Indigenous Territory & Resource Rights

ON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, THE FIGHT FOR INDIGENOUS LAND AND AUTONOMY IN HONDURAS

December 10, 2014

By Stephen Bartlett, Agricultural Missions and US Food Sovereignty Alliance, and Beverly Bell, Other Worlds

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.

Palm Oil and Extreme Violence in Honduras: The Inexorable Rise and Dubious Reform of Grupo Dinant

December 8, 2014

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

November 14, 2014

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

November 6, 2014

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.

Mayan Peoples Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

September 30, 2014

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.

ON NATIONAL DAY OF MAIZE IN MEXICO, PROTECTING THE SACRED PLANT

September 29, 2014

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.

Women-Led Resistance against False Development

August 20, 2014

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. 

El 27 marzo celebraremos nuestro 21° aniversario!

March 26, 2014

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.

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