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First-Ever Regional Court Case Involving Rights of Uncontacted Peoples Awaits Verdict

The Inter-American Court of Human rights is evaluating the first-ever case concerning the rights of Indigenous communities in voluntary isolation

Mongabay | In the case Tagaeri & Taromenane Indigenous people vs the Ecuadorian state, lawyers representing the communities in voluntary isolation say the Ecuadorian state has failed to protect these populations and propelled the extractive industry in the area, putting pressure on the rainforest and increasing conflict between local communities.

The Business Case for Indigenous Rights

Companies must account for Indigenous peoples’ human and land rights to understand and address business and climate risks

Stanford Social Innovation Review | As the effects of climate change worsen and concern grows, financial regulators are turning their attention to how companies report on climate-related risks. One crucial factor that businesses and investors may overlook is Indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights.

Environmental Lawyer Targeted by Chevron Freed After More Than Two Years Under House Arrest

Steven Donziger represented Ecuadorians in a pollution lawsuit against Chevron. Then he ended up in the oil giant's crosshairs.

Gizmodo | After 993 days, Steven Donziger is finally free. On Monday, the embattled lawyer, who has been targeted by Chevron for years in a Kafka-esque court struggle, finished a six-month sentence, which came on the heels of more than two years under house arrest.

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


This Lawyer Should Be World-famous for His Battle With Chevron – But He’s in Jail

Chevron is accused of polluting the Amazon for 26 years. The only people who’ve paid the price are a human rights lawyer and those whose land was poisoned.

The Guardian | Most people have probably heard of Chernobyl, or the BP oil spill. You may also know about my legal battle over contaminated water in California, dramatized in the movie Erin Brockovich. Yet far fewer people have heard about what transpired in the Ecuadorian Amazon – though it’s considered by some activists, journalists, and members of US...

Crude Reality: One U.S. State Consumes Half the Oil from the Amazon Rainforest

As oil companies carve up more of the rainforest, a new study says no place in the world uses more oil from beneath the Amazon than California

NBC News | Waorani leader Nemo Guiquita has been fighting the expansion of oil drilling in her tribe’s ancestral homeland for years. She said her grandmother, Nayuma, was the first Waorani to make contact with the outside world 60 years ago. “The rainforest for us is home,” Guiquita said. “It’s our life, our pharmacy, our everything.”

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.

The Real Reason Behind Bolsonaro’s Climate Promises

Without proper enforcement mechanisms, nationalist leaders will continue to drive climate change with impunity

The Atlantic | So far, Bolsonaro’s actions have spoken louder than any of the Brazilian delegation’s words. Back in Brazil, he lambasted a youth representative of Brazil’s indigenous community for going to COP26 only to “attack Brazil.” Surely she should have realized that the easiest way to hurt the country would have been to not attend the summit at all.

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.

Oil Executives Deny Misinformation on Climate Change, Despite Evidence

Mongabay | “Chevron has about 70 serious cases of environmental impunity in 31 countries worldwide, owing over $50 billion in settlement debts. When are you going to cut the check?” Tlaib said at the hearing. “You can poison the planet to make money, but we are going to defend the planet so we can live.”

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.”

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."

Indigenous Warrior Women Take Fight to Save Ancestral Lands to Brazilian Capital

Jair Bolsonaro is backing a legal move to open up large tracts of indigenous territory to commercial exploitation that tribal members call an "extermination effort"

The Guardian | Sônia Guajajara, a prominent indigenous leader, said: "These are all highly orchestrated measures which are designed to take away the land rights of indigenous people and open these lands up for exploitation … It's all about profit and money. We champion biodiversity, keeping the forest standing, which is precisely what ensures us life. All they...

Indigenous Leaders Push New Target to Protect Amazon from Deforestation

Reuters | "We invite the global community to join us to reverse the destruction of our home and by doing so safeguard the future of the planet," said José Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, lead coordinator for COICA, which represents Indigenous groups in nine Amazon-basin nations.

A Predator Called Gunvor in the Amazon

Public Eye | The Geneva-based trader Gunvor has imposed itself as one of the main players in Amazonian crude without winning a single tender. With financial support from Swiss banks, Gunvor convinced Ecuador to become heavily indebted to Asian state-owned companies, pushing the country to drill even deeper into its natural reserves to reimburse them. Toxic...

Steven Donziger Describes Contempt Case As a "Charade" As Trial Ends

The environmental lawyer who sued Chevron over environmental pollution faces up to six months in prison

The Intercept | As activists strive to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for their role in the climate crisis, there is growing popular recognition of the significance of Chevron's aggressive legal campaign against the environmental lawyer. But for the third time in the epic legal battle stemming from the pollution, the legal proceedings took place without a...

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...

“Narcos Are Looking for Me”: Deadly Threats to Peru’s Indigenous Leaders

Communities call for protection after string of killings linked to rush for land to grow coca, under cover of the pandemic

The Guardian | Indigenous communities in Peru’s central Amazon are experiencing an increase in violence, threats and harassment as drug gangs target their land to grow coca, the plant used to make cocaine. COVID-19 restrictions have made the remote region even more vulnerable by slowing state efforts to protect land and eradicate illegal coca cultivation.

The Ongoing Persecution of Steven Donziger

The environmentalist lawyer marks 600 days under house arrest — with no end in sight

The Nation | Chevron's strategy could be backfiring. Over the past few months, a global movement has grown to defend Donziger and his Ecuadorean clients. Some 55 Nobel Prize winners signed a letter defending Donziger; 475 lawyers and human rights defenders released a similar appeal. A blue-ribbon legal Monitoring Committee is closely following Donziger's case;...

BlackRock Must Commit to Indigenous Rights – Not Just Climate Change

Mongabay | "In Brazil the operations of corporations like the ones we mention above, into which BlackRock directs substantial investments on behalf of clients, have profound negative impacts on our communities, our forests, and the climate," APIB wrote. "You therefore have a responsibility for our future. And if the Amazon is destroyed, the future of the...

“I’ve Been Targeted With Probably the Most Vicious Corporate Counterattack in American History”

Steven Donziger has been under house arrest for over 580 days, awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge. It's all, he says, because he beat a multinational energy corporation in court.

Esquire | Donziger is a human rights lawyer who, for more than 27 years, has represented the Indigenous peoples and rural farmers of Ecuador against Texaco – since acquired by Chevron – which was accused of dumping at least 16 billion gallons of toxic waste into the area of the Amazon rainforest in which they live. Cancer is now highly prevalent in the...