Defenders Under Threat | Amazon Watch
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Defenders Under Threat

Tlaib, Garcia Lead Letter Asking AG Garland, DOJ to Intervene in Donziger Case

Human rights lawyer and environmental activist jailed for taking on Big Oil polluter Chevron

“The Biden administration can’t claim to believe in the importance of climate action, much less climate justice, if it is unwilling to defend the rights of frontline communities and their advocates holding the fossil fuel industry accountable,” said Paul Paz y Miño, Associate Director at Amazon Watch.

Amazon in Focus 2021

The Amazon is at a tipping point. It is not near, it’s here. To reverse/halt this tipping point, we have joined the call from Indigenous peoples and global scientists to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025. Not 2030 and definitely not 2050. The time to act is now!

“Alternative Development” in the Peruvian Amazon: Deforestation, Drugs, and Death

Over the last few decades, the Peruvian Amazon has become a hotspot for coca cultivation. Drug traffickers in the region have shown a willingness to destroy the rainforest and kill anyone in the name of profit. Indigenous leaders working to protect their Amazonian communities from land invasions, deforestation, and violence come into the cross...

Will Iván Duque Protect Environmental Defenders?

The New York Times | At COP26, President Duque of Colombia attempted to convince the world he is an environmental champion. But back in Colombia, armed gangs are threatening and murdering community leaders and environmental activists who have been trying to protect forests from destruction by mining, lumber and oil companies.

Brazilian Police Attack Indigenous Community Trying to Halt Illegal Mining on their Territory

Yesterday, Brazilian Military Police, including a squad of elite special police known as the BOPE, violently attacked a surveillance post maintained by the Macuxi people in the Indigenous community of Tabatinga, on Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Territory, Roraima state. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at peacefully assembled community...

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COP26 Agreement Fails to Address Climate Emergency, Take Necessary Steps to Protect Amazon and Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Fossil fuel lobby outnumbered Indigenous representation two to one, nations struck deal on international carbon markets despite Indigenous opposition to carbon pricing

Glasgow, UK – Undermining global hopes for meaningful action, the 26th annual Conference of Parties (COP26) climate summit in Glasgow concluded over the weekend without successfully addressing key drivers of the climate crisis, among them the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the role of fossil fuels.

Investigation Finds "Alternative Development" Program Ties to Land Theft, Coca Plantations in Peruvian Amazon

Counter-narcotics program supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development has contributed to land invasions, deforestation, and deadly social conflicts with Indigenous leaders

“The investigation clearly illustrates how Peruvian authorities violated Amazonian Indigenous peoples’ rights to their own territories, exposing them to land invasions, violence, and death."

“A Continuation of Colonialism”: Indigenous Activists Say Their Voices Are Missing at COP26

Activists in Glasgow reject "big business" approach to climate crisis as they commemorate murdered land defenders

The Guardian | As world leaders inside COP26 in Glasgow boasted about pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions and end deforestation, Indigenous delegates gathered to commemorate activists killed for trying to protect the planet from corporate greed and government inaction.

As Donziger Is Jailed for Fighting Chevron, Congress Calls for His Release

Despite this, yesterday was a nightmare for Chevron and a victory for environmental justice

Chevron thought it would get away with its crimes after Kaplan’s 2014 decision. But Donziger didn’t give up and neither did the people of Ecuador. Now they have a rapidly-growing international movement behind them not only calling for Donziger’s freedom but that the executives of Chevron should be on trial for their crimes. This was not Chevron’s...

A New 100-Page Report Raises Alarm over Chevron’s Impact on Planet

Mongabay | “It says horrible things about large companies, multi-national companies,” said environmental anthropologist Nan Greer in an interview. “It says that they can completely walk around international laws, national laws, the laws of their domicile.”

Breaking: Donziger’s Appeal Denied, Must Report to Prison Wednesday

Congress, international groups demand Chevron stop targeting activists and Attorney General Garland to release US human rights lawyer

New York, NY – After an unprecedented 800+ days of home detention, human rights attorney Steven Donziger, who helped win the historic $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron for deliberate pollution of the Ecuadorian Amazon for over two decades, was sentenced to six months in prison.

Statement on the State of Emergency Declared by Ecuador's President Lasso

“We denounce the Ecuadorian government’s use of this State of Emergency as a pretext to quell opposition to its proposed policy reforms and silence Indigenous, union, and workers’ rights to peacefully protest. Such militarization has a clear purpose – to restrict the right of freedom of association, expression, and peaceful protest – which can...

New Report: Chevron’s Global Record of Denial and Destruction

Chevron Violates Domestic and International Laws with Impunity Worldwide

Washington, DC – A new report entitled Chevron’s Global Destruction: Ecocide, Genocide, and Corruption was released today amid a firestorm of criticism directed toward the multinational corporation. The report’s author, Nan M. Greer, Ph.D., documents how Chevron, the world’s number one producer in greenhouse gas emissions among all investor-owned...

What Do You Get for Beating Chevron in Court? A “Two-by-Four Between the Eyes” and Six Months in Jail

Despite the UN’s demand for Donziger’s release, judge gives him the maximum sentence, a chilling message to anyone working to address the climate crisis and resist corporate exploitation

"It is emblematic of the larger trend of silencing activists, many of whom are fighting for the solutions desperately needed to combat the global climate crisis exacerbated by multinational fossil fuel companies. Donziger's fate could have lasting effects on environmental and corporate accountability activists, against whom threats and legal...

Is Chevron’s Vendetta Against Steven Donziger Finally Backfiring?

A judge sentenced the human rights lawyer to six months in prison – but the calls for environmental justice are only growing

The Nation | There are signs that Chevron has gone too far, and that relentlessly pursuing a human rights lawyer is damaging its international reputation. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is only the latest sign of concern and anger. Sixty-eight Nobel Laureates have shown their solidarity; another 475 lawyers and human rights defenders...

Protecting Indigenous People Key to Saving Amazon, Say Environmentalists

Reuters | "What we are seeing is an attack on indigenous people, on their rights, their lives and territories," said Leila Salazar-Lopez, executive director of Amazon Watch. "Indigenous people are the best protectors of the Amazon forest and of biodiversity around our planet ... because they have intrinsic spiritual and cultural connections to the land."

Human Rights Lawyer Steven Donziger Sentenced to Maximum, Six Months in Prison

New York, NY – Today, judge Loretta Preska sentenced Steven Donziger to the maximum sentence of six months in federal prison for the petty misdemeanor contempt of court charges filed by judge Lewis Kaplan, a pro-Chevron former tobacco industry lawyer. The charges were prosecuted by corporate law firm Seward & Kissel, appointed by Kaplan himself...

Depths of Fossil Fuel Industry's Power Over U.S. Government Exposed in Chevron/Donziger Case

Despite demands for his freedom and calls for investigations from the UN, Congress, and the International Community, Steven Donziger to be Sentenced for Criminal Contempt of Court

"We are alarmed by human rights lawyer Steve Donziger's sentencing today. While the severity of Donziger's fate may seem unprecedented, it is emblematic of the larger trend of silencing activists, many of whom are fighting for the solutions desperately needed to combat the global climate crisis exacerbated by multinational fossil fuel companies,"...

Thousands of Indigenous Women Will March in Brazil This Week

After pro-Bolsonaro rally on Brazil's Independence Day, 4,000 Indigenous women from 150 nations will gather in Brasília to continue the mobilization against the marco temporal trial, in defense of their rights and territories

Brasília, Brazil – While supporters of far-right President Bolsonaro took to the streets yesterday to slam Brazil's Supreme Court and cast doubt on the integrity of next year's elections, a more important mobilization was taking place in Brasília for the future of our planet. Delegations of Indigenous women were arriving in Brazil's capital...

“The Struggle of Indigenous Peoples Is a Struggle for the Future of Humanity”

Last week, six thousand Indigenous people of 176 distinct ethnicities from all regions of Brazil set up camp in the heart of Brazil's capital to insist that their existence and voices be recognized and respected by the government. They traveled for days on packed buses, some under the threat of ambushes, to be united for the "Struggle for Life"...

The Struggle for Life Camp Is a Movement for Our Future

This week, Indigenous peoples from across Brazil are assembling in Brasília for a national demonstration they have named the Struggle for Life Camp. This is the second national Indigenous gathering taking place in the capital of Brazil this year. As they did this past June, Indigenous groups from the five regions of the country will set up camp in...

Stay Connected, Stay Active for the Amazon on the NooWorld App

In solidarity with Indigenous peoples and allies from around the world, we're launching a Global Week of Action for the Amazon from September 5 - 11 via the NooWorld app. NooWorld is a social platform made by activists, for activists to build worldwide solidarity for climate justice. By joining us, you'll gain a community of people who are also...

Human Rights and Land Rights Defenders Under Threat in Ecuador

"We are not terrorists. We are Ecuadorians. But we don't have peace of mind because we are threatened. No Ecuadorian should be persecuted by foreigners and we are being persecuted by these companies. That is our fear," shared Josefina Tunki. Faced with the emerging threats against human rights and land rights defenders, the Ecuadorian government...

The Tipping Point Is Here. This Is Our Plan to Make It a Turning Point.

Just a few years ago we thought we had ten years to act on climate change and that the tipping point of the Amazon was at 50% deforestation, but corporations and governments have either been slow to act or failed altogether. The reality is that the climate crisis and the tipping point are here now. We have just a few years – not decades – to turn...