Indigenous peoples are no longer content just to attend as observers and to be seen as victims of the impacts of the current development model, at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) on Climate Change. That is why they came to the summit in Egypt with an agenda of their own, including the demand that their communities directly receive funding for climate action.
A beige line slashes its way through the Mayan jungle near the municipality of Izamal in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatán. It is section 3, 172 kilometers long, of the Mayan Train
(TM), the most important megaproject of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration.
Lourdes Barreto, 47, says that as an agroecological small farmer she has improved her life and that of Mother Earth. "I love myself as I love Mother Earth and I have learned to value both of us," she says in her field outside the village of Huasao, in the highlands of the southern Peruvian department of Cuzco.
"My father was very ‘machista’, he used to beat my mother... It was a very sad life," said Dionisio Ticuña, a resident of the rural community of Canincunca, on the outskirts of the town of Huaro, in the southern Peruvian highlands region of Cuzco more than 3,000 meters above sea level.
US $270 million may sound like a lot of money, especially for just one year. But it is only a small fraction—less than one percent—of all global funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation. This small fraction, however, is the annual amount that was invested in the tenure and forest management of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPs and LCs) over the past decade.
"When the pandemic hit, I stopped studying, just when it was my last year of school…My parents couldn't afford to pay for internet at home," said Rodrigo Reyes, 18, one of the nearly 250,000 children who dropped out of school in 2020.
The majority of the Guatemalan population continues to oppose mining and other extractive projects, in the midst of a scenario of socio-environmental conflict that pits communities defending their natural resources against the interests of multinational corporations.
Banning the use of the same bathroom, insults and calling people animals are just a few of the daily forms of racism experienced by people in Peru, a multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual country where various forms of discrimination are intertwined.
Nothing --or too little-- has changed since Hollywood started producing its spectacular western movies. Rough men, ranchers, mercenary killers, saloons, cowboys, guns, gold fever, the ‘good sheriff’… and the ‘bad indians”. Those movies were anything but fiction–they were real history.
The largest ever settlement in Canadian legal history, 40 billion Canadian dollars, occurred in 2022, but it didn’t come from a court – it followed a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. In 2016 the Tribunal affirmed a complaint that the Government of Canada’s child welfare system discriminated against First Nations children. (First Nations are one of three groups of Indigenous people in Canada).
Today we are starting a new series focused on human rights. For people working to create a more sustainable and just world – as we are – a human rights based approach makes sense as it starts from the premise that only by recognizing and protecting the dignity inherent in all people can we attain those goals.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every now and then, experts remind that the Indigenous Peoples are the best (and last?) custodians of the essential web of life: biodiversity.
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.