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Environmental Human Rights: News & Updates
October 21, 2019
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.
October 8, 2019
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.
September 30, 2019
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?
September 26, 2019
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...
September 22, 2019
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.
September 3, 2019
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.
September 1, 2019
There has been an intensification of threats and attacks against Isabel Zuleta, spokesperson for Movimiento Ríos Vivos (MRV), Milena María Flórez, Vice-President of MRV, and William de Jesus Gutierrez, President of the Association of Fishermen and Miners in the municipality of Valdivia in the Cauca River region of Antioquia Department.
August 31, 2019
(rolling deadline until positions are filled)
NISGUA is looking for committed activists who are passionate about transnational movements for justice and self-determination to join our team! Opportunities are available in both our Oakland and Guatemala City offices.
RRN Case Update
August 22, 2019
RRN case summaries at a glance
On behalf of our 190 Rapid Response Network members, IRTF volunteers write and send six letters each month to government officials in southern Mexico, Colombia, and Central America (with copies to officials in the US). Who is being targeted? indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders, labor organizers, LGBTI rights defenders, women’s rights defenders, journalists, environmental defenders, and others. By signing our names to these crucial letters, human rights crimes are brought to light, perpetrators are brought to justice and lives are spared. Our solidarity is more important than ever. Together, our voices do make a difference.
August 14, 2019
recent death threats to COPINH finance coordinator Rosalina Domínguez, her family, and other members of the indigenous Lenca community at Río Blanco in Intíbuca Department. Seven individuals, one of whom was armed, intercepted Domínguez’s path and called her “a witch like Berta,” i.e., Berta Cáceres, the indigenous and environmental defender who was assassinated in 2016. This reference implied intention to cause physical harm to Rosalina Domínguez.