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Indigenous Rights

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...

Ecuador’s Consultation Process for Indigenous Lands Comes Under the Microscope

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has selected two legal cases, involving the Cofán and Waorani Indigenous peoples, as a basis to analyze the country’s process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)

Mongabay | Conflicts with mining companies have become even more serious, says Carlos Mazabanda, Ecuador field coordinator for Amazon Watch, as the state looks to expand its mining sector and relieve some of its dependence on oil. Many communities have been divided by mining companies, while conflicts in the southern province of Morona Santiago have resulted...

“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.

Isolated Indigenous Peoples Under Threat of Oil Expansion

New access road under construction intends to go deep into Yasuní National Park's "No Go" Zone

In late October, Ecuador’s right-wing president Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency, citing rising violent crime. But the surprise move also conveniently suspended civil liberties just as civil society was gearing up to protest his economic and policy proposals seeking to implement neoliberal reforms and a business-friendly environment...

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...

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Flying Over the Amazon in Flames

In partnership with Brazilian allies – the Climate Observatory and Greenpeace Brazil – Amazon Watch organized a flight over the Amazon rainforest with experts and key journalists to expose fires, deforestation, illegal mining, and cattle ranching in September. This initiative was central to our Amazon Ceasefire campaign and the shocking results of...

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."

Banks Called to Exit Amazon Oil and Gas by Indigenous and Environmental Organizations

U.S., European banks could play critical role in ending Amazon destruction and rights violations by ending oil, gas financing in rainforest vital for global climate

New York, NY – A virtual Climate Week event held today highlighted the critical role U.S. and European banks must play in ending oil and gas financing in the Amazon rainforest. The event, led by international environmental advocacy groups and Amazon Indigenous leaders, revealed a new "Exit Amazon Oil and Gas" campaign and exclusion policy that...

Ecuador's New Presidential Administration Opens Doors to Expand Extraction

During his first 100 days in office, Ecuador’s new president, Guillermo Lasso, made it clear that his government’s economic policy will be based on extractivism. According to the new administration, natural resources, such as oil, gas, and minerals, found in Ecuadorian subsoil are "essential," given the economic situation he inherited due to poor...

Ecuadorian Amazonian Women Join the Second National March of Indigenous Women in Brazil

"We know that our home is under attack every single day. Oil, mining, logging, hydroelectric exploitation, and highways are advancing and destroying the Amazon. Like a virus, industry is destroying the lands where our ancestors are buried, destroying trees, mountains, rivers and lagoons. Our territories are the extension of our bodies. Nature is...

The Global Week of Action: A Call from Indigenous Peoples

The Amazon has already lost 17 percent of its forest cover and an additional 17 percent of its rainforests have been degraded. If deforestation increases and surpasses the 20-25 percent threshold, this vital ecosystem will reach an irreversible tipping point of ecological collapse. The Amazon rainforest, as we've known it, could dive into the...

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...

We Demand the Annulment of Unconstitutional Executive Decrees That Seek to Intensify Hydrocarbon and Mining Extraction in Ecuador

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso issued Executive Decrees 95 and 151 which immediately formalize profound transformations of Ecuador's oil and mining policies. These documents have raised our concern about the violation of our essential rights to participate in decisions that may affect us. These new policies risk serious and irreparable...

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...

Investor Alert: Belo Sun Discloses Misleading Information to Investors Regarding Controversial Gold Mining Project in the Brazilian Amazon

Oakland, CA – In a complaint to the Ontario Securities Commission, an international coalition of civil society organizations calls attention to the repeated dissemination of misleading information by Belo Sun Mining Corp (TSXV:BSX), including statements by CEO Peter Tagliamonte, downplaying socio-environmental, legal, and financial risks of the...

Munduruku Victory: Sustained Pressure Forces Anglo American to Withdraw Mining Permits

After months of pressure campaigns in solidarity with our partners, British mining company Anglo American finally responded to the demands of Indigenous peoples and took action. It withdrew 27 mining research permits which were slated to overlap Indigenous lands in Brazil, including the Munduruku territory of Sawré Muybu. Now, we need to make sure...

Victory: Anglo American Agrees to Withdraw 27 Mining Research Applications in Territories Following Sustained Pressure By Indigenous Movement

The campaign demanding Anglo American, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, end its plans to exploit indigenous territories, followed the October 2020 Complicity in Destruction III report. The company still has 86 active mining interests in the Brazilian National Mining Agency (ANM) database that impact indigenous territories

Pará, Brazil – British mining company Anglo American has formally committed to withdraw 27 approved applications to research minerals inside Indigenous territories located in the states of Mato Grosso and Pará from the Brazilian National Mining Agency (ANM). The commitment was announced on May 24, after pressure from the Munduruku people, the...

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...

Rise for the Earth!

Indigenous movement mobilizes against Brazilian congressional bills that would legalize land grabbing and expand extractive industries on Indigenous lands

This week, thousands of Indigenous people from over 43 Indigenous nations are marching in Brasilia to call attention to the multiple emergencies they face and the Brazilian government’s complete failure to protect and uphold Indigenous rights. Among their demands is the immediate withdrawal of the anti-Indigenous and anti-environment legislative...

Challenges Ahead for Indigenous Earth Defenders in Peru

With a vaccination rate that is already surpassing 120,000 patients per day, Peru is finally showing glimmers of hope that it will overcome the worst of the pandemic. However, a glance towards the Peruvian Amazon shows a different reality. Recovery from COVID-19 in this biodiverse region will be difficult and Indigenous communities will need...

Mounting Violence by Brazil’s Criminal Miners Endangers Indigenous Leaders

Unchecked environmental destruction and violence are increasing rapidly on the lands of the Munduruku people, whose forests and waterways are being destroyed by illegal miners. At least ten prominent Munduruku leaders have routinely faced death threats for their resistance to this devastating illicit activity and last week brought a new wave of...

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Vowed to Work with Indigenous People. Now He’s Investigating Them.

Mongabay | The NGO Amazon Watch also slammed the Bolsonaro government for its "relentless attacks" on Indigenous peoples and the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. "Funai was meant to protect Indigenous people, not to persecute Indigenous leaders who demand that their government fulfill their obligations to protect its people during a pandemic," said...

U.S. Representatives to Biden Administration: Speak Up for Indigenous Rights in the Brazilian Amazon

U.S. congresspeople express their deep concern for the dangerous situation facing Brazill’s Munduruku Indigenous people and encourage the Biden Administration to add its voice

Washington, DC - The Biden Administration should express concern to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro about the explosive situation facing the Munduruku Indigenous people in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, 12 members of the U.S. House of Representatives said today in a letter to U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman, led by Rep Raúl Grijalva...

Attack on Brazilian Indigenous Women’s Association Signals Dangerous Escalation

Jacareacanga, Pará, Brazil – The Munduruku people of the Amazon's upper Tapajós valley are facing escalating threats by armed illegal "wildcat" miners, known as garimpeiros. Yesterday, the Wakoborun Association office in Jacareacanga, Pará state, was attacked, burned, and defaced. The violence occurred shortly after a protest organized by...

Indigenous Leaders and Goldman Prize Recipients Send Open Letter to BlackRock

BlackRock has yet to produce concrete policy addressing land rights, deforestation, and human rights abuses in its portfolios

San Francisco, CA – Today, over 80 renowned Indigenous and frontline activists from around the world issued a public letter criticizing BlackRock's role in violating the land rights and human rights of Indigenous peoples and other traditional communities. The signatories, including several recipients of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize...