Active Citizens

World’s 40,000 MP’s Must Enjoy Their Rights – But Are They?

“Members of Parliament must be free to enjoy their human rights. If not, how can they defend and promote the rights of those who elected them? Yet, around the world vocal parliamentarians find themselves under threat. The 40,000-strong community of parliamentarians includes many men and women who have risked careers and even their lives to express their beliefs.”

Families of the “Disappeared” Search for Clandestine Graves in Mexico

Juan de Dios is eight years old and is looking for his younger sister, Zoe Zuleica Torres Gómez, who went missing in December 2015, when she was only five years old, in the northeastern state of San Luis Potosí. He is the youngest searcher for clandestine graves in Mexico.

Measures Are Proposed to Address Violence in Mapuche Land in Chile

The lands where the Mapuche indigenous people live in southern Chile are caught up in a spiral of violence, which a presidential commission is setting out to stop with 50 proposals, such as the constitutional recognition of indigenous people and their representation in parliament, in a first shift in the government´s treatment of native peoples.

Social Networks in Mexico Both Fuel and Fight Discontent

The scene in the video is simple: a bearded man with a determined look on his face sitting in front of a white wall witha portrait of Emiliano Zapata, symbol of the Mexican revolution.

Ordinary Citizens Help Drive Spread of Solar Power in Chile

Chile, Latin America’s leader in solar energy, is starting the new year with an innovative step: the development of the country´s first citizens solar power plant.

Looting and Unrest Spread in Mexico Over Gas Price Hike

“We are absolutely fed up with the government’s plundering and arbitrary decisions. We don´t deserve what they’re doing to us,“ said Marisela Campos during one of the many demonstrations against the government´s decision to raise fuel prices.

“Soares Is Dead: Long Live Soares!” Cries Portugal

The death of Mario Soares, former Portuguese prime-minister, president, and historic leader of Lusitanian socialism, demonstrated just how united the Portuguese are with regards to his past and his historical projection.

Native Seeds Sustain Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast

In his 76 years of life, Raimundo Pinheiro de Melo has endured a number of droughts in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast region. And he remembers every one of them since 1958.“The worst one was in 1982 and 1983, the only time that the river dried up,” said Pinheiro do Melo, who has lived near the river since 1962. “The one in 1993 was also very bad,” he told IPS, because neither Bolsa Familia nor Networking in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Region (ASA) existed yet, which contribute to a less traumatic coexistence with droughts like the current one, which has dragged on for five years.

Anti-Fracking Movement Alarmed at Trump’s Focus on Fossil Fuels

Earl Hatley, a descendant of the Cherokee/Delaware tribe, has witnessed the consequences of using hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” on his native land to produce shale gas.

No More Mass Deaths from Drought in Northeast Brazil

The drought that has plagued Brazil’s semiarid Northeast region since 2012 is already more severe than the 1979-1983 drought, the longest in the 20th century. But prolonged dry spells no longer cause the tragedies of the past.

Feminism Helps Villagers Coexist with Drought in Northeast Brazil

“The vegetable garden changed my life,” said Rita Alexandre da Silva, in the village of Primeiro do Maio where 65 families have obtained land to grow crops since 1999, in this municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in Northeast Brazil.

New Technologies in Debate in Biodiversity Conference

Synthetic biology, geoengineering and the recognition of ancestral knowledge are the issues that have generated the most heated debate in the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, which ends in this Mexican resort city on Friday Dec. 17.

Anti-Torture Law Helps Pay Off Chile’s Debt to Human Rights

After 26 years of democratic governments, Chile has finally passed a law that defines torture as a criminal act, but which is still not sufficient to guarantee that the abuses will never again happen, according to human rights experts.

India Steps Up Citizen Activism to Protect Women

Last month, Delhi Police launched a unique initiative to check spiralling crimes against women in the city, also known dubiously as the "rape capital" of India. It formed a squad of plainclothes officers called "police mitras" (friends of the police) -- comprising farmers, homemakers and former Army men -- to assist them in the prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and order.

Nicaraguan Women Push for Access to Land, Not Just on Paper

A group of women farmers who organised to fight a centuries-old monopoly over land ownership by men are seeking plots of land to farm in order to contribute to the food security of their families and of the population at large.

Violence Against Black Women in Brazil on the Rise, Despite Better Laws

Four months in hospital and a number of operations saved the life of Maria da Penha Fernandes of Brazil, but the rifle shot left her paraplegic at the age of 37. When she returned home, her husband tried to electrocute her in the bathroom.

Coal Mine Threatens Ecological Paradise in Chile’s Patagonia Region

An open-pit coal mine in the southern island of Riesco, a paradise of biological diversity in Chile’s southern Patagonia wilderness region, is a reflection of the weakness of the country’s environmental laws, which are criticised by local residents, activists, scientists and lawmakers.

Trump’s Offensive Against Undocumented Migrants Will Fuel Migration Crisis

“Donald Trump will not stop me from getting to the U.S.,” said Juan, a 35-year-old migrant from Nicaragua, referring to the Republican president-elect who will govern that country as of Jan. 20.

Opposition to Oil Pipeline in U.S. Serves as Example for Indigenous Struggles in Latin America

Canadian activist Clayton Thomas-Muller crossed the border between his country and the United States to join the Native American movement against the construction of an oil pipeline, which has become a model to follow in struggles by indigenous people against megaprojects, that share many common elements.

Student Struggle in South Africa Gains Momentum

When #FeesMustFall began to trend on social media platforms in South Africa in October 2015, government shrugged it off as an example of isolated hotheads, while political pundits predicted the student campaign wouldn’t last.

Mexico City’s Expansion Creates Tension between Residents and Authorities

People living in neighborhoods affected by the expansion of urban construction suffer a “double displacement”, with changes in their habitat and the driving up of prices in the area, in a process in which “we are not taken into account,” said Natalia Lara, a member of an assembly of local residents in the south of Mexico City.

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