With the world’s supply of natural resources increasingly depleted or polluted, the carefully protected repository on indigenous lands is now a target of big business. Globalization has increased the risks for indigenous peoples living on lands that contain such strategic resources as water, oil, gas, forests, minerals, and biodiversity. All this - not to mention knowledge, plants, animals, and human genetic information - are subject to privatization by government and to sale on the stock market.
Indigenous Territory & Resource Rights
Photos by Steve Pavey
December 10, 2014
Honduras is the country with the highest level of homicide of any nation not at war, where government violence and human rights abuses have almost total impunity. It is also the country contributing most of the flood of children who have been recently forced to migrate to the US, because of that violence and by poverty – both, in part, a legacy of US policy in the region.
Yet something else is afoot. A fierce social movement, composed of many sectors, is pushing back to protect democracy, lives, and political rights. Indigenous peoples, including Garifuna, Lenca, Pech, Miskito, Maya Chortí, and Tolupan, are asserting their human right to autonomy, territory, and cultural survival.
By Jeff Conant, Truthout (Reprinted with permission)
December 8, 2014
As one of the fastest growing global commodities, palm oil has recently earned a reputation as a major contributor to tropical deforestation and, therefore, to climate change as well.
About 50 million metric tons of palm oil is produced per year - more than double the amount produced a decade ago - and this growth appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Because oil palm trees, native to West Africa, require the same conditions as tropical rainforests, nearly every drop of palm oil that hits the global market comes at the expense of natural forests that have been, or will be, burned, bulldozed and replaced with plantations.
... But what is being left behind is the other significant impact of palm oil and other agro-industrial commodities - namely human rights. Commitments to protect forests and conservation areas can, if well implemented, address environmental concerns by delimiting the areas of land available for conversion to palm oil. But natural resource exploitation is inextricably linked to human exploitation, and such commitments do little to address this.
Witness for Peace: Honduran Families and Communities Under Threat: Learning from Indigenous Groups, Campesinos, and Human Rights Defenders
Join Witness for Peace from January 8th - 18th in Honduras!
Call for delegation from Witness for Peace
Join Witness for Peace on a critical delegation to Honduras this January! The delegation will focus on learning how trade agreements and militarization have affected communities and human rights conditions in Latin America, and delegates will be documenting the realities for working people and reporting back to tell their stories and make change in U.S. policies. Witness for Peace has extended the application deadline to November 14th, so there is still time to apply!
Recent news coverage has shown the massive numbers of Honduran children and families fleeing to the United States. The root causes of this migration, including economic trade policies and drug-war based militarization, are tied to United States policies and practices. Economic disparities have destabilized communities and fueled drug trafficking and criminal gangs. Also, campesino and indigenous leaders, the LGBTQ community, human rights lawyers, journalists, and unionists are targeted and killed. Familes, especially children, are fleeing the violence and migrating to the North.
Garifuna communities in Trujillo and Puerto Castillo endure collective displacement, fisheries contamination, threats to fresh water
Part IV of Series from Journal of Agricultural Missions Delegation to Garifuna Territories in Honduras
Released on Agricultural Missions, Inc (AMI) November 5, 2014
Ag Missions’ Honduras Delegation Journal October 23-24, 2014
Part IV: Garifuna communities in Trujillo and Puerto Castillo endure collective displacement, fisheries contamination, threats to fresh water.
The towns of Trujillo and Puerto Castillo are in the heart of Garifuna territories on the Northern Honduran coast. In May the People of Puerto Castillo protested blocking the road leading to the port, which provoked a violent police attack on their community.
By Carol Schachet
Cross Posted from Grassroots International
Widespread protests and strategic organizing succeeded in defending Mayan lands and food sovereignty in Guatemala. This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.
Daniel Pascual, director of Grassroots International’s partner organization the Committee for Campesino Unity (CUC), said the widespread demonstrations against the "Monsanto law" showed that Mayan people consider it a flagrant violation of national sovereignty. He added, “This is a victory for the movement, but do not forget there are other laws that we need to repeal that are designed to favor certain companies and control the movement resistance to defend the territory.”
The article below, originally posted on the Via Campesina website, describes the victory and ongoing efforts to protect seeds, land and food sovereignty in Guatemala.
Today, September 29, 2014, Mexicans celebrate National Day of Maize, with demonstrations, marches, and expositions. Known as the Land of Maize, Mexico now imports one-third of this sacred icon and staple food, mostly from the US. A fierce battle is being waged over corn that is still grown in Mexico, with small farmers and seed sovereignty activists pitted against Monsanto and other GMO giants, the Mexican government, the US government, and the World Trade Organization.
An Interview with Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, Maya K’iche
from the Mayan Women’s Movement, Guatemala
By Deepa Panchang and Jessica Hsu
As a member of the Mayan Women’s Movement which is a part of the Council of K’iche People, we have joined forces to generate action from the people, the community. We are in the midst of change where we are defining our needs, what actions we need to take, what power we have, what our way of looking at the world is. And to say no to corporations, while saying yes to life.
Cross-posted from Amazon Watch.
On June 12th the World Cup kicks off in Brazil; the country has been beset by protest in the run up to the tournament.
June 4, 2014 | Bianca Jagger | Source: Huffington Post
Chief Raoni walking away from protests in Brasilia. Photo credit: Maira Irigaray / Amazon Watch
Cross-posted from COPINH
Otra cuña para nuestro 21° aniversario. Celebraremos con ceremonias, haciendo memoria histórica, con programas especiales en las radios Lencas del COPINH, reflexión y análisis. http://giss.tv:8000/guarajambala.mp3.m3u
Desde tempranito una compostura a la tierra en UTOPIA. Habrá alborada.