Cattle range war threatens
BOCAS DEL TORO. The Nasos people from the San San community in the area of Teribe are defending their land after six workers from Ganad...
BOCAS DEL TORO. The Nasos people from the San San community in the area of Teribe are defending their land after six workers from Ganadera Bocas destroyed six of their houses.
Naso’s leader, Eliseo Vargas accused the government of abandoning them and of never trying to solve the problem his people have faced for more than 50 years with the cattle company Ganadera Bocas.
Vargas said that the indigenous people of the communities of San San, San Druy and San Tigra have been subjected to constant violations of their rights. The company leaves its buffaloes to roam around and they attack passer- byes, and eat crops, but nobody accepts responsibility or pays for the damages they cause.
According to the indigenous leader the situation have force them to take the law into their own hands and they are willing to die for their land that has been invaded by the company for more than 20 generations.
Finally, Vargas said that they will arm themselves with machetes, arrows and Molotov bombs if necessary to evict the trespassers from their property and they are waiting for Ganadera Bocas’ workers to come back to gather the animals.
Enrique Smith, who was born and grew up in the community of San San and has lived there for 44 years, said the the manager of Ganadera Bocas, Ricardo Saldaña accompanied by his workers, who were trave when the inhabitants of six houses were out and proceeded to destroyed them.
Smith added that the aggressors were acting under the umbrella of the authorities, because Saldaña is claiming to have an eviction order.
Lupita Vargas, who also lives in the community of San San Druy, said that after 46 years she is tired of waiting for justice, because the authorities are not doing anything to defend the residents and that she will lay down her life to defend her land and only when dead will she abandon her home.
A source close to Ganadera Bocas said that the company will continue with the eviction order.
Meanwhile, with the indigenous people willing to die to defend their land and only the government could stop a full blown war between the cattle company and the population.
Currently there are many land disputes in Bocas del Toro, because the majority of the properties only have possessory rights.
Rge government has started to give title to the residents but it is slow process, and in the meantime range war threatens.