Land Rights | Amazon Watch
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Land Rights

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court to Issue New Ruling on FPIC

Ecuadorian government granted an environmental license in 2011 for San Carlos Panantza mining project without consultation and consent of the Shuar Arutam

“These cases are not isolated. There is not a single mining or oil project where these rights have been adequately complied with, so it is urgent that the Court rule in accordance with international human rights standards,” said Carlos Mazabanda, Amazon Watch Ecuador Field Coordinator.

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."

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."

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...

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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...

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...

Deal with Bolsonaro Would Condone Brazil’s Tragedy, NGOs Tell Biden

Nearly 200 Brazilian organizations warn U.S. president about risks of a closed-door negotiation with the Brazilian president

Brasilia, Brazil – A group of 199 Brazilian civil society organizations released today a letter to the U.S. government warning that a forthcoming cooperation deal between the United States and the Bolsonaro administration could bring risks for the environment, human rights, and democracy.

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...

Statement on Monitoring Illegal Mining Activities in Our Baunilha Stream

We urgently demand that government agencies comply with their constitutional duties. If something happens to our people, we blame the Brazilian government. Even after receiving numerous reports of invasions and destruction of our territory in the middle of a pandemic, it fails to act and allows our people to be killed at the hands of a heavily...

Justice for Isac Tembé!

Isac was only 24 years old when he was murdered last Friday by the Brazilian military police

Last Friday, February 12th, Isac Tembé left his home on the Alto Rio Guama Indigenous Territory, in the northeast of the Amazonian state of Pará, to go hunting nearby with a group of friends. He never returned. The young Indigenous leader was murdered; shot point-blank in the chest by a member of Brazil's military police, on his own land.

Ese Eja: A Young Nation Guided by Ancestral Vision

Our Amazon Defender's Fund supports Indigenous sovereignty during the COVID-19 pandemic

One Amazonian nation that has prioritized addressing collective needs in their community during the pandemic has been the Ese Eja. It is now a young nation with a clear political vision, solid organizing, and communal ties. With a direct grant from the ADF, the Ese Eja have equipped their health posts with oxygen concentrators in each of their...

More Than 60 NGOs Demand Moratorium on Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

The Association of Brazil's Indigenous Peoples (APIB) and several organizations deliver the proposal ahead of the Amazon burning season

São Paulo – More than 60 NGOs, including Amazon Watch, in partnership with the Association of Brazil's Indigenous Peoples' Association (APIB) delivered a letter today to the Brazilian Congress, foreign investors, and European parliamentarians demanding five emergency measures to contain the deforestation crisis in the Amazon rainforest, including...

COVID-19: Is GeoPark Contaminating Amazon Communities?

The Wampis Nation, one of the most organized Indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon, is calling out Chile-based oil company GeoPark for putting their communities at risk of the COVID-19 contagion. Leaders of the Wampis Nation have received information that GeoPark community-relations workers are violating Peru's national quarantine by...

Justice for Arbildo

COVID-19 isn't the only mortal threat facing Amazonian peoples

Arbildo Meléndez Grandes, leader of the Cacataibo Indigenous community of Unipacuyacu, is the latest Indigenous leader of the Peruvian Amazon to be murdered for defending his Indigenous territory. He was a defender of his community – demanding that the government provide a land title – and had received death threats from land-grabbers and narco...

One Legal Victory, but Two More Allies Have Fallen in Brazil

Killers of forest guardian Paulo Paulino Guajajara are finally indicted, as two more Indigenous people are murdered

Impunity cannot be brought to an end solely by increasing indictments and convictions against low-level henchmen. Instead, those who benefit and profit from these acts of violence must also face consequences, including the companies that benefit from illegal land grabbing and Amazon deforestation, like mining, agribusiness and logging.

Baby Steps from Leading Financiers Aren't Enough to Address the Climate Emergency

It shouldn't take a million baby steps for the finance sector to adopt measurable policies that prioritize Indigenous rights and prohibit deforestation and fossil fuel extraction. JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock need to go much further. They need to stand up and make sweeping changes to their policies, now.

Bolsonaro Threatens the Indigenous Right to Be

Brazil's president once again attempts to erase the Indigenous way of life through his policies and actions. "Is this what we want: to wipe out the Indigenous peoples? Is this Brazil's policy?" asked Brazilian Congresswoman Joênia Wapichana.

Australia and the Amazon: Two Terrible Tragedies With One Key Difference

Various news outlets have noted that both the Australian and Amazon tragedies were related to climate change but failed to describe a key difference between them: the fires in Australia are almost exclusively wildfires, while those that ravaged the Brazilian Amazon were intentionally set by people, primarily for land speculation and agribusiness.

Climate Change: Amazon Oil Boom Under Fire at UN Talks

BBC News | "All those countries are here making declarations about cutting emissions, Ecuador and Peru are making declarations about protecting the Amazon but what we are seeing is a whole different plan to expand extraction, there's a gap between what countries are committing too and what they are actually planning to do in terms of fossil fuel expansion."

Investors Boycott Brazil Over Amazon Deforestation Concerns

Pressure mounts for Brazilian companies to become more compliant with ESG standards

Financial Times | "Consciousness of environmental issues has risen a great deal," says Marcelo Seraphim, Brazil head of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. "It's become a question of survival in the global market. It is hard to survive if you are not considering ESG issues."

“The Amazon Is Completely Lawless”: The Rainforest After Bolsonaro’s First Year

Deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest, an important buffer against climate change, has soared under President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil

The New York Times | The last year brought the highest loss in Brazilian rainforest in a decade, and stark evidence of just how badly the Amazon, an important buffer against global warming, has fared in Brazil's first year under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil's Amazon – and Its Defenders – Are Under Attack from Illegal Loggers

The killing of an indigenous forest guardian is only the latest incident in a pattern of impunity with consequences far beyond Brazil's borders

Foreign Policy | Since January, when Bolsonaro took office, the situation has only worsened, forest guardians say. "Loggers are not afraid now," Tainaky told me in April. "The government encourages them to enter the indigenous territory."

A Canadian Company Wants to Build Brazil's Largest Open-pit Gold Mine

The Star | "We can't accept Belo Sun in our region, not in Brazil," indigenous leader Bel Juruna told the thousands of carnival-goers in attendance that day. "We demand that this company leave us alone on our lands, that the government respects us and respects our nature."