Indigenous Rights | Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch

Indigenous Rights

Illegal Miners Terrorize Brazil’s Yanomami Communities

The Bolsonaro regime stands by despite murder and sexual assault

The Yanomami’s Hutukara Association has declared a humanitarian crisis in the wake of the reported rape and killing of a 12-year-old Yanomami girl by miners, the disappearance of a 3-year-old child, and attacks on the Yanomami’s Aracaçá village that have placed the Amazonian community “on the verge of disappearance” because of violence caused by...

Peru Commits to Expel Narcotraffickers and Return Indigenous Lands

While attacks continue, the Kakataibo people are reaching new agreements with the government to get their land back

While Peru is in an ongoing political crisis, the Indigenous movement clamors for justice. The demands are clear: prevent the killings of threatened Earth defenders, pursue legal actions against the murderers, and guarantee Indigenous territorial integrity.

Statement on BNP Paribas Pledge to End New Financing for Amazon Oil Drilling

Bank involved in industry deals worth $13.3 billion. Move follows investigation by and Amazon Watch pushing firm to take a lead role in excluding Amazon oil and gas.

“BNP Paribas’ decision to stop financing new oil production in the Amazon is the first of its kind and a major milestone for us as Indigenous peoples. This decision affirms what we have been calling for – that financing oil extraction in the Amazon is putting our lives, lands, and cultures at risk, and the health of our entire planet, and must...

Massive Belo Sun Gold Mine Project Blocked in Brazil

Indigenous and traditional communities celebrate as courts hand big loss to the Canadian mining company

The ruling is the result of sustained efforts by civil society and institutional allies to prevent the installation of Belo Sun's massive gold mine and to seek redress for the illegal acts committed in the course of the project's environmental licensing process.

Annual Indigenous Free Land Camp Occupies Brasília

“The demarcation of lands of all Indigenous peoples in Brazil continues to be our main goal. But to guarantee the demarcation, the protection of our lands, we must also 'Indigenize politics' with the presence of diversity, of women occupying the positions of power and decision-making positions.”

Amazon Watch is building on more than 25 years of radical and effective solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Amazon Basin.


Celebrate Earth Day with Amazon Watch!

This Earth Day is perhaps the most important in human history. If we hope to avert the worst of the climate crisis, we must act now. With the Amazon at a tipping point, we must permanently protect the rainforest and make this moment a turning point for the future of our planet.

Canadian Banks Injected $5.8 Billion into Mining Companies Tied to Forest Destruction and Human Rights Violations

Forests & Finance Coalition, Walhi, and MAM launched a preliminary dataset revealing the financial flows to several forest-risk mining companies that operate in the world’s three largest tropical forest basins. Banks from Canada, the United States, and Japan are among the largest financiers of mining companies in the tropics

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro is using a possible fertilizer shortage caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine to justify his attempt to ram contentious legislation through Congress.

Petroperú’s Ongoing Threat to the Amazon

Intense market and supply chain conditions – due in part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – have led to increasing inflation around the world, and Peru has been no exception. Today, the controversial Talara oil refinery will be inaugurated and touted by the government as a solution to the current energy crisis. It is not.

Indigenous Communities Need Your Solidarity as Destructive Mining Bill Advances

Despite massive opposition, politicians in Brazil approved expediting a bill that could lead to the loss of over 16 million hectares of forests and cause irreversible destruction to Indigenous territories

Indigenous peoples have repeatedly mobilized to oppose Bill 191/2020, and polls show that 86% of Brazil’s public is against mining on Indigenous lands. The Munduruku refer to it as "the project of death that is dividing our people and bringing violence [against those who] fight to defend our land."

Human Rights and Chinese Business Activities in Latin America

New report by the Collective on Chinese Financing and Investments, Human Rights and the Environment examines 26 cases of rights violations perpetrated by Chinese companies and financiers across Latin America, over half of which are in the Amazon

As part of the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, more than 60 civil society organizations released a new report that evaluates 26 projects backed by Chinese companies and capital across nine Latin American countries. The investigation found a pattern of failure to comply with international standards on human rights and the environment...

Justice Served in Ecuador!

Earth defenders win amnesty from unfair charges

“We have not committed any crime, we are defending our territory, the natural resources of all Ecuadorians. We guarantee food sovereignty, the protection of land and water”

U.S. Financial Institutions Are Complicit in the Destruction of the Amazon

New report exposes how mining companies and international investors drive Indigenous rights violations and threaten the future of the Amazon rainforest

“There must be a general understanding that Indigenous lands, traditional territories, and protected areas in the Amazon are not available for mineral exploration, nor should they be, both because there must be respect for our constitutional right to self-determination as Indigenous peoples over our territories, and because of our lands’...

Complicity in Destruction IV

How Mining Companies and International Investors Drive Indigenous Rights Violations and Threaten the Future of the Amazon

In the latest edition of the Complicity in Destruction series, research by APIB and Amazon Watch found that international financiers, including BlackRock, Vanguard and Capital Group, poured USD $54.1 billion into eight large mining companies, including Vale, Anglo American, and Belo Sun.

New Oil Company Enters Failed Block 64, Again

Achuar and Wampis communities are mobilizing against Petroperú’s intention to exploit the northern Peruvian oil block

If you have followed Amazon Watch’s campaigns over the years, the name Block 64 might ring a bell. Over the course of almost 30 years, the Peruvian government has encouraged a steady parade of international oil companies to explore and exploit the oil concession, located near the border with Ecuador. All have hit a major obstacle: the vehement...

Signs of Hope in the Peruvian Amazon

Amid the onslaught of negative news, we welcome signs of progress. This Tuesday we received word that the confessed trigger-man in the fatal shooting of Indigenous leader Arbildo Meléndez has finally been captured. His widow, Zulema Guevara, has courageously fought for justice in her husband’s case, herself becoming the target of death threats.

2021 Was a Year to Reflect, Reclaim, and Reconnect

2021 was full of highs and lows as we entered our second year in physical isolation from one another. We celebrated 25 years as an organization with our community, in deep solidarity with Indigenous peoples. We reflected on all that we have accomplished together and what challenges remain ahead.

All the Ways You Can Support Amazon Watch

When you make a tax-deductible donation to Amazon Watch, you can count on your contribution being put to work effectively and immediately. As we work to achieve climate justice and a just transition for all, we always center Indigenous voices in the movement.

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...

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...