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After Mayan Genocide Case, Indigenous Scrutinize World Bank, IMF Under Radar?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 -- The directive to "follow the money" holds true even or especially with regard to the rights of indigenous people. As the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues began meeting Monday at the UN, the World Bank was on their agenda.

  Inner City Press asked about the Bank, and about the International Monetary Fund. PFII chairperson Paul Kanyinke Sena of Kenya said that in almost all cases in Africa the World Bank's projects have a negative impact on indigenous people. He referred to an upcoming session on May 23, but it appears that again the IMF is flying under the radar.

  Of the recent genocide verdict against Rios Montt in Guatemala for the murder of Ixil Mayans, Inner City Press asked if the Forum will discuss it.  Dalee Sambo Dorough, an Inuit from Alaska, said it it a groundbreaking precedent linking genocide and crimes against humanity to the treatment of indigenous people. She mentioned Tazmania and the residential schools in Canada, which fellow panelist Andrea Landry addressed.

  Also on the panel was Setareki Macanawai of the Pacific Disability Forum (Fiji). Just as many countries are trumpeting their participation in and support of the PFII, Australia brags of funding the Pacific Disabilities Forum. Like we said: follow the money. But is it enough? Watch this site.

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