Indigenous Rights

Peru’s Democracy at a Crossroads

On 25 January, roughly six weeks after being sworn in following her predecessor’s removal, Peruvian president Dina Boluarte finally recognised that elections were the only way out of political crisis. Elections were rescheduled for April 2024, much earlier than the end of the presidential term she’s been tasked with completing, but not soon enough for thousands who’ve taken to the streets demanding her immediate resignation.

Solar Energy Useless Without Good Batteries in Brazil’s Amazon Jungle

“Our electric power is of bad quality, it ruins electrical appliances,” complained Jesus Mota, 63. “In other places it works well, not here. Just because we are indigenous,” protested his wife, Adélia Augusto da Silva, of the same age.

Chile’s Mapuche Indians Hurt by Rejection of a Plurinational Constitution

Mapuche indigenous leaders were hit hard by what they see as a collective defeat: the rejection in a September referendum of a plurinational, intercultural constitution proposed to Chile by an unprecedented constituent assembly with gender parity and indigenous representatives.

Digital Treatment of Genetic Resources Shakes Up COP15

In addition to its nutritional properties, quinoa, an ancestral grain from the Andes, also has cosmetic uses, as stated by the resource use and benefit-sharing permit ABSCH-IRCC-PE-261033-1 awarded in February to a private individual under a 15-month commercial use contract.

Solar Energy Benefits Children and Indigenous People in Northern Brazil

Solar energy is booming in Roraima, a state in the far north of Brazil, to the benefit of indigenous people and children in its capital, Boa Vista, and helping to provide a stable energy supply to the entire populace, who suffer frequent electricity shortages and blackouts.

We Indigenous Peoples are Rights-Holders, not Stakeholders

After four failed rainy seasons, the land of the Maasai has withered. The worst drought in 40 years is a slow-motion storm of devastation in the Greater Horn of Africa, ruining the livestock, the communities, the Maasai way of life. Their cattle have been their greatest source of wealth and nutrition, but with grazing lands shriveled from the dry heat and their livestock emaciated, the entire region is in peril.

A Little Land Helps Indigenous Venezuelans Integrate in Brazil

A group of Warao families are, through their own efforts, paving the way for the integration of indigenous Venezuelans in Brazil, five years after the start of the wave of their migration to the border state of Roraima.

Indigenous Peoples Have Their Own Agenda at COP27, Demand Direct Financing

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.

Mexican Environmental Prosecutor’s Office Dodges Charges against Mayan Train

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.

Agroecological Women Farmers Boost Food Security in Peru’s Highlands

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.

Small Farmers in Peru Combat ‘Machismo’ to Live Better Lives

"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.

We Must Ensure That Climate Funding Reaches the Guardians of the Forests

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.

Inequality in Peru’s Education Sector Deepens in Post-Pandemic Era

"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.

Guatemalans Fight Extractive Industries

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.

Racism Hurts People and Democracy in Peru

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.

Of the Far West, the ‘Good Cowboys’… And the ‘Bad Indians’

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.

What Makes a Human Rights Success? PODCAST

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).

Indigenous Peoples Must Continue To Challenge Human Rights Violations: PODCAST

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.

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.

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