Statement: ICEERS fraud, plagiarism and unde-representation of Maloca Internationale work at U.N.
We are informing about the behavior of ICEERS toward Maloca Internationale (MI),at United Nations (U.N.) Geneva.
As the actors involved in the U.N. drug discussions know, MI opened the indigenous peoples – sacred plants discussion at the U.N. Human Rights Council within the drug policy debate. To date, we have organized panels with moderators from the Permanent Missions’ of Bolivia and Chile, we have also collaborated extensively with other permanent missions. MI has also participated in the negotiations of resolutions and U.N. studies concerning drugs, and has obtained recommendations on indigenous peoples and minorities, used at UN General Assembly on drug policy.
In September 2017, MI invited ICEERS to attend the Human Rights Council. In a subsequent fundraising letter (see below), they included a photo, without mentioning any of the organizations involved in the activity, without obtaining prior consent to utilize our image or our name:
“If you’re reading this, you have been part of the remarkable journey we embarked on when we founded ICEERS 8 years ago. You were there with us in September when we supported a group of indigenous leaders from Colombia to make presentations about their culture, use of ayahuasca, and threats to their territories at UN Human Rights Council meetings. (Read all about it here!) (…)Please accept our invitation to be a part of this, to be a part of en effort for a better world, to be a part of ICEERS. Please make a contribution today that will help lead us to a better future.In gratitude, Benjamin DeLoenen, Founder and Executive Director”
As this text shows, ICEERS asks for funding by appropriating the work of MI, without consulting our organization and without naming Maloca Internationale. There are a hyperlinks that lead to a mention of Maloca Internationale. Yet hyperlinks are like attached files, most readers do not click on them, and most readers retain the general vision offered in the main body of the mail, in this case, that all the work at U.N. Human Rights Council was made by ICEERS.
Moreover, asking for funds without mention of MI, is a behavior that cannot be reduced to one single document. There is also the document quoted bellow, where ICEERS again asks for funding, without mentioning the panel that Maloca Internationale held with ICEERS at the U.N. Human Rights Council:
“Drawing on the success of our first experience this year at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, we’re planning an event focused on ibogaine and other psychedelic therapies (…) Please contribute to ICEERS today so we can run strong in the new year. Thank you!”
Essentially, ICEERS uses our work, without obtaining our permission or giving MI credit. In an academic setting this would be called plagiarism. In a professional setting the fact that our work was used, without permission and without attributing credit, as a part of a fundraising campaign is called fraud.
ICEERS is not properly attribute the work of Maloca Internationale at the U.N. Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). ICEERS says:
“We organized a week of activities, the highlight of which was the installation of a tipi in the Place des Nations.” (…) “We organized daily talking circles that included ceremony with sacred tobacco plant” (…) “Our parallel event co-organized with Maloca, entitled `Sacred plants and implementation of the right to prior, free and informed consultation and consent of indigenous peoples”
ICEERS gives itself a protagonist role in these activities; but Maloca Internationale over the course of years prepared the installation of a tipi to share medicines in the Place des Nations at the Entrance to the U.N., we were the ones who carried out all of the formalities with Swiss authorities; we carried out a pilot project in 2017 with tobacco ceremonies with a local association (Mos-Espa), and later we shared our ideas with ICEERS. MI prepared the medicines and we also contribute with the knowledge in-situ at the moment of holding the ceremonies. Every year since 2015, MI has organized a parallel-event that suddenly became an ICEERS event in 2018, with “Maloca” mentioned in second place. ICEERS says it is “its” event; Maloca Internationale becomes a simple “co-organizer”, our role is certainly under-represented.
ICEERS also has used the work of MI in a New York based event (Horizons-2018), with only a quick mention of MI. ICEERS also produced a podcast in the U.S., where ICEERS spoke about -our work with indigenous peoples, free, prior and informed consent and sacred plants-, without any mention of MI at the moment when they presented the ideas that MI had shared with them in an oral and written.
Integrity, honesty and the respect of the work of others must be respected. We are of the opinion that the behavior of ICEERS described above cannot be tolerated within the ayahuasca domain.
Many thanks for your time,