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Environmental Human Rights: News & Updates
June 22, 2019
assassinations of three social leaders of the Awa indigenous community in Nariño Department: Leidy Jacqueline Burgos Pai, Rocío García Pai, and Robert Dionisio García Bisbicús.
June 14, 2019
On World Environment Day, June 5, upwards of 16,000 people in San Salvador took to the streets for the 19th annual Caminata Ecológica(Ecological Walk), calling for land and water rights and an end to the right-wing water privatization campaign. This urban pilgrimage began in 2000 as a way of visibilizing the country’s environmental issues and organizing popular support behind them.
May 29, 2019
As people from Guatemala and Honduras continue to seek sanctuary in the US for a variety of reasons, including violence and poverty, another factor driving their migration has gotten much less attention: climate disruption.
Many members of the migrant "caravans" that made headlines during the 2018 US midterm elections are fleeing a massive drought that has lasted for five years.
May 22, 2019
constant threats and attacks against Rosalina Domínguez, Finance Coordinator for the Indigenous Council of Río Blanco in Intibucá Department, her four sons (ages 16 to 30), and two other members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).
April 24, 2019
murder of trade unionist and rural peasant rights defender, Nixon Willington Valencia in San Miguel, in Putamayo Department.
April 23, 2019
assassination of agricultural labor leader Policarpo Guzmán Mage, a trade unionist and human rights activist who was murdered in Argelia, in Cauca Department.
April 12, 2019
Recent attack on human rights workers and their families in Honduras. This case is especially shameless as a 90-year-old woman was one of the victims. Injured in the attack by police was the mother of Hedme Castro, director of Asociación para una Ciudadanía Participativa (ACI PARTICIPA) in Choluteca, where residents have been protesting government policies that open up land to extractive activities, such as mining.
March 12, 2019
Honduran environmentalist and activist Berta Cáceres was killed in 2016. Her daughter Bertha Zúniga is picking up her mantle through her work for the indigenous Lenca community.
RRN Case Update
March 7, 2019
Mexico - case summaries 2018
IRTF's team of Rapid Response volunteers wrote letters on behalf of environmental defenders in the mostly indigenous states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. Throughout 2018 we saw a significant increase in two areas of human rights violations: assassinations and criminalization of protest. Many of these occurred where communities are organizing resistance to protect their ancestral lands, waterways, and cultures against the enormous threats they are facing from "development" mega-projects, such as hydro-electric dams and “clean energy” windfarms. This is a disturbing trend that threatens their ability to protect the environment and their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech.
RRN Case Update
March 7, 2019
Honduras - case summaries 2018
Here is a summary of the 18 urgent actions that IRTF's Rapid Response Team responded to in 2018. We saw a significant increase in two areas of human rights violations: assassinations and criminalization of protest. Many of these occurred where communities (peasant, indigenous, Afro-descendant) are organizing resistance to protect their ancestral lands, waterways, and cultures against the enormous threats they are facing from mega-projects: extractive industries, industrial agriculture, hydro-electric dams, and other “development” projects. Police and military do the bidding of private companies—breaking up peaceful protest, beating demonstrators, and jailing leaders. This is a disturbing trend that threatens their ability to protect the environment and their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech. (Even journalists reporting on these environmental defense movements are being attacked by police; see letter Nov 23).