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.

2016 Update: Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Organization of American States (OAS) is a regional intergovernmental human rights organization of 35 member countries of the Americas including the United States. Since 1989, the OAS has worked to develop and negotiate with indigenous peoples a draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Work on the text of the Declaration is likely to be completed in early 2016.

Inter-American Development Bank to Investigate Harmful Wind Power Project in Mexico

A massive wind farm project, partially funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is under investigation by the IDB’s Panel of Investigators for negatively impacting seven indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. The Center is providing legal assistance to the communities to ensure that there is an independent investigation of the project and that their concerns are properly addressed by the IDB’s Board of Directors.

Bringing Indigenous Rights to Rio+20

Securing an approach to development which respects the rights and protects the livelihoods of the world’s indigenous peoples is one of the Center’s core goals. In March, Washington Office Director Armstrong Wiggins and staff members Gretchen Gordon and Karla General joined with indigenous peoples’ organizations at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) to advocate for indigenous rights protections.

Commentary: Seeking A Peaceful Solution for the Rapa Nui Nation

December 15, 2010 -- Wiggings asks for help to put international pressure on the Government of Chile to resolve the conflict peacefully through the Inter-American system.  American Indian leaders, community leaders and individuals concerned about the violation of collective human rights should contact Chilean authorities, and also ask the White House and the State Department to take a stand against these violent evictions.

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