracious to acknowledge, that he deserve every -possible censure, and to have his name branded with infamy and delivered down to posterity with all that odium and disgrace that ought so deservedly to be annexed to the name of that Minister, who could so basely have betrayed the interests of his country. But he had the happiness to know that the convention had been formed on far different ground than the mere exchange of territory."

The Marquis continued saying that, "In this, as in many cases; where, upon the face of he transaction, Ministers might appear to be blame, there was strong and sufficient grounds of justification, if the discretion due from men in high office, teach them rather to risqué their own character, and to be contented with a consciousness of their innocence, that resort to that mode of justification, which must necessary for purpose rest on a disclosure of facts, highly necessary for purposes of national safety, and continuance of the public peace and tranquility to be kept concealed. On the present occasion, he would not be the Minister mean enough to justify himself by betraying secrets that ought not be made public without the consent of the crown, and which, if made public, might be attended with consequence prejudicial to the country."26

26 The case of Her Britannic Majesty's subjects having Property in and lately established upon the Mosquito Shore in America, (London, 1789: Page 20)

His Britannic Majesty had ceded the Miskitu shore to the King of Spain for Graytown (San Juan del Norte)-the Atlantic terminus of the interoceanic route. Nonetheless, the British Crown vehemently sustained that the Atlantic Coast was an inde-pendent "nation", not a colony still under its protection. In later times, the ceremony of investiture or coronation of a new chief of the tribe as "king" was performed in Jamaica or in the British settlement of Belize.

In 1848, the Republic of Nicaragua and the Miskitu Coast had acquired special importance in world affairs because of the ship-canal project being initiated across the American continent through Central America. In response to the United States abetting Nicaragua's claim over the intero-ceanic route, the English-Miskitu troops took possession of Graytown. With this military maneu-ver, warlike complications threatened to escalate between England and the United States of North America-independent from England since 1776 and the most powerful nation in America.

In order to avert the dangers of war and obtain a basis for uniform policy in regard to the regions along the intended interoceanic canal, the British Government and the United States signed the Clayton-Bulwer Convention Treaty in Washington, D.C. on the 19th of April 1850. The first and principal Article of the Convention declared:

Article No.1.- The Governments of Great Britain and the United States hereby declare that neither one nor the other will ever obtain or maintain for itself any exclusive control over the said Ship-Canal; agreeing that neither will ever erect or maintain any fortifications commanding the same, or in the vicinity thereof, or occupy, or fortify, or colonize, or exercise any dominion over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central America; nor will either make us of any protection which either affords, or may afford, or any alliance which either has, or may have, to or with any State or people, for the purpose of erecting or maintaining any such fortifications, or of occupying, fortifying, or colonizing Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central America, or of assum-ing or exercising dominion over the same. Nor will Great Britain or the United States take advantage of any intimacy, or use any alliance, connec-tion, or influence, that either may have possessed with any State or Government through whose territory the said canal may pass, for the purpose of acquiring or holding, directly or indirectly, for the subjects or citizens of the one, any rights or advantages in regard to commerce or navigation through the said canal, which shall not be offered, on the same terms, to the subjects or citizens of the other.

27 lbid: Papers (known as the Misquito Documents) relating to the Arbitration of His lmperial Majesty the Emperor of Austria: Page. 2 28 Historical Documents of Nicaragua: Canal Treaty: Zepeda Juarez/White (26/9/1849) between the Republic of Nicaragua and the representatives of the American Company Mr. David L. White authorizing the construction of the Sea. Canal.. No. 89, Page 202 29 lbid: Papers related to the Arbitration: Page. 41.

To make explicit arrangements over Central America's affairs, the two world powers signed the so-called Cramton-Webster Treaty-a special proposal to the countries around the Sea--Canal route -in London on the 17th of October 1856 , as stated in the following Articles:

Article No. I. - Her Britannic Majesty and the United States of America agree jointly to propose to the Republics of Nicaragua and of Costa Rica the arrangements contained in the following Articles.

Article No. II. - A territory comprise within the following limits shall be set apart for the Mosquito Indians...

Article No. III. - The Mosquito Indians, confining themselves within the territory designated by the preceding Article, shall enjoy the right to make, by their national Council or Councils, and carry into effect, all such laws as they may deem necessary for the government and protection of all persons within the same, and of all property therein, belonging to their people or to such persons as have connected themselves with them.

Their rights of property and of local government within the territory defined, as describe in the preceding Article, shall be recognized, affirmed by the Republic of Nicaragua in Treaties to be made by that State with Great Britain and the United States respectively; and the Republic of Nicaragua, in each of those Treaties, shall stipulate and engage that it will enact laws to prevent the purchase of lands from the Mosquito Indians, and that introduction and sale of spirituous liquors among the said Indians, and that the Republic will pro-tect them from all inroads, intrusions, or aggressions along their western and northern frontier.

The Mosquito Indians shall not be able to cede their country or rights to any other State without the consent of Great Britain and the United States, by each separately expressed; it being however, understood that nothing shall preclude the conclusion of such voluntary compact and arrangements between the Republic of Nicaragua and the Mosquito Indians, by which the latter may be definitively incorporated and united with the former; but it shall be stipulated, in such case, that the Mosquito Indians shall enjoy the same rights, and be liable to the same duties, as the other citizen of the said Republic of Nicaragua.

Article No. IV. 1. - The Republic of Costa Rica shall retain for its citizen the freedom of navigation up and down the River San Juan, from its mouth to the mouth of the Sarapiqui River, with liberty to enter and quit the Port of San Juan or Graytown with their vessels, and to store their cargoes in that port, and with out being subject to any duties of import or export, tonnage duty, or other tax or public charge whatever, except for light-money and other necessary port charges.

With this proposed treaty, England tacitly renounced the Protectorate of the Mosquito Indians under the provision in which the entire territory of the Mosquito within the boundaries of Nicaragua was to become sovereignty of the Republic with a partial independent territory for the Miskitu Indians. However, the Republic of Nicaragua protested against this intrusion into its internal affairs. And in 1860, the Nicaraguan Government signed the Managua Treaty with Her Britannic Majesty to put an end to the Protectorate of the Miskitu Indian on the Atlantic Coast.

30 Leslie's Frank, Annex No. I, 1856: Page.3 A) Ibid: Historical Documents of Nicaragua: Canal Treaty, White/Chamorro/Mayorga (20/8/1851) between the Republic of Nicaragua and the representatives of the American Company Mr. David L. White authorizing the construction of the Sea-Canal. No.90. B) Projected Treaty: Cass-Irisarri (16/11/1857) between the Republic of Nicaragua concerning the construction of the Sea-canal. 32 Ibid: Papers related to the Arbitration: Page 43.


In 1860 .33 , Her Britannic Majesty and the Republic of Nicaragua with the assistance of United States signed the Managua Treaty. As a consequence, a district in the Mosquitia was assigned to the Miskitu Indians for their self-government with Graytown, the mouth of the Sea-canal, under the sovereignty of Nicaragua with certain immunities for the inhabitants as stated in Articles III and VII:

Article No. III. The Mosquito Indians, within the district designated in the preceding Article, shall enjoy the right of governing, according to their own customs, and according to any regulations which may from time be adopted by them, not inconsistent with the sovereign rights of the Republic of Nicaragua, themselves, and all persons residing within such district. Subject to the above mentioned reserve, the Republic of Nicaragua agrees to respect and not interfere with such customs and regulations so established, or to be established, within the said district.

Article No. VII.- The Republic of Nicaragua shall constitute and declare the port of Graytown, or San Juan del Norte, a free port under the sovereign authority of the Republic of Nicaragua. But the Republic, taking into consideration the immunities heretofore enjoyed by the inhabitants of Graytown, consents that trial by jury in all cases, civil or criminal, and perfect freedom of religious belief and worship, public and private, such as has hitherto been enjoyed by them up to the present moment, shall be guaranteed to them for the future.

33 Ibid: Papers related to the Arbitration: Page 3. 34 Treaty: Zavala-Frelinghuyen (1884) between the United States and the Republic of Nicaragua concerning the construction of the Sea-canal. (See Document No. .93)

The Reserve District assigned to the Miskitu Indians, which was not ratified by the National Assembly of Nicaragua, did not include all the communities of the different tribes. Furthermore, it was managed by Creoles, miscegenation of African Indigenous people (slaves), American Indigenous peo-ple and Europeans, skilled laborers who worked for wages in the banana companies-the enclave economy-owned by North Americans and a few Europeans, mostly Germans.

In order for England and the United States to attain a gradual and final decision over the inter-oceanic route, the self-government.36 of the Miskito Indians, as stipulated in the Treaty, was accomplished by moving the Miskitu's Chief, George Augustos Fedricks, from the indigenous community of Sandy Bay Tara to Bluefields, the main city of the reservation. Then, in 1861 in the city of Bluefields, the Miskitu Chief-the hereditary president of the Reserve District-summoned the people to a public convention and instituted the first Autonomous Government on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, as stated in Article No. III. of the Managua Treaty. And since England once ruled the region, the Autonomous Government on the Reserve District adopted a constitution based upon laws similar to the statutes of England.

The Constitution of the Reserve District established two chambers to govern: a General Council presided by a president whose post was hereditary and forty-three representatives who made the laws; and an Executive Council, elected from the representatives by the General Council, to keep track of the treasury and juridical issues.

The constitution also established laws pertaining to the participation in the Autonomous Government, such as the ownership of a titled property valued at 250 dollars to become a member of the General Council, and 500 hundred dollars to become a member of the Executive Council. Since the indigenous people only possessed the lands and produced for their consumption, it was practically impossible for any of them to become members of these chambers.

From 1861 to 1894, the General Council, consisting of mostly Creoles, issued several laws for the proper functioning of the Autonomous Government on the Reserve District. The laws proclaimed: the harbors in the Reserve District were free; forbade commerce; gambling and unloading ships on Sunday; controlled the sale and purchase of alcoholic beverages; established compulsory education; demanded juridical raid for the search of premises; created a commission responsible for regulating the use and assignment of the land for planting and management of the forest. The revenue earned from the sales of products and the lease of the lands were reinvested among the indigenous communities.

35 A) In 1841 slavery was abolished on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (Letter from Patrick Walker Esq. to James Bowden: Corn Island September 5th, 1841. B) Karl Marx: Free laborers in the double sense, they are not a constituent part of the means of production as the slaves and the serfs, etc. Neither means belongs to them as it is with the peasants and the autonomous producer, etc., but they are free, independent and separated from the means of production. The exchange market of commodities polarized in this way, creates the necessary conditions for the development of the capital Mode of Production. (1950: Page 203) 36 The dispute between the government of Her Britannic Majesty and the Republic of Nicaragua on the question of the sovereignty over the territory assigned to the Mosquito Indians was submitted to the arbitration of Franz Joseph the First, Emperor of Austria, whose decision was that " the Nicaraguan sovereignty over the reserve territory is limited by the self-government conceded to the Mosquito Indians in Article III of the Treaty of Managua. (Ibid: Papers related to the Arbitration, 1881: Page 12) 37 See Annex No. II: Page 42.

In those years, the city of Bluefields flourished with the construction of new commercial buildings and private homes on account of the banana boom. Some of the companies and commercial enterprises conducting business were Bluefields Banana Co., New Orleans and Central American Trading Co., Emile Brautigham, Belanger, Henry Clay Ingram, George D. Emery Co., Brown &. Harris, Casa Seegard, Levy & Levis, J. L. Sargent, John H. Simmons, Siegert and J. A. Paterson, etc. And because of the scarcity of the labor force, African indigenous slave descendants from New Orleans and particularly Creoles, skilled laborers, from Jamaica were brought to work on the banana farms. A few Chinese, such as Wing Sang, Chey-Wisin, Wab-Sin, Henry-Tom, and Henry-James engaged in fishing activities. The labor force coupled with the Europeans and North Americans increased the pop-ulation to more than 3,500 people.

During this period, trading was mainly between southern United States and the Reserve District. According to estimates, the North Americans held more than 90% of the shares in the commercial enterprises on the Atlantic Coast with investments over ten million dollars. Nevertheless, the Nicaraguan government, not being content with the independent nature of the Reserve District, militarily occupied Bluefields on February 12, 1894- and relieved the Autonomous Government of its functions. On the November 20th of the same year, the Miskitu Convention, in a palace session in Bluefields, incorporated the Reserve District on the Atlantic Coast to the national state of Nicaragua by a 1aw decree.


With the incorporation, the government of Nicaragua literally gave away the region-mainly the indigenous peoples land as a concession to the North American companies, such as Lomax S Anderson, Bragmans Bluff Lumber Co., Robinson Lumber Co., the United Fruit Co., Bluefields Steam Ship, Standard Fruit and Steam Ship Co., Cuyamel Fruit Co., Rosano Resources (NY), Asarco (NY), Booth Fisheries, etc. These companies, organized as enclaves, exploited the natural resources: tim-ber, banana, gold, copper, silver, rubber, and marine resources to trade with Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and as before with the United States.

The North American companies-the enclave economy-made substantial changes after the days of slavery. For example, they employed the Creoles and Ladinos for salaries; as a result, the working and middle-class sectors evolved along with the big towns. The companies extracted the natural resources and hardly reinvested in the region; consequently, the two social sectors only became skilled as nurses, teachers, accountants, secretaries, mechanics, navigators, sailors, truck drivers, stevedores, etc.

38 Perez Valle, Eduardo 1978: Page 141. 39 Ibid: Perez Valle, Eduardo 1978: Page 139. 40 The Chief of the Miskitu Indians to the Earl of Rosebery: Bluefields, 1894. 41 A) Historical Documents of Nicaragua: Treaty Hay/Pauncefote (1901) between the United States and His Majesty Edward the VII King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, abolishing the 1850 Treaty and agreeing that the United States can construct the interoceanic canal alone. No. 95. B) Gaceta Oficial: Convention Treaty Chamorro-Bryan (1914) between the United States and the Republic of Nicaragua, for renting the national territory on perpetuity to the United States for the construction of the Sea-canal. Nicaragua 8/11/1916. C) Gaceta Oficial: Convention Treaty Guerrero-Bamebey (1970) between the United States and the Republic of Nicaragua abrogating the Chamorro-Bryan convention Treaty. Nicaragua 26/4/1971. 42 Letter from the Creoles to the First Secretary of the United States: 1926. Annex No. IV.

On the countryside, the companies preserved the communal modes of production as it was previously practiced during the colonial period. First, the communal modes of production were used to legitimize the Indigenous Nation and to justify the British presence on the interoceanic route; secondly, the companies held the salaries low. And though the indigenous people worked at times for salaries in the lower paying jobs due to their precarious development, they still depended on their communal modes of production to live. Gradually, the indigenous people became culturally dependent on the capitalist structure: Christianity amalgamated with natural religion (reli-gious syncretism); all the tribes and their descendants speak English; they use wheat instead of corn to make bread, despite the fact that they are American Indians; they used clothes and other commodities, i.e. the capitalist modes vanquish the communal modes of production.

The companies came and left the Atlantic Coast according to the world markets performance or the depletion of the resources. Although national investors-the Somoza regime that governed Nicaragua more than 45 years-ventured into fisheries during the mid-nineteen sixties in the region, the people still depended primarily upon the companies for work, the peasants' economy, and the indigenous communal modes of production to survive.


The North American companies left the Atlantic Coast in July of 1979 after the triumph of the Revolutionaries over the Somoza regime. The war decimated the enclave economy and caused hunger, extreme poverty, and death. However, the rebirth of the Autonomous Process on the Atlantic Coast was revived, like the phoenix bird renewed from its ashes, because of the armed conflict.

The ruling class had dispossessed the lands from the peasants and indigenous peoples on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua in order to organize the labor force and to achieve economic and political unity around the national state. However, the Revolutionary government did not dispossess the lands from the peasants and the indigenous people on the Atlantic Coast in order to incorporate them into the national state. Instead, it was the first government in the Western Hemisphere to proclaim an Autonomous Government to achieve economic and political unity of a nation, based upon the development of the two different socioeconomic formations.

43 Corn as the principal food of the American Indians, can be observed as follows: Popol Vuh, the Holy Book of the Mayas Quiche, describes corn as "salt of the earth" for the American Indians. "Then spoke they of creating and forming Man and Woman. From yellow and white corn their flesh were made. Man's hands and feet were made from corn. (Page 118) Morgan also points Out: The Oriental Hemisphere had all animals good for domestication except one (the llama) and mostly every cereal for cul-tivation whereas the Occidental Hemisphere only possessed one cereal (corn), but it was the best. (Ibid: Morgan Lewis, Page 93) Conzenius observes: Maize or Indian corn (Zea maysL. M.:aya;S.;am,ama), which forms the staple food practically all over Central America, is sparsely cultivated by the Miskitu; however, it was already observed among them during the latter part of the seventeenth century by Raveneau de Lussann (438) and M.W. (304,3l0). (Conzenius Edward, 1932: Page 63). 44 If an assumption of labor for a salary and one of the Historical condition of the capital is free labor and the exchange of this free labor for money... in the same way another assumption is the separation (expropriation, our emphasis) of this free labor from its concrete working condition. (Marx Karl, 1960: Page 5)

In March 1987, the Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua issued the law of Autonomy in favor of the communities and towns on the Atlantic Coast (Law No. 28) 45 in recognition of their ancient rights as stated in the following Articles:

Article No. 89 - The communities on the Atlantic Coast are an insoluble part of the Nicaraguan people and as such enjoy the same rights and obligations the communities on the Atlantic Coast have the right to preserve and develop their cultural identity in the national unity. To endow their own ways of social organization and manage their local affairs in accordance with their traditions. The State recognizes the Communal Property of the lands on the Atlantic Coast. Equally it recognizes the use and enjoyment of the waters and forests on the communal lands.

Article No. 90 - The communities on the Atlantic Coast have the right to free expression and preservation of their languages, art, and culture. The development of their culture and values enrich the national culture. The Government will create special programs for the better expression of these rights.

Article No. 91 - The Government of Nicaragua is under the obligation to issue laws that will promote and ensure that no Nicaraguan shall be discrim-inated due to his/her language, culture or origin.

In the same year, the Revolutionary Government initiated a pilot project in the indigenous communities ofYulu, etc. as a starting point for the development of the Autonomous Government. This practice of starting from the indigenous community [the communal modes of production] and not from the towns [the enclave economy] is to leap from the conception that the movement of this social formation (the society on the Atlantic Coast) was dependent on the communal mode and not on the Capitalist mode of production. This approach only misleads the people to think of a future Autonomous Government for indigenous people (the fourth world position) with a self-determination similar to the Autonomous Government on the Reservation in 1860, and not as the necessary instrument for national unity. Nonetheless, it was the starting point for the Autonomous Process within the national state.

45 Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua, 1996, Pg. ge 55.

46 CIDCA: ( [Wahl, 1986: Pag. 36).

47 Under the assessment of tile Research Center for tile Development and Studies of The Atlantic Coast (CIDCA-The National Indigenous Institute) lacking a clear understanding of the economical category Mode of Production, lead the Revolutionary Government to the conception of an Autonomous Government for Indigenous People. (Demografia Costena, 1982: pag. 28-29)

In the movements of the stronger economy and its interaction with the smaller economies we can see the movements (the reflection) of the whole economy.

During the colonial period, slavery was the principal way to accumulate surplus ( commercial Capital); and from whence, the enclave economy (the Capital), work for a salary, emerged thanks to the parallel development of technology, of the working class and of the middle class. During both periods, the communal modes of production were reserved.

First, to legitimize the English Protectorate, and; second, to minimize the salary of the workers. The indigenous people depended on their community to survive, but became however, culturally dependent on the capital structures.


In 1990, the first election of the Autonomous Governments coincided with the presidential elections in which the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Revolutionary Government) was defeated by the National Opposition Union (Neo-Liberal Government).

Accordingly, the new transitory government (revolutionary vs. neo-liberalism) and the Autonomous Governments took office. The people of the South Autonomous Atlantic Region elected forty-eight representatives from the communities and towns to form the general council. The council, presided by a president, makes the laws. The executive branch is presided by a coordinator (governor) under the administration of the general council. The president of the council and the coordinator are elected from and by the representatives.

The second election of the Autonomous Government was held in April 1994 according to the procedures established in the laws of the North and South Atlantic Autonomous Regions. This election, like the previous, was held in a civic and democratic manner. Although the statutes of Autonomy proclaim that to unite the national state in Nicaragua, "the indigenous people must direct the destiny and dynamics of the Autonomous Government," the effective exercise of the statutes has not been fully put to use.

The war decimated the enclave economy, and the people survive today thanks to the peasants and communal modes of production. There are only a few organizations that defends the real interests of the indigenous people within the Autonomous Government on account of the extreme poverty-sub-development-in which they are forced to live. The national political parties are the cause of our strife by virtue of their powerful control over the Regional Autonomous Governments.

For example, the representatives of the political parties to the Autonomous Government, as expected, must follow the principles and political programs of the parties. They decide who controls the presidency and governor-ship of the Regional Council according to their immediate interests; thus, the representatives, in coordina-tion with the national government, make concessions of the indigenous peoples' lands regardless of the instituted laws. They sell, rent or mortgage the Autonomous Government properties at will. And when they are faced with any crisis, they travel to Managua to receive instructions in matter of procedures or steps to follow to appease the masses.

48 United Nations: The United Nations declared (1994-2004) the Decade for Indigenous Peoples. The principal objectives of this declaration is an attempt to solve the Indigenous Peoples' problems in matter of "Human Rights, Environment, Development, Education and Health" (United Nations: 1994, 94-08977). Capital investment in rural areas is the Modality to integrate the Peasants and Indigenous People, not by expropriation, into the National State. Cheap labor force in rural areas to reevaluate the capital (Forest Reserve, free Zones, etc.) slows down the growth of the cities (the proletarians); however, 400 years of extractive capital on the Atlantic Coast (slavery and enclave) have proved to only develop the foreign market rather than the internal market; consequently; it is a very slow way toward progress. 49 Ibid: Statutes of Autonomy, V Consideration. Page 56.

The presidential elections in Nicaragua (1996), which instated the liberals to power, laid open the most serious economical and political crisis in the Autonomous Government. In April 1997, imperceptibly three months after taking office, the central government critically affected the strict functions of the Regional Autonomous governments by cutting their budgets. Furthermore, the national political parties, with little sensibility toward the poverty stricken regions or the indigenous peoples' rights, shared among themselves greater than 50% of the funds allocated for the Autonomous election campaigns of March 1, 1998.

They also required the indigenous organizations to render their inscriptions with the Supreme Electoral Counsel in Managua, instead of the Autonomous Regions. What outcome could we have expected from the elections when the ruling party-the liberals-openly violated the Electoral laws by initiating their campaigns before the legally establish date with funds of to the state? And to make matters worse, the Liberals publicly announced their intention to violate the indigenous peoples' rights by amending the Autonomous laws. We, the indigenous people, are organizing to safeguard the Autonomous laws.

We are aware that we must seize the Autonomous Government-the instrument of national unity-to guarantee our undeniable democratic participation in Nicaragua.

CONCLUSION I.- The intention to construct an interoceanic canal through the Nicaraguan territory brought forth the development of a socioeconomic formation on the Atlantic Coast different from the Pacific Coast. To unite the national state in Nicaragua, the Autonomous Government was established on the Atlantic Coast.

II.- The first Autonomous Government , established in 1860, was based on the English laws and was literally "independent" from Nicaragua. The laws did not allow the democratic participation of the Indigenous People in the Autonomous Government.

III.- The present Autonomous Government, established in 1987, is based on the laws of Nicaragua. These laws guarantee the democratic participation of all Indigenous People in the Autonomous Government.

IV.- The extreme poverty, due to the Communal Modes of Production, presents a serious obstacle for the Indigenous People to participate with their organizations in the Autonomous Government. There are few indigenous organizations that advocate the Indigenous Peoples' rights.

V.- The national political parties strongly hinder and unceasingly manipulate the Autonomous Governments. At the same time, they crave to amend the Autonomous laws to exploit our lands and natural resources for their collective benefit in violation of the constitutional statutes of Autonomous Government and the Indigenous Peoples' rights.

VI.- To guarantee national unity, as stated in the constitutional statutes of the Autonomous Government, the Indigenous People must fully participate in the Autonomous Government with their own organizations.

VII.- By safeguarding the Autonomous laws which guarantee the political and economical participation of Indigenous Peoples in the Autonomous Government, the Autonomous process will bring forth progress, development on the Atlantic Coast, and greater national unity in Nicaragua.

50 The Managua Daily Tribune: January 17, 1998. Page I.



Website designed and maintained by G. Lewin Copyright © 1999  - 2008 Oneg LLC. All rights reserved
Please send your comments to: glewin@bluefieldspulse.com