Defense lawyers for the 53 indigenous activists who were cleared of charges in the 2009 Bagua massacre were ordered to testify before a Peruvian Supreme Court magistrate, as the high court’s penal chamber considers a request from the government for a retrial in the case. The defendants were acquitted by a lower court in 2016 in the slaying of National Police troops in the clash at Bagua, which began when police attacked an indigenous roadblock during a protest campaign against oil and resource exploitation in the rainforest. Peru’s Prosecutor General and Public Ministry have called upon the Supreme Court to review the acquittals. Attorney Juan José Quispe said that if a retrial is ordered, the defendants will boycott the proceedings. He asserted that a retrial would violate the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169, on the rights of indigenous peoples. (Photo: Wayka)
Peru is to sign a memorandum of understanding to join China’s Belt & Road international infrastructure initiative, Beijing’s ambassador to Lima said. The announcement coincided with a Beijing summit to promote the initiative, also known as the New Silk Road, where Peru’s trade minister stated that a revision of Lima’s Free Trade Agreement with China will be implemented next year. These announcements come amid growing environmentalist concern over the Hidrovía Amazónica, a Chinese-backed mega-project aimed at further opening Peru’s eastern rainforests to resource exploitation. (Photo: Segundo Enfoque)
The Waorani indigenous people of the Ecuadoran Amazon won a legal victory hailed as historic, as the provincial court of Pastaza blocked the opening of their traditional territories to oil exploitation. The case was brought by 16 Waorani communities, who charged that their right to “free, prior and informed consent” was violated when the government divided much of the province into oil blocs. One, Bloc 22, overlaps almost entirely with Waorani territory. The ruling suspends auctions for Bloc 22 while the case is on appeal. (Photo: Mongabay)
The Supreior Court of Justice for Peru's rainforest region of Madre de Dios upheld a lower court ruling that nullified mining concessions as well as the titling of agricultural properties and granting of water rights to third parties on the territory of the indigenous community of Tres Islas, without prior consultation with that community. The regional government of Madre de Dios is ordered to comply with the ruling, as is the National Water Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. The National Police are called upon to enforce the ruling if necessary. Peru's International Institute of Law and Society, which represented Tres Islas in the case, hailed the ruling as "historic." (Photo: La Mula)
Peru's government made much of its rainforest protection efforts at the Lima climate summit—but a new report names it as the fourth most dangerous country for ecology activists.
Swedish police have repeatedly broken up a protest occupation by Sámi indigenous people against iron mining in a crucial reindeer herding area above the Arctic Circle.
Peru’s Supreme Court ruled that decrees on application of the Prior Consultation Law issued by the Energy and Mines Ministry fail to meet standards for indigenous rights.
Mapuche activists are occupying land, planning a march to protest the usurpation of their territory—and questioning the safety of Chile’s growing salmon farming industry.
Argentina’s Mapuche say they will challenge a hydrofracking deal with Chevron, the multinational scofflaw that refuses to pay $19 billion it owes indigenous Ecuadorans.
As Peru’s government continues to stall on implementation of the Prior Consultation Law, indigenous leaders have issued calls for declaration of a “plurinational state.”
Indigenous protests heat up as another Terena protester is shot while trying to occupy lands the Terena say are their territory; tensions continue over the Monte Belo Dam.
Amnesty International charges that Ecuador is not respecting the right of indigenous peoples to prior consultation on development decisions impacting their territories.