Vaporiso knew that the lack of land ownership in his tribe was a great part of the Chocoes' suffering, and he felt that violence was the only way to rectify the problem. Agenda 21 requires member State governments to strengthen national dispute-resolution arrangements in relation to the settlement of land and resource-management concerns. Convention No. 169, which became legally binding on member States in 1991, provides indigenous people with the right to decide how they wish to develop the lands they occupy and use, and set their own priorities for those lands. Convention No. 169 also provides protection from people or governments seeking to take advantage of indigenous people due to their lack of understanding of the laws. ILO Convention No. 169, a legally-binding convention which focuses on indigenous land rights concerns, continues as a very important legally binding tool that could help the Mogue Community achieve ownership over their lands. Hopefully, Panama will follow its neighbors and soon ratify Convention No. 169 creating legally-binding obligations on Panama which the Mogue Community could use to achieve land ownership.
David E. Cahn,
Homeless for Generations: Land Rights for the Chocoe Indians from Mogue, Panama,
28 Fordham Int'l L.J. 232
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol28/iss1/5