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Environmental Human Rights: News & Updates

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Respect for Indigenous sovereignty and self-government are essential to a future where peoples are not forced to migrate. Will Guatemala’s new government work with communities to make this a reality?

News Article

National and international organizations demand that Honduran authorities respect the decision of the people of Tocoa to say NO to the petroleum coke thermoelectric plant and Emco's mining megaproject, among other demands. On Saturday, December 9, 2023, the people of Tocoa were called by the Municipal Corporation to participate in an open town meeting regarding the Ecotek petroleum coke thermoelectric project, one of the seven components of an iron oxide megaproject promoted by the "Emco Holdings" consortium of Ana Facusse and Lenir Perez. 

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The water defenders' arrest signals both a crackdown on civil society under President Nayib Bukele and a signal that Bukele may seek to resume metal mining operations.

Washington, D.C. and San Salvador – On February 15, 245 international organizations from 31 countries delivered a petition demanding that the Salvadoran  Attorney General drop the politically-motivated charges against five prominent Water Defenders arrested on January 11, 2023.

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The blog post discusses the challenges faced by small-scale avocado growers in Mexico, particularly those associated with bringing their produce to the US market. The author, Nicole Vitello, President of Oke USA, shares insights from her visit to PRAGOR, a Fairtrade avocado cooperative in Michoacán, Mexico.

The cooperative consists of 22 small-scale farmer members, each owning 15 hectares or less. The organization manages the purchase, packing, and export of avocados to the US through Equal Exchange. The pricing structure involves weekly negotiations between the general manager and farmers, with prices set by APEAM, a trade association. Organic avocados command a higher price in the export market.

Vitello emphasizes the unique approach of Equal Exchange in exclusively sourcing avocados from the co-op, negotiating prices in dollars, and avoiding brokers or middlemen. The cooperative follows Fair Trade principles, ensuring fair wages and conditions for farmers. The blog stresses the commitment to transparency, with avocados bearing the Equal Exchange logo and being packed in branded boxes labeled "Small Farmers, Big Change."

The post highlights the cooperative's focus on empowering small farmers as business people who take on risks beyond cultivation. Despite challenges, the supply chain aims to reflect the true cost of growing avocados, fostering a connection between consumers and the specific group of people involved in the production process. The author advocates for a deeper understanding of the avocado industry, shedding light on the complexities of pricing, market functions, and the farmers' role. Overall, the post underscores the cooperative's dedication to providing a genuine story about the origin and journey of avocados consumed in the US.