Indigenous Rights

Bilingual Intercultural Education, an Endangered Indigenous Right in Peru

"I always express myself in Quechua and I don't feel I’m less of a person," said Elías Ccollatupa, 47, who has been a bilingual intercultural teacher for more than two decades in the Chinchaypujio district, one of the nine that make up the province of Anta, in the department of Cuzco, in the southern Andean region of Peru.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Thirty years ago, the Earth Summit, which took place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, paved the way for the establishment of three major conventions on the environment - specifically on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

Over Two Decades of Impunity for Environmental and Health Disaster in Peruvian Village

"We are not asking for money, but for our health, for a dignified life," is the cry of the people of Choropampa, which lawyer Milagros Pérez continually hears 22 years after the environmental disaster that occurred in this town in the department of Cajamarca, in Peru´s northern Andes highlands, on the afternoon of Jun. 2, 2000.

Rivers Have no Borders: The Motto of Their Defenders in Peru

"Water is part of our culture, it is intrinsic to the Amazon," said José Manuyama, a member of a river defense committee in his native Requena, a town located in the department of Loreto, the largest in Peru, covering 28 percent of the national territory.

Undocumented Migration Puts Pressure on New Chilean Government for Solutions

The pressure of the influx of migrants, especially Venezuelans, has reached a critical level in northern Chile, and is felt as far as the capital itself, forcing the government that took office in March to create a special interministerial group this month to propose solutions that respect their human rights.

No Climate Transition Without Securing Land Rights

The landmark land tenure decision by parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 2019 offers a blueprint for upcoming climate negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh in November.

One Hundred Years On, Argentine State Acknowledges Indigenous Massacre in Trial

It’s a strange trial, with no defendants. The purpose is not to hand down a conviction, but to bring visibility to an atrocious event that occurred almost a hundred years ago in northern Argentina and was concealed by the State for decades with singular success: the massacre by security forces of hundreds of indigenous people who were protesting labor mistreatment and discrimination.

Mining Destroys the Lives of Indigenous People in Venezuela

The voracious search for gold in southern Venezuela, practiced by thousands of illegal miners under the protection of various armed groups, represents the greatest threat today to the lives of indigenous peoples, their habitat and their cultures, according to their organizations and human rights defenders.

Biodiversity: Indigenous Peoples, the Last Custodians

Every now and then, experts remind that the Indigenous Peoples are the best (and last?) custodians of the essential web of life: biodiversity.

Indigenous Women in Mexico Take United Stance Against Inequality

Every other Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. sharp, a group of 26 Mexican women meet for an hour to discuss the progress of their work and immediate tasks. Anyone who arrives late must pay a fine of about 25 cents on the dollar.

Proposed Animal Protection Legislation Ignores Rights of Local Communities to Practice their Approach to Conservation

On the battleground that has become African wildlife conservation, rural communities find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war that is bound to the past on one side, and their future, on the other.

New Constitution Would Declare Chile a Plurinational State

Chile could change the course of its history and become a diverse and multicolored country this year with a “plurinational and intercultural state” that recognizes and promotes the development of the native peoples that inhabited this territory before the Spanish conquest.

Changing a System that Exploits Nature and Women, for a Sustainable Future

"Pachamama (Mother Earth) is upset with all the damage we are doing to her," says Hilda Roca, an indigenous Peruvian farmer from Cusipata, in the Andes highlands of the department of Cuzco, referring to climate change and the havoc it is wreaking on her life and her environment.

Struggle in Guatemala Offers Hope for Latin America’s Indigenous People

A struggle for the defense of their territories waged by indigenous Maya Q'eqchi' communities in eastern Guatemala could set a historic precedent for Latin America's native peoples because it would ensure not only their right to control their lands but also their natural resources, denied for centuries.

Alarm: Every Two Weeks a Mother Tongue Disappears Due to Globalisation

“Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.”

Human Rights Violations and Culture of Impunity in South Asia

As countries across South Asia continue to battle the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, causing serious public health and economic crisis, this region, which is home to almost 2 billion people, is also grappling with the erosion of democratic norms, growing authoritarianism, the crackdown on freedom of press, speech and dissent.

No Vaccine for the Pandemic of Violence Against Women in Latin America

Despite significant legal advances in Latin American countries to address gender-based violence, it continues to be a serious challenge, especially in a context of social crisis aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic, which hits women especially hard.

Social Movement Voices Fall on Deaf Ears of Governments at COP26

One element that runs through all social movement climate summits is their rejection of the official meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the low ambition of its outcomes - and the treaty's 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was no exception.

Indigenous Peoples Want to Move Towards Clean Energy Sovereignty

In the community of Bella Bella on Turtle Island in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, the indigenous Heiltsuk people capture heat from the air through devices in 40 percent of their homes, in a plan aimed at sustainable energy sovereignty.

In Glasgow, Indigenous People Pound the Table for Their Rights

"For my people, the effects of climate change are an everyday reality. The rainy season is shorter and when it rains, there are floods. And we've suffered droughts." said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, a member of the Wodaabe or Mbororo pastoral people of Chad.

Indigenous Communities & Human Rights Defenders Under Siege in Colombia

On 21 October, I had the honor of addressing the UN Security Council at the annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security. I spoke as a member of Cxhab Wala Kiwe, which means “Great People’s Territory” in the Nasa Yuwe language, also known as ACIN—Association of Indigenous Councils of the North of Cauca—in Colombia.

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