Most of the new members of the Mayangna Sauni As Indigenous Territorial Government, of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, in the North Caribbean of Nicaragua, elected on January 22, are “of Sandinista tendency”, for which the Mayangna community remember that this authorities are “loyal to the communities and not to a party.”
Baldivio Ramón, coordinator; Brenda Taylor, general coordinator; and Benecio Zeledón, community coordinator, are the new representatives of the Mayangna Indigenous Territorial Government of Sauni As, elected in a show of hands at the Bonanza sports center in the North Caribbean.
The new members of the Territorial Council were also elected, now made up of Rolando Devis, Mollins Lino, William Sebastián Patron, Raquel Lacayo, Venerio Avelino, Valeriano Antolin, Jorge Salomón Devis, Abetnico Rufus, Fidel Ordoñez and Mateo Torres.
“We know the party to which the majority of those elected belong, but the trust was given to them by the territory, we chose them because otherwise the others (the previous authorities of the Territorial Government) were going to be re-elected and we did not want that; In other words, those we elected have not had positions of this type and we hope that they do things well,” said the indigenous “Joel”, who asked that his identity be protected.
He added that, in a previous assembly that was held in the Sauni As territory, as community members they warned those candidates, now elected, that “if they don’t do things right, if they do something else, we are going to change them.”
The newly elected territorial authorities were certified, on January 25, by the Autonomous Regional Council of the North Caribbean Coast, which indicated that “this authority of the Territorial Government will exercise its functions for a period of four years, from the date on which the certificate is issued, so it will expire on January 25, 2026”.
Anomalies prior to the election process
Community members who spoke with CONFIDENTIAL They explained that the election process presented several anomalies, beginning because it was not even held when it should have been, in September 2021, since “the politicians” of the Regional Government argued that they should wait for the national votes to be held, in which Daniel Ortega’s regime was re-elected for a fourth consecutive term.
They also mentioned that the process of electing the territorial authorities had to take place within the territory, but the representatives of the outgoing Territorial Government pressed for it not to be carried out that way and it ended up being done in Bonanza.
“First they said that the election would be held in the territory, then that it would be held in the closest area, but always within the territory, in the community of Sakalwas, but later, a day before, they told us that it would be better to do at the Bonanza sports center, all with the intention that many people would not arrive”, they denounced.
“Joel” indicates that with the support of the Bonanza Mayor’s Office they were able to get some trucks in which they transported, making several trips from 2:00 am on January 22, about 500 community members who cast their vote in rejection of the re-election that They were looking for the previous territorial authorities, headed by Gustavo Sebastián Lino, whom they point out for not defending and ensuring the interests of the communities.
Community members distrust the GTI
He added that, in several assemblies that they have held within their territories, they have discussed the representation of the Territorial Government, concluding that “it is not ours as indigenous people, that is the Government’s.” However, he stressed, they continue to participate in the election processes because it is the only means through which “from time to time” they receive some “aid” in the form of seeds or food sustainability plans.
With the election of these new authorities, he stressed, they hope that “the territories will be watched over, work will be done for the sanitation and development of the communities, as they promised in the assemblies where their candidacies arose.”
“We want them to watch over the communities, here they killed us and the other GTI did not complain, they invaded us and just went to see and nothing was done, that’s how we were, if they killed us they didn’t say anything, for that reason we wanted change, now we hope that the newly elected fulfill their promises”, they indicated.
The community members affirm that, now that the new authorities have already been certified, they hope that in the next few days an assembly will be convened within the territory, where “the new ones” say “what is the plan and what are they going to do to work on sanitation?” ” of the territory before the invasion of settlers.
“Here the first urgency is sanitation. The communities suffer from not being able to go to their plots, to the artisanal guirisería areas that were their means of survival, for not getting seeds, all because of the invasion that is taking place, many of us suffer from hunger, we are threatened with death and many have already been killed. , that is why we want them to comply and watch over the community”, they reiterated.