Mexico, Central and South America

Indigenous Peoples in Brazil and the Amazon

The Indian Law Resource Center has a long history of work with indigenous peoples in Brazil, going back to 1979 when we brought the first indigenous rights case to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arguing for demarcation of Yanomami land in the Amazon rainforest. The case and many years of advocacy in the Organization of American States and United Nations was part of a forceful and successful international campaign that led to the creation of a 23+ million acre Yanomami indigenous territory and expulsion of gold miners from the region.

Oaxaca Case

Since 2012, the Center has been helping seven indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, challenge the construction of an Inter-American Development Bank funded renewable energy project.  The Mareña Renovables Wind Power Project, which was poised to become the largest wind farm in Latin America and the first in close proximity to the ocean, was planned to be built on the communities’ collectively held lands.

Sentencia histórica de la Corte Constitucional de Guatemala, el secreto mejor guardado

El máximo Tribunal de Guatemala tomó una decisión histórica hace casi seis meses que se presume hubiera arrojado una ola de cambios a nivel nacional para los pueblos indígenas. Sin embargo, el Gobierno de Guatemala no ha implementado esta orden judicial de manera adecuada y oportuna. El caso versa sobre el derecho colectivo de propiedad sobre la tierra de Agua Caliente, una comunidad Maya Q'eqchi' de 385 personas en El Estor, en la provincia de Izabal del país.

Guatemala Court Makes Landmark Ruling In Indigenous Rights Case

Washington, D.C. -- The highest court in Guatemala has made a precedent setting decision in favor of the community of Agua Caliente, a small Maya Q'eqchi’ indigenous community of 385 people in El Estor, in the country’s Izabal province. The community has been fighting for formal recognition of its land rights and for justice against plans to mine nickel on the community’s lands.

Multilateral Development Banks

Multilateral development banks (MDBs) and some national development banks play a central role in the approval of large-scale development projects, such as dams and forestry initiatives, which have had devastating effects on indigenous peoples and other local communities. The Center works to ensure that these financial institutions respect the environment and human rights of indigenous peoples in all their development activities.

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