Tag Archives: indigenous rights

Sightings of Uncontacted Tribe Spur Calls to End Logging in Peruvian Amazon

“This is a humanitarian disaster in the making—it’s absolutely vital that the loggers are thrown out, and the Mashco-Piro’s territory is properly protected at last,” said the director of Survival International.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 7-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Mashco-Piro people gather on a riverbank in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest in this July 2024 photo. (Photo: Survival International)

A leading rights group on Tuesday called for loggers to be “thrown out” of a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon following recent sightings of people belonging to what is believed to be the world’s largest uncontacted Indigenous tribe.

London-based Survival International published video and photos of dozens of Mashco-Piro people taken near the village of Monte Salvado in southeastern Peru near the Brazilian border. The group said that in recent days, more than 50 Mashco-Piro have appeared near the village, which is inhabited by the related Yine people. A group of 17 Mashco-Piro were also recently sighted near the neighboring village of Puerto Nuevo.

 

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Biden Proposes New Protections From Oil and Gas Drilling in Western Arctic

While applauding the proposal, climate advocates said they would “keep fighting to ensure there’s no new oil extraction on a single acre” of the region.

By Julia Conley. Published 7-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Teshekpuk Caribou in the National Petroleum Reserve in northwest Alaska. Photo: Bureau of Land Management/flickr/CC

Indigenous groups in Alaska were joined by climate advocates on Friday in welcoming the Biden administration’s proposal to expand protections from oil and gas drilling in the Western Arctic, though some groups emphasized that the federal government should not stop with the newly announced effort.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it was opening a 60-day comment period regarding a potential expansion of areas protected from drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), also known as the Western Arctic.

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Latin America shows why ecocide must be an international crime

Every state has an interest in prosecuting those who destroy our planet – we must ensure there are no ‘safe havens’

By Rodrigo Lledó. Published 5-21-2024 by openDemocracy

A lithium mine in Chile Photo: Reinhard Jahn/CC

Before leaving power in 1990, Chilean general and dictator Augusto Pinochet created a legal framework that guaranteed him absolute impunity. It didn’t work. He was arrested on charges of genocide and terrorism in London in 1998 by order of the Spanish justice system and, upon his return to Chile, finally had to face justice.

Years later, I had the opportunity to lead a team of public lawyers trying nearly 900 cases of crimes against humanity during the Chilean dictatorship. Though Pinochet was already dead, his accomplices had to be duly judged. But decades after his rule, human rights continue to be routinely violated in Latin America, often for defending the environment.

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200+ Groups to Congress: Stop ‘Zombie’ Funding for Fossil Fuels on Public Lands

“It’s past time our leaders take this simple step and stop funding activities that are completely at odds with protecting our climate,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Oil drilling platforms have been placed in Alaska after the approval of the Willow Project, which has caused an uproar of controversy and opposition all over the nation. Environmentalists are strongly opposed to the project. Photo courtesy of KarmaActive

More than 200 environmental and climate advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday demanding that lawmakers stop funding the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and waters.

The letter argues that Congress’ annual approval of taxpayer funds to subsidize oil and gas drilling and coal mining “undermine” the international agreement reached at the United Nations COP28 climate conference last year on the need for “transitioning away from fossil fuels.”

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Biden Restores, Expands Bedrock Environmental Law Gutted by Trump

“Today’s rule restores strong environmental review of federal actions and will go a long way towards having a meaningful process to assess the health and safety impacts of an array of projects,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-30-2024 by Common Dreams

Moms Speak Up to Defend the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Photo: Moms Clean Air Force/flickr/CC

In a clear demonstration of how U.S. President Joe Biden’s priorities differ from those of his GOP predecessor, the Democrat on Tuesday finalized a two-part push to revive and strengthen a landmark environmental law eviscerated by the Trump administration in 2020.

While in office, former Republican President Donald Trump—who has pledged to “drill, baby, drill” if he wins back the White House—attacked the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which ensures communities can weigh in on projects that are built nearby or otherwise impact them.

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Poor People’s Campaign Plans June 29 Mass Assembly, March in DC

“This is a crisis moment for our democracy,” said one campaigner. “We need for our political leaders to become moral leaders and take seriously the needs and priorities of the millions of people struggling simply to survive.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Rev. William J. Barber II at the Democracy Awakening rally at U.S. Capitol in 2018. Photo: Becker1999/flickr/CC

Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Monday announced plans for the Mass Poor People & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March in Washington, D.C. on June 29, just over four months before the U.S. elections.

The aim of the assembly and march is to “mobilize the one-third of the U.S. electorate who are poor and low-wage infrequent voters” as well as to pressure political leaders to embrace a 17-point agenda during the 2024 election cycle and beyond.

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Montana Supreme Court Strikes Down 4 ‘Unconstitutional’ Voting Laws Passed by GOP

The laws disproportionately impacted the ability of Native people to participate in voting, the court noted.

By Julia Conley. Published 3-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: Democracy Chronicles/flickr

Native rights groups were among those applauding a decision by the Montana Supreme Court late Wednesday as four voting restrictions, passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, were struck down as “unconstitutional.”

The sweeping 2021 laws had ended same-day voter registration, eliminated the use of student ID cards as a form of identification for voters, banned the distribution of absentee ballots to teenagers who would turn 18 by Election Day, and prohibited third parties from collecting ballots and returning them on behalf of voters.

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Steven Donziger, Lawyer Targeted by Chevron, Appeals to Biden for Pardon

“A pardon would bring a measure of justice to a prosecution that has been widely criticized as a violation of international law… and as a grave threat to free speech,” said 14 attorneys backing the climate justice lawyer’s request.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 3-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Steven Donziger at sentencing hearing in 2021 Photo: Marisam77/Wikimedia Commons/CC

After exhausting his options in the judicial system, American attorney Steven Donziger on Wednesday launched a campaign seeking a pardon from U.S. President Joe Biden for his misdemeanor conviction—the result of a process that experts worldwide have condemned as retaliatory for his climate justice work and an abuse of the nation’s judiciary.

“No matter where one stands on the political spectrum, we should all be able to agree that what happened to me in the United States should not happen to anybody in any country that adheres to the rule of law,” Donziger said in a statement announcing a letter to Biden signed by 14 prominent lawyers and a leader at the advocacy group Amazon Watch.

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‘Alarming’: FERC Ignores Climate Impacts and Rubber-Stamps Texas Pipeline

“The world does not need more LNG, and FERC is out of step with the reality of the climate crisis and communities impacted by these projects,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Culberson County Hospital (left) and Van Horn Rural Health Clinic (right) are shown in Van Horn, Texas, where residents are concerned about the local health system’s ability to cope with a major pipeline explosion. (Photo: Texas.pics/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a controversial pipeline on Thursday despite opposition from local and Indigenous communities and without considering its climate impacts.

The commission limited its review of the Saguaro Connector Pipeline to a 1,000-foot stretch of the project on the Texas and Mexican border. If built, the pipeline could transport as many as 2.8 billion cubic feet of fracked gas per day to an export facility in Mexico, where it would be shipped to Asia and Latin America. The decision comes weeks after the Biden administration paused Department of Energy (DOE) approvals of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports while it updates its assessment criteria.

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‘Great Joy’ as Indigenous Q’eqchi’ Win Case Against Guatemalan Nickel Mine

“This is a transcendent moment, for the Indigenous peoples of Guatemala and for a global public that is demanding an end to investments… that harm the planet and violate human rights,” said one plaintiffs’ attorney.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 12-15-2023 by Common Dreams

The Fenix mountain-top removal nickel mine in the Mayan Q’eqchi’ territories, eastern Guatemala. Photo: Rights Action

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled Friday that Guatemala violated Indigenous rights by allowing the construction of a massive nickel mine on land belonging to Q’eqchi’ Mayans—a decision hailed as a major victory in the decadeslong fight against state repression on behalf of the multiple multinational companies that have operated the site.

The IACHR found that Guatemala’s government violated the Q’eqchi’s rights to property and consultation when it permitted the Canadian company Hudbay to develop the long-dormant Fenix mine, also known as El Estor, on a mountaintop in the Izabal Department of eastern Guatemala in the 2000s. The mine—now owned by the Switzerland-based firm Solway—is located near Lake Izabal, a critical source of fish and other sustenance for the Q’eqchi’ and a protected habitat for species including the endangered Yucatan black howler monkey.

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