Maleku Tribe Reported Damage to its Archaeological Heritage

The indigenous community Maleku in Guatuso of Alajuela, reported that the diversion of the river La Muerte caused “serious damage” to its archaeological and historical heritage.

The natives claim that city officials joined with tractors until where is the tributary and destroyed burials consist of pre-Columbian vessels and other objects of great value.

They added that after the dredged of about 80 meters, some bones were uncovered that could be of ancestors buried there centuries ago.

Moreover, the indigenous people of this community say that the whole river basin is damaged as a section of 250 meters was dry.

The case was reported to the prosecution Office. However, the municipality completed the work.

The mayor of Guatuso, Abelino Torres, said that if there was any involvement maleku to culturethe municipality would fix the damage.

This river is the north division of the Indian Territory.

The malekus say that these dredging works were made outside the law.

They claim that the municipal authorities to make earth movements on its territory, had to make an inquiry to the indigenous association.

This organization represents the 650 people that make up ethnicity.

This regulation is not new, it follows from Convention No. 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

However, community representatives claim that the municipality never made the query.

The mayor Torres said that he did not know about the existence of the procedure.

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