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Environmental Human Rights: News & Updates

News Article
La Via Campesina: Many NE Ohioans met Marlen Sanchez, national coordinator of agroecology, when she was here from Nicaragua in November 2018. One year later, the first Instituto Agroecologico Latinoamericano (Latin American Institute of Agroecology or IALA) held a graduation ceremony in Chontales, Nicaragua, for its first cohort of graduates. Contingents from several nations arrived, highlighting the diverse bonds of solidarity that were both created by, and strengthened by, the school. The graduating class is comprised of students from the region: Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. These students were chosen by their home organizations, all of which are participants in La Via Campesina. Congratulations to these agroecologists!
News Article
On November 15, 2010, in the midst of an enormous deployment of police and military in the African palm plantation known as “El Tumbador”, in Trujillo, Colón, security guards for the Orión Company, providing security for the Dinant Corporation, (which sought to claim possession of the plantation) ambushed and killed the campesinos as they prepared to work the land. The murdered campesinos were identified as Raúl Castillo, Ignacio Reyes, Teodoro Acosta, Ciriaco Cárcamo and José Luis Sauceda Pastrana. The Director of the San Alonso Rodríguez Foundation (FSAR), Juana Esquivel, said that the Investigative Unit for Violent Murders in the Aguán (UNVIBA) established in 2014 by the Public Ministry (MP), has provided no answers in response to demands for clarification of what occurred.
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These US-based activists know firsthand the impact racism, poverty, and colonialism have had on the planet. Greta Thunberg is an exemplary leader, but by the media and public making her the center of youth-led climate activism, the work of many Indigenous, Black, and Brown youth activists is often erased or obscured. Crediting and celebrating teens of color for their work isn’t about egos; it’s about making sure society at large is forced to reckon with the full scope of climate destruction. If we choose to see this movement only through white eyes, we will miss so much.
News Article
Combat drug trafficking and climate change simultaneously: Drug trafficking and organized crime are fuelling deforestation in protected tropical forests and national parks across Central America, causing substantial economic losses. Traffickers are cutting down trees to build roads and airstrips to transport cocaine and are encroaching ever further into more remote forest areas to evade anti-narcotics operations, according to two separate studies on the problem. Environmental degradation caused by drug trafficking leads to losses of about $215 million annually in natural and cultural resources across Central America’s protected forest areas, showed estimates by report co-author Bernardo Aguilar-Gonzalez. Areas that are managed by communities record “very low forest losses”, they added. “Investing in community land rights and participatory governance in protected areas is a key strategy to combat drug trafficking and climate change simultaneously,” Aguilar-Gonzalez said in a statement.
News Article
Migration from Central America has gotten a lot of attention these days, including the famous migrant caravans. The environmental crises continue to displace people from their homes worldwide. Rising global temperatures, the spread of crop disease and extreme weather events have made coffee harvests unreliable in places like El Salvador. Could such persons be recognized as in need of protection under international law, similar to political refugees?
News Article
The US spends almost $5B a year attempting to intercept shipments of illegal drugs from Central America, but despite the enormous outlay, the quantities of cocaine delivered to the country have continued to rise. A new study comes to drastic results...
News Article
Nidiria Ruiz Medina defends collective territorial rights and identity through a gender approach. Despite the risks that this victimized population confronts—resisting a complex reality of conflict, exclusion, marginalization and historical state abandonment—Nidiria believes the Colombian Peace Agreement has helped reaffirm the rootedness of the land and spurred dreams of hope.
News Article
The incentive for the destruction comes from large-scale international meat and soy animal feed companies like JBS and Cargill, and the global brands like Stop & Shop, Costco, McDonald’s, Walmart/Asda, and Sysco that buy from them and sell to the public. It is these companies that are creating the international demand that finances the fires and deforestation.

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