Indigenous Rights

Illegal Artisanal Mining Threatens Amazon Jungle and Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Artisanal mining, or "garimpo" as it is known in Brazil, has returned to the headlines as a factor in the deaths of Yanomami indigenous people, whose territory in the extreme north of Brazil suffers constant encroachment by miners, which has intensified in recent years.

The Ghost of Oil Haunts Mexico’s Lacandona Jungle

The Lacandona jungle in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is home to 769 species of butterflies, 573 species of trees, 464 species of birds, 114 species of mammals, 119 species of amphibians and reptiles, and several abandoned oil wells.

Guatemala’s Chance for a New Beginning

Guatemala’s new president, Bernardo Arévalo, was expected to be sworn in on 14 January at 2pm –the 14th at 14:00, as people repeated in anticipation for months. It was a momentous event – but it wasn’t guaranteed to happen.

Centuries-Old Rituals Are Slowly Fading Away in Cambodia

“What on earth are you going to do in Tropeang Krohom?” The driver of the minivan turns his head and gives me a puzzled look. Few passengers want to be dropped off in a settlement between two provincial towns.

Peru’s Andean Peoples ‘Revive’ Water that the Climate Crisis Is Taking From Them

"The rich world has caused the climate change that is drying up our water sources, and here we are doing everything we can to recover them because otherwise we will die," said Juan Hilario Quispe, president of the small farming community of Muñapata, just over 50 kilometers from the Peruvian city of Cuzco.

Combating Corruption to Address the Triple Planetary Crises

The triple planetary crisis of climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and pollution is a threat to the well-being and survival of millions of people around the world. Corruption, in its many forms, worsens these multiple crises.

Global Civil Society Launches Manifesto for Ethical AI

We, a global coalition of over 50 civil society and human rights organizations from over 30 countries have co-developed the "Civil Society Manifesto for Ethical AI", a groundbreaking initiative aiming to steer AI policies towards safeguarding rights and deconolonising AI discourse. We question, and we are not the only ones: whose voices, ideas and values matter in AI ?

A Climate Scientist’s View of COP 28

This year’s UN Climate Change Conference is taking place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December. The so-called COP summits are organised every year and constitute a means for the global community to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, supporting vulnerable communities to adapt to the effects of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Australia: Reconciliation Back to Square One?

Australia had the chance to take a step forward in redressing the exclusion of its Indigenous people – and chose not to. In a referendum held in October, voters rejected a constitutional amendment to establish an institution for Indigenous people to have a say on matters that concern them.

Brazil: A Step Forward for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Brazil’s Supreme Court has delivered a long-awaited ruling upholding Brazilian Indigenous peoples’ claims to their traditional land. It did so by rejecting the ‘Temporal Framework’ principle, which only allowed for the demarcation and titling of lands physically occupied by the Indigenous groups who claimed them by 5 October 1988, when the current constitution was adopted. This excluded the numerous Indigenous communities who’d been violently expelled from their ancestral lands before then, including under military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985.

New Zealand: Political Volatility under Cost-of-Living Crisis

It’s a rapid reversal for New Zealand’s Labour Party, in power for six years. At the last election in 2020 it won an outright majority, the first party to do so under the current voting system. But three years on, it’s finished a distant second in the election held on 14 October. The result speaks to a broader pattern seen amid economic strife in many countries – of intense political volatility and the rejection of incumbents.

In Brazil, Indigenous Leaders and Youth Activists Fight To Protect Amazon

Raffaello Nava, a youth and student activist, has fled his home at the peak of the global Coronavirus pandemic after receiving death threats from multinational companies that invaded his ancestral lands in the Amazon rainforest.

Mexico Turns to Military Entrepreneurs

Courage, sadness and impotence are expressed by Mayan indigenous activist Sara López when she talks about the Mayan Train (TM), the Mexican government's biggest infrastructure project, which will cross the town where she lives and many others in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexico’s Interoceanic Corridor Lacks Water

Due to insufficient pressure water does not make it up to Elliot Escobar's house in the Mexican municipality of Matías Romero, where he lives on the second floor, so he pipes it up with a hose from his sister's home, located on the first floor of the house shared by the two families.

Brazil Back on the Green Track

At a meeting with European and Latin American leaders in Brussels this July, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva reiterated the bold commitment he had made in his first international speech as president-elect, when he attended the COP27 climate summit in November 2022: bringing Amazon deforestation down to zero by 2030.

Mandela Day Reminder to Stand Witness to Human Rights Defenders

As human rights increasingly deteriorate, rights defenders are being violently suppressed. Abducted, detained, tortured, and humiliated, many now live one day at a time. They have been told, in no uncertain times, that anything could happen. They are now asking the global community to stand as a witness.

Bolivia’s Natural Gas Dreams Are Fading

One of the largest natural gas reservoirs in South America is showing signs of decline and the hopeful expectations that emerged in 2006, to turn Bolivia into a regional energy leader, are waning.

Healthy Homes – A Right of Rural Families in Peru

Adopting a “healthy housing” approach is improving the living conditions of rural Peruvian women like Martina Santa Cruz, a 34-year-old farmer who lives with her husband and two children in the village of Sacllo, 2,959 meters above sea level in the Andes highlands municipality of Calca.

A 1904 Massacre Could Help Save the Future of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Children were thrown into the air and stabbed and cut with knives and machetes. The attackers first opened fire on the victims of the massacre before finishing them off with knives so that none of the 244 indigenous people of the village would survive. The 1904 massacre permanently marked the Xokleng people and may play a decisive role in the future of the native peoples of Brazil.

Chile: New Constitution in the Hands of the Far Right

On 7 May, Chileans went to the polls to choose a Constitutional Council that will produce a new constitution to replace the one bequeathed by the Pinochet dictatorship – and handed control to a far-right party that never wanted a constitution-making process in the first place.

Government Financing for Mayan Train Violates Socio-environmental Standards

Mexico’s development banks have violated their own socio-environmental standards while granting loans for the construction of the Mayan Train (TM), the flagship project of the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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