You are here

Environmental Human Rights: News & Updates

News Article

The article discusses the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) in Guatemala, formed in response to the country's armed conflict. The AJR played a crucial role in the landmark 2013 case that sentenced former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide. The interview with Romelia, a Maya Achí woman and AJR's leader, highlights their ongoing struggles for justice, historical memory, and transitional justice. Despite successes, challenges persist, including corruption, impunity, and efforts to obstruct justice. The AJR participated in the 2023 national strike for democracy, expressing concerns about the new government's ability to address corruption in the judicial system. Romelia emphasizes the importance of international support to continue their work for justice, historical memory, and the rights of Indigenous communities.

News Article

Communities and social leaders in both rural and urban areas of Colombia have experienced a significant increase in violence over the past year, making it difficult to find a safe haven. The narrative follows Erik, a farmer, who starts his day optimistically but highlights the underlying threat and danger faced by many. Armed groups roam freely, posing a heightened risk to social leaders, human rights defenders, and farmers. The article reflects on the grim reality of escalating violence, with a particular focus on El Guayabo, a campesino community accompanied by CPT Colombia for over a decade. The message extends prayers and thoughts to all affected peasant communities, expressing concern for their ability to cultivate the land and the fear of displacement. The hope is for a dignified life for all, free from violence, where stories can revolve around sunny days, cultivating the land, and sharing moments under an old mango tree.

News Article

The article narrates the story of Indigenous communities in the Ixquisis valley in north-west Guatemala facing a conflict over a hydroelectric project by the company Energía y Renovación. The company promised development benefits, but locals, led by figures like Juan Alonzo and María Bautista, opposed it due to environmental concerns and false promises. The opposition intensified, leading to violent clashes and the death of Sebastián Alonzo in 2017. The article highlights the dangers faced by environmental activists in Latin America and the pivotal role of women like Bautista in opposing the project. Their efforts, including legal actions, led to the withdrawal of funding for the project in 2022, emphasizing the importance of protecting water resources for the Indigenous communities. Despite the setback, Energía y Renovación remains determined to continue the project.

News Article

The Colombian Ombudsman’s Office (DPC) has reported that 181 social leaders and human rights defenders were murdered in 2023, marking a 16 percent decrease from the previous year. The annual report highlights the challenging situation faced by those dedicated to promoting and safeguarding community rights. Despite the decrease, the Ombudsman expressed concern about ongoing risks in regions affected by armed conflicts. The most affected groups include community members, indigenous people, peasants, Afro-descendants, victims, SOGID-LGBTIQ+ individuals, and human rights activists. The report indicates that April, June, and July had the highest number of murders. Cauca, Antioquia, and Nariño accounted for 41% of the cases, with Cauca being the most affected. The Ombudsman calls for intensified efforts to protect human rights defenders, urging state entities to implement preventive measures. Despite the 2016 peace accord, serious human rights concerns persist in Colombia, including abuses by armed groups, limited access to justice, and high poverty levels, particularly affecting Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. The government generally investigates these issues, but delays are common. Armed groups, including former guerrillas and drug traffickers, contribute to human rights abuses.

News Article

More than 100 national and international organizations demand that the Honduran authorities respect the decision of the People of Tocoa to say NO to the petroleum coke thermoelectric plant and the Emco mining megaproject, among other demands. See the complete list of signatories here.

On Saturday, December 9, 2023, the town of Tocoa was called by the Municipal Corporation to participate in an open town hall on 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.

News Article

On January 14, the Nicaraguan Government issued the following press release. The unofficial translation is from Tortilla con Sal. 

The Presidency of the Republic, the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity and the People of Nicaragua, express deep thanks to the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, its Titular Cardinal His Most Reverend Eminence Pietro Parolin and his Work Team for the very respectful and discreet coordination carried out to make possible the journey to the Vatican of two bishops, fifteen priests and two seminarians. 

The list of these people is as follows: 

1. BISHOP ROLANDO JOSÉ ÁLVAREZ LAGOS
2. BISHOP ISIDORO DEL CARMEN MORA ORTEGA
3. OSCAR JOSÉ ESCOTO SALGADO
4. JADER DANILO GUIDO ACOSTA
5. PABLO ANTONIO VILLAFRANCA MARTÍNEZ
6. CARLOS JOSÉ AVILÉS CANTON
7. HÉCTOR DEL CARMEN TREMINIO VEGA
8. MARCOS FRANCISCO DIAZ PRADO
9. FERNANDO ISAÍAS CALERO RODRÍGUEZ
10. SILVIO JOSÉ FONSECA MARTÍNEZ
11. MIKEL SALVADOR MONTERREY ARIAS
12. RAÚL ANTONIO ZAMORA GUERRA
13. MIGUEL AGUSTÍN MANTICA CUADRA
14. JHADER ANTONIO HERNÁNDEZ URBINA
15. GERARDO JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ PÉREZ
16. ISMAEL REINEIRO SERRANO GUDIEL
17. JOSÉ GUSTAVO SANDINO OCHOA
18. TONNY DANIEL PALACIO SEQUEIRA
19. ALESTER DE JESÚS SÁENZCENTENO 

Pages