U.N. Human Rights Officials Write To U.S. Expressing Concern Over Militarization In Guam

Written by on April 4, 2021

In a not too long ago launched letter to the U.S. authorities, human rights officers on the United Nations backed Indigenous activists in Guam and expressed concern over the US’ ongoing army presence within the territory. Activists representing Guam’s Chamorro individuals have decried America’s continued management and elevated militarization on the island since claiming it as a territory in 1898, after the Spanish-American Struggle. 

Of their letter, which got here on the urging of human rights legal professionals, three U.N. particular rapporteurs expressed concern over “America’s elevated army presence in Guam and the failure to guard the indigenous Chamorro individuals from the lack of their conventional lands, territories, and sources.” The officers all advise on human rights points, and so they condemned the denial of the Indigenous inhabitants’s “proper to free, prior and knowledgeable consent and self-determination.”

Individuals born in Guam are U.S. residents, but they can not vote in U.S. elections. Chamorro activists have been sounding the alarm on U.S. oversight for greater than a century, sharing tales of their marginalization on an island densely populated with U.S. army personnel.

For the reason that finish of the Spanish-American Struggle, the US has used its rule over Guam to maintain a toehold within the Pacific and a detailed watch of geopolitical foes, significantly China. Nonetheless, many People know little to nothing about U.S. involvement in Guam, not to mention in regards to the plight of its Indigenous individuals. In mid-March, that ignorance got here to an embarrassing head when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) denounced funding for Guam as she spoke out in opposition to assist to international nations. 

“Our hard-earned tax {dollars} ought to simply go for America, not for, what, China, Russia, the Center East, Guam, no matter, wherever,” she stated.

Authorized activists supporting the Chamorro individuals consider the letter places America on discover to ascertain a brand new path for U.S.-Guam relations. Juan Aguon, whose Blue Ocean Legislation agency helped push the officers to ship the letter, known as it “deeply validating” in a press release. 

“It says to the world ― not simply to the U.S. ― that may doesn’t make proper, that many people have been proper all alongside,” he stated. 

Aguon, who not too long ago wrote a e-book in regards to the Chamorro expertise, “The Properties of Perpetual Gentle,” stated the letter affirms the group’s proper to “a clear atmosphere, tradition, well being and life — rights that needs to be revered.”

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