Indigenous Justice in Ecuador

Taking their own customs, law and socio-economic situation into consideration, sanctions other than imprisonment are imposed. While the two justice systems should be hierarchically equal, the ordinary justice system in practice limits the powers of the Indigenous authorities.

Awajún community justice

The people of the Peruvian Amazon have the goal of building an autonomous and intercultural justice system that reincorporates customary law and the dialogued sanctions applied by the elders. The challenge lies with the members of the community to rely on their justice system.

"We have never depended on anyone outside our culture"

Eliel Castillo, leader of the Wayúu people, explains how communities are affected by wind farms set up in La Guajira: from the war amongst families, to vision and hearing damage. The Colombian Caribbean leader speaks about his people's vision of self-government and the link to their territory.

Legal pluralism in Bolivia: from the Guaraní people’s perspective

The law promotes harmonious social coexistence and cooperation between ordinary, Indigenous and agro-environmental justice. Despite the existence of a broad regulatory framework, there are still many obstacles to the exercise of and respect for Indigenous law.

Like sorcerer's apprentices: the rejection of plurinationality in Chile

In the exit referendum, two-thirds of Chileans voted down the new constitution. Elitism, a lack of work on the ground and the poor popularity of the government and the Assembly members appear to be just some of the reasons for this defeat, which threatens to put a halt to human rights progress.

Climate commitments in Latin America: An opportunity for Indigenous Peoples?

The Nationally Determined Contributions make it possible to identify governments’ political priorities on climate action including with regards to Indigenous Peoples. A review of Latin American submissions shows that Indigenous Peoples lack recognition both as rights holders and knowledge holders.

Green colonialism, wind energy and climate justice in Norway

One year after the Norwegian Supreme Court rendered a land-mark decision in favor of Saami reindeer herders against wind energy developer Fosen Vind, the Norwegian government fails to act on its responsibility to safeguard Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

Climate Change: Loss and damage compensation for Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples are among the groups most affected by climate change. Indigenous leaders demand respect for their right to self-determination and have opened the debate on how to compensate retroactive losses and cultural damages.

How Indigenous People in Africa are impacted by climate change

The Indigenous Peoples in Africa are victims of climatic changes generated as result of polluting industry in other parts of the world. While suffering from drought and famine, Indigenous pastoralists engage in livestock keeping that protects biodiversity.

Indigenous Summit in Colombia: unity is built from the kitchen

The summit was attended by seven national Indigenous organizations and 8,000 participants. The event produced a document that will be submitted to the new government. Ancestral thinking and dialogue as a basis for building unity were the cross-cutting themes of the committees.

Leonor Zalabata Torres: “In Colombia, we wish to live in peace”

The leader of the Arhuaco people will be the first Indigenous person to hold the post of Ambassador to the United Nations. Leonor believes that indigenous peoples can contribute to the country with their experience of building solutions through dialogue.

A new Government to Vivir sabroso or Live joyfully in Colombia

The election of Petro and Francia Márquez marks a milestone in Colombian history. The sudden entry of these new players on the political scene symbolizes a profound change in the ruling elite. However, it has been a long road, fraught with adversity, violence and the increase in poverty.

In the construction of autonomy, education and peace

Asdrúbal Plaza Calvo is a Yanacona who has been involved with the Indigenous movement for 40 years. From the perspective of his professional career, he highlights the importance of supporting processes of recovery of ancestral knowledge in environmental matters with the Nasa Tewalas.

Mama Luz Dary Aranda Morales: “Don’t let this moment pass us by”

Colombia's new government faces enormous challenges, but the Indigenous movement must "not let the moment pass it by" to support it, says Mama Luz, governor of the Cabildo of the Guambia Indigenous Reservation and host of the “Weaving Unity” Indigenous Peoples’ Summit.

Ethnic peoples and communities caught between the legislative and executive branches

Norman Bañol Álvarez is a congressman for the special Indigenous constituency in the House of Representatives. He has been spokesman of the southwestern Minga Indigenous movement and founder of the MAIS, a political group that is part of the Historical Pact headed by Gustavo Petro.

The destruction of the Cenepa River in Peru: the advance of illegal mining

In the Awajún territory, the dredging activity and the use of mercury in gold mining pollutes the river and therefore, the water is no longer fit for human consumption. However, the inhabitants continue to eat the contaminated fish. The Awajún communities are trying to find solutions.

Vivir sabroso in Colombia: an alternative to the collective trauma

Faced with the trauma left by the armed conflict, the philosophy of “vivir sabroso ” offers Colombians a new vision of life for their country. This sentipensar or thinking-feeling of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples is helping to reshape the narrative of how we imagine the nation.

Ecuador: of the mobilization towards an uncertain dialogue

The Act for Peace marked a truce. However, the political environment has not calmed down and society is waiting for the president to comply with the 10 agreed demands. The Indigenous peoples will not return to dialogue if the Government does not comply with what has been agreed.

Mexico: training interpreters in Indigenous languages

The association Diálogo y Movimiento created the Diploma for the Training of Interpreters in Indigenous Languages to improve the quality of access to justice. The training is essential to avoid the daily problems that Indigenous people face, especially concerning conflicts with criminal law.

Violence against Indigenous women: a global challenge

Indigenous women face disproportional levels of violence due to colonization and because they are Indigenous and women. But they shall not only be portrayed as victims. Indigenous women are active change agents and important leaders in the struggle for the rights of their peoples.

Lesle Jansen: “In South Africa Indigenous women are invisible”

Lesle Jansen belongs to the Khoikhoi Indigenous community and has dedicated over 20 years of her professional life to the promotion and defense of the rights of Indigenous peoples. She spoke to us about the situation of Indigenous peoples of South Africa and especially about Indigenous women.

Indigenous women of Peru demand repeal of the law that arms civilians

A law promoting the arming of civil groups was passed in Peru without the consent of the Indigenous Peoples. It violates our autonomy and would overlap with the peasant and rural patrols. This law could be used by extractive companies or illegal economies to repress the population.

Chiapas: Indigenous women weaving territories of life in the crossfire

The southeast of Mexico continues to be plagued by extreme poverty and violence generated by criminal economies. In this context, the collective Fases de la Luna promotes educational processes of political training to eradicate violence against women and promote autonomy.

Bolsonaro’s strategy to make Indigenous Peoples disappear

The FUNAI is an active agent of a political strategy to expose peoples in voluntary isolation to contact with outsiders. The Piripkura people, the Pirititi Indigenous Land and the Ituna Itatá Indigenous Land demonstrate the connivance of the indigenist body with the economic and political power.

Indigenous Peoples at risk of extinction in Colombia

In recent decades, the spiral of violence on the Indigenous peoples’ territories in Colombia allows us to speak of a deliberate extermination as a strategy for the appropriation of their natural resources for extractivism and drug trafficking with the complicity of the State.

Napalpí Massacre in Argentina: the trial for the historical truth

After 98 years, the justice recognised the State’s responsibility in the crimes of aggravated homicide and subjection to servitude as crimes against humanity committed as part of a process of genocide. In addition, it stipulated a series of reparatory measures.

The strength and resilience of the Izhora People in Russia

Today, they number less than 1000 and mostly live in some 30 villages. Intensive industrial development on their ancestral territory is posing a serious threat to their survival, but the Izhora remain strong thanks to their determination to preserve their traditions and defend their land.

Historic mobilization of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

As never before, leaders from all over Brazil came together for a show of force against Bolsonaro's anti-Indigenous and genocidal policies. The Indigenous peoples want to be protagonists of a new development model and thus seek to increase their representation in the national Congress.

Peru: the spiral of a never-ending crisis

The crisis we are experiencing in Peru is not new. The days go by and the misgovernment grows stronger. After five presidents in five years, the only permanent and lasting features seem to be police repression and an economic model based on the exploitation and export of raw materials.

The industrialisation of lithium and citizen participation in Bolivia

Over the past 10 years, society has had little to no control over the exploitation of the deposits located in the Uyuni Salt Flat. The Indigenous communities of Potosí are demanding that they be informed of the impact of the evaporation ponds, industrial plants and water supply plants.

The drug epidemic in Rakhine State

In recent decades Myanmar has become a major producer of yaba, a synthetic drug distributed in pills easily available throughout the country. Rakhine State has now been transformed into one of the major hubs for drug transit in the country and is living through a drug addiction crisis.

Indigenous Peoples in the face of drug trafficking

The strategy of "combating drug trafficking" militarizes territories and dispossesses Indigenous peoples of their natural resources. In addition to Colombia and Mexico, there is drug trafficking in Central America and on the borders between Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

Tourism and drug trafficking: the perspective of the Mayan Peoples

Before the advance of the presence of the State, the Maya Máasewáal nation lived in times of abundance. The arrival of tourists to cities such as Cancun and Tulum resulted in a market for drug trafficking and drug dealing in the region. Hope lies in community organization and resistance.

Mexico's war on drugs as a policy of social reorganization

The normalization of violence is exacerbated by the penetration of drug cartels into State structures. The conflict particularly affects Indigenous communities who suffer criminalization by police and military, as well as from forced displacement from their territories.

Possibilities of dialogue between
the State and the Mapuche people

After Gabriel Boric's call for a peaceful solution to the conflict, the most radical Mapuche organizations, along with some analysts and politicians, rejected a negotiation. The experience in other countries suggests that peace is possible.

The Rapa Nui People and
the constituent process

After 130 years of systematic breaches with the Agreement of Wills, the Constitutional Convention has opened a window of hope for the Rapa Nui people to achieve their right to self-determination and for the State of Chile to become a "friend of the island".

Indigenous Peoples in the
Chilean constituent process

The election of the Mapuche constituent member Elisa Loncón as President was a symbol of Indigenous peoples' protagonism in the drafting of the new Magna Carta. In the same sense, the victory of Gabriel Boric meant greater institutional support.

The challenge of communicating to Indigenous

In Chile, communication from an Indigenous perspective is absent. The democratization of a concentrated media ecosystem must make visible a reality in which Indigenous peoples have the full right to generate cultural content in their respective languages and forms.

Plurinationality in Chile: a
space in dispute

The new Constitution will establish the guidelines for Chile for the next 50 years. The Indigenous constitutional assembly members are aware of this and are therefore promoting a political debate, which includes political autonomy and territorial autonomy.

The IACHR and the right to
self-determination

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights published a report that looks into various experiences of self-determination in Americas from the intercultural perspective and includes testimonies of indigenous people and opinions of experts, NGOs and States.

An invitation to a dialogue on indigenous sovereignty

Indigenous autonomy as an exercise of self-determination is today a reality in several countries of the Americas. Autonomy may also constitute an expectation of the future for Indigenous Peoples that gives meaning to past and present political struggles.

Screening of Indigenous autonomies in Latin America

The struggles for the processes of autonomy building have gained prominence in Latin America. However, they are challenged by the fragmentation of the indigenous movement and the fear of the States that the autonomy discourse challenges national unity.

Restoring Indigenous sovereignty and creating alternative civic space in Asia

The political situation in many countries of Asia has always been volatile. Recognition of the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination will not only help mitigate historic injustices, but will also serve to strengthen democracies in the continent.

The Pathalgari Movement:
a revolution of India's Indigenous

The Adivasis have been fighting for their collective right to self- determination and identity, and for reclaiming their rights over territories and natural resources for centuries. The Pathalgari Movement is a new incarnation of that struggle.

Brazil's colonial dilemma: the deforestation in the Amazon

Encroachment onto Indigenous Lands has increased under Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Numerous bills are now passing through Congress in response to the need for extractivism and these will affect traditional Indigenous occupation.

Impacts of Gold Mining on Wapichan Wiizi

In the name of development, gold mining is destroying our environment, affecting the lungs of Mother Earth, contaminating rivers and weakening social relations in our communities. As we fight to breathe, we are surrounded by a deafening silence.

The Mining in the Amazon is impoverishing the Arakbut

Because of mining, Indigenous communities are becoming more dependent on the cash economy. In order to reverse this situation, the Arakbut people need to rebuild their autonomy, governance and self-determination.

Gold mining in Khakasia and its impact on the lives of the Shors

In addition to open-pit coal mining, gold mining companies are also expropriating Indigenous Peoples’ lands and polluting the environment. Gold mining puts at risk the very survival of the Shor traditional way of life and livelihoods.

Bolivia: the Lecos are slowly poisoned with mercury

Over the last few years, mining activities and the use of mercury to amalgamate the precious metal have intensified in the Kaka River. Even though the risks are clear, no research has been carried out to determine how much the health of the Lecos is affected.

Reconciliation agreement between Germany and Namibia

In 2021 Germany had reached an agreement with Namibia acknowledging the genocide against Herero and Nama peoples and agreed to pay 1,1 billion euros. The descendants of the victims were not part of the negotiation and feel that their demands were not heard.

A nation without ethnicity: the Rwandan reconciliation model

The post-genocide government is implementing an ambitious nation-rebuilding program which has restructured the social and physical landscape through modern development initiatives and “homegrown” solutions to reconciliation and national unity.

Lessons from the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord

Almost 24 years after the signing of the accord, its lack of implementation has reached alarming levels and human rights violations persist. In addition to the ongoing militarization of the area, land grabbing of Indigenous territories continues.

Indigenous youth in detention in México

Indigenous youth in detention live under the burden of sadness, depression and injustice. As a result of their detention, they end up losing contact with their families, their culture, their community life and the environment.

Colombia State failing the Wayúu children of La Guajira

Despite this Caribbean region’s natural wealth, Wayuu children in La Guajira are dying of hunger and thirst. Exploitation by multinationals, a lack of rainfall and the contamination of their wells only add to the historical debts.

The growing education gap in Post-Coup Myanmar

The coup that happened amid the worsening Covid-19 emergency has broadened an already deep educational crisis in Chin state. Parents pledged not to send their children to the junta’s schools, rallying behind the slogan: “No need for military slave education”.

Indigenous fighting for their rights on the streets of Brasilia

In August, ahead of the Federal Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Ibirama - La Klãnõ indigenous territory, Brazil witnessed the largest indigenous protest in its history. The experts believe the decision will set an important precedent for territorial rights.

Sumak Kawsac Sacha Allpa: the kichwa of the Anzu River in Ecuador

They organize their community life under the principles of the Sumak Kawsay. At the same time, they are undergoing a renovation and strengthening process in their organization to be able to fully exercise their rights. Their main concern is to protect their territory.

Bolivia: the Multiethnic Indigenous Territory’s struggle for autonomy

While awaiting for a referendum to approve their autonomous status, the five communities seek to strengthen the management of their territory and its natural resources threatened by illegal hunting and timber trafficking.

Peru: Oil drilling damage and prior consultation

Oil exploitation in Loreto has affected the environment, health and the ways of life of indigenous communities. The Achuar, Urarina, Kichwa and Kukama peoples are fighting for their right to prior consultation in view of the concession for an operator to exploit Lot 192.

Alliances in pandemic: the Zapatista journey through Europe

They visit different communities that resist territorial dispossession and the destruction of nature. In the context of a civilizatory crisis that has generated the pandemic, they intend to strengthen ties of solidarity that allow us to imagine other possible worlds.

Venezuela: isolated indigenous people, illegal groups and Covid-19

The Jödi, the Yanomami and the Uwottüja living in voluntary isolation are threatened by the extractive activities and by the presence of illegal groups. The Covid-19 worsens this situation due to the epidemiological and immunological vulnerability.

The Ayoreo: the last isolated people outside the Amazon

Close to 150 members survive in the Chaco region. They are threatened by deforestation, the construction of roads, megafires and the advance of the farm and cattle ranching frontier. Bolivia and Paraguay should take measures to guarantee their protection.

Neglected isolated indigenous peoples in Ecuador

The advances in its defense, supported by the State for the last 14 years, have not been translated into an effective protection within their territories. Over and over again, a “schizophrenic” State failed to keep the promises made to protect their rights.

Threats to the protection of indigenous peoples living in isolation in Brazil

The Brazilian Amazon has the largest number of peoples living in isolation in the world. Their livelihoods and territories are under pressure and threatened. The situation has deteriorated under the government of Bolsonaro and the arrival of the pandemic.

Chile's Convention: a path to plurinationality

The election reflected a tremendous turning point in Chile. In addition to 21 indigenous seats there was gender parity among all members. The conservative forces failed to gain the one-third of representatives that would have allowed them to veto agreements.

The time of Buen Vivir in Chile: power returns to its owners

At the same time as the particracy is demolished and the political class defeated, the epicenter of decision-making finds its way back to the people. Indigenous and Chilean men and women must unite to reach Kume Mongen and respect for Mother Earth.

Ethnicities, bodies and freedoms destroyed in Colombia

Peaceful and anonymous protests have broken out simultaneously in hundreds of cities. The protagonists are young people who have decided to form the mouthpiece for the widespread malaise of a country ravaged by an immutable government.

Colombia: photography as a tool for social protesting

Photojournalists were at the front line of social protests registering both the collective action of the protesters and the repression by the law enforcement forces. Photographer Manuel Rodríguez, was present in the protests that took place in Bogota.

Chile: “The new Constitution must recognize Indigenous Peoples”

Luis Jiménez was elected as a Constitutional Assembly Member for the Aymara people. The lawyer affirms that the new Constitution must guarantee territorial autonomy and political participation in decision-making, and recognize pachamama as a subject of law.

Afro-Colombians and the National Strike: indignation and resistance to racism

Racial inequality, the legacy of enslavement and colonialism, flourished in the intensity of the armed conflict and has become even more stark with the pandemic. The national strike is offering a space in which Afro-Colombians can express their indignation.

Peru’s elections: a country in search of its identity

Indigenous governor murdered in Colombia

The cost of fighting for indigenous people and environmental rights in Russia

Coal mining is destroying the forests of Siberia. Over the past 15 years, the number of open-pit coal mines has increased several times over.Contamination of the taiga and rivers is harming the Shor people, who live from hunting, gathering and fishing.

Community Gender Emergency in Mexico

For decades, organized Indigenous women have wondered why some deaths in Mexico are more visible than others. Who decides which bodies matter? It’s time to start talking about the violence perpetrated against us, Indigenous women.

Premature deaths and prison violences in Mexico

The author shares her insights on her 12 years long-work with indigenous women in prison: the racism that exists in prisons, the concealment of ethnic profiles during jail censuses, and the prisons’ violence and function as an instrument of dispossession.

Racist and Patriarchal Justice in Argentina: the Reina Maraz case

The criminal procedure confronted by Reina Meraz, a Bolivian immigrant woman, exposes a double issue of the Argentinian judicial system: the need to train judicial officers in both gender perspective and interculturalism.

Aboriginal people in Australia: the most imprisoned people

Moreover, indigenous women represent 34% of the total number of inmates. As if this wasn’t enough, the legal and welfare systems are removing indigenous children from their families and culture, serving as a mechanism of forced assimilation.

Indigenous women deprived of their liberty in Guatemala

Racism and patriarchy present profound challenges within the Guatemalan prison system. The penal system is a reflection of the discrimination experienced by indigenous women all over: for being women, indigenous and poor.

Philippines: false accusations, persecution and imprisonment of indigenous women

Rachel Mariano and Betty Belén, indigenous women and human rights advocates share their incarceration stories due to trumped-up charges and evidence. The cause of their persecution is clear: they defend their ancestral lands.

State racism, uprooting and memory loss: Indigenous women in Ecuador's prisons

Official statistics obscure the fact that the majority of the prison population is of indigenous and African origin and had been affected by racism, deprivation, massive waves of displacement to cities and oblivion.

Philippines: Activists are not terrorists

Myanmar’s ethnic nationalities against the military coup