Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Monday, November 8, 2021
|"Colombia is the most dangerous country to be a land defender -- and no one cares."|
Part 1: Activists at COP26 Honor 1,000+ Environmental Defenders Killed Since Paris Accord — 1 in 3 Indigenous
Part 2: The Greenwashing of COP26: Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Make Up Biggest Delegation at U.N. Climate Summit
Activists held a memorial in Glasgow for those unable to attend this year’s U.N. climate summit: 1,005 land and environmental defenders who have been murdered since the 2015 Paris Agreement. One in three of those defenders killed was an Indigenous person. This comes as 2020 was the most dangerous year on record for environmental and land defenders. We speak with Andrea Ixchíu, a Maya K’iche’ leader, journalist and human rights defender based in Guatemala.
Ixchíu says that the Guatemalan government, influenced by transnational corporate interests, has launched an assault on Indigenous land defenders: “They [Indigenous leaders] are not allowed to be in their communities defending their land and their territory because of the militizariation.” Speaking on COP26, Ixchíu says, “We do not just want to be observers,” and “If you want to create more solutions to the climate crisis, it’s really important to give land back to Indigenous communities.”
We’re also joined by Global Witness senior adviser Louis Wilson, who helped organize the memorial and discusses the cases of murdered South African activist Fikile Ntshangase, who was a leading force in the fight against the Tendele coal mine before she was killed last October, and Óscar Eyraud Adams, a Mexican water activist killed last September as he fought for the water rights of the Indigenous peoples impacted by the excessive use of aquifers by large beer and wine companies.
Tribes, Indigenous groups, conservation organizations file petition to strengthen federal mining rules
Beyond Nuclear International
Tribes, Indigenous groups and conservation organizations filed a rulemaking petition on September 16 with the U.S. Department of the Interior to improve and modernize hardrock mining oversight on public lands. The proposed revisions aim to safeguard critically important lands across the West and Alaska, including sacred lands and their cultural resources, vital wildlife habitat, and invaluable water resources.
“It’s long past time to reform the nation’s hardrock mining rules, end generations of mining-inflicted injustice to Indigenous communities, and chart a new course for public lands stewardship toward a sustainable, clean energy economy,” the petition states. “For far too long, mining companies have had free rein to decimate lands of cultural importance to tribes and public lands at enormous cost to people, wildlife, and these beautiful wild places of historic and cultural significance. The harm is undeniable, severe, and irreparable. Reforming these rules will prevent more damage, help us transition to green infrastructure, and leave a livable planet to future generations.”
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