Indigenous Activists: In the Crosshairs of Development

Munduruku activist in Brazil When we learned that Berta Cáceres, a leader of the indigenous Lenca people, was murdered in Honduras, we were shocked but not surprised. A violent death is the all-too-frequent fate of indigenous activists who defend their rivers and lands against dams, logging and other forms of destructive development. Berta’s murder is just the tip of the iceberg. Her organization, the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras, has lost no less than 14 members in its history. In Brazil, 138 indigenous activists were killed in 2014 alone. Several oth

Greed and Resistance in Sarawak’s Rainforest

Will dams flood out Sarawak's indigenous cultures?
A corrupt clique is turning Sarawak's rainforest into a monoculture of oil palms and reservoirs. A new book documents the greed, the corruption and the resistance by indigenous peoples.

PR – Human Rights Groups Demand Police Stop Intimidating Rightful Landowners of Baram

Despite police intimidation, residents to be affected by the Baram Dam  continue to protect their land.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Malaysian and international human rights organizations are uniting to publicly denounce the actions taken by police to intimidate indigenous peoples in Sarawak at the proposed site of the Baram Dam. They will be following up with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

PR – Attempt to Expel Indigenous Peoples from Proposed Baram Dam Site Denounced By Human Rights Group

Indigenous Peoples at Proposed Baram Dam Site have never given consent for the dam to be built or for logging and other preparatory works to proceed.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Malaysian and international human rights organizations have united to publicly condemn the actions taken by authorities and logging company representatives to intimidate Indigenous Peoples in Sarawak at the proposed site of the Baram Dam.

NGOs Urge ADB to Withhold Loan for the Borneo Power Grid

Sunday, October 5, 2014
The following letter was sent to Asian Development Bank President Nakao from the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, SAVE Rivers (Sarawak), Bruno Manser Fund and International Rivers about the bank's proposed loan to Sarawak Energy Bhd. to build a transmission line through Sarawak to the border of West Kalimantan, thereby facilitating export of power from planned hydropower dams in Sarawak to large scale industries close to the border with Indonesia. It can be downloaded here. The letter was accompanied by a list of Sarawak Energy contracts with evidence of a conflict of interest. Mr. Takehik

New Report: Indigenous Rights Violations at Baram Dam Site in Sarawak

Penan community stands firm against the Baram Dam
Saturday, August 16, 2014
A new report entitled "No Consent to Proceed: Indigenous Peoples' Rights Violations at the Proposed Baram Dam in Sarawak" is being launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The report is based on information gathered by an independent fact-finding team that met and interviewed people in 13 of the 26 villages that will be affected by the proposed dam. It identifies specific violations of the Malaysian Constitution and provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People committed against the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people living around the proposed site of the Baram Dam that have taken

Human Rights and Kyoto's Carbon Offsetting Scheme

Weni Bagama, speaking at the Human Rights in the CDM side event
The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism continues to be rocked by controversy. At a meeting on human rights in the CDM, two representatives for the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous community in Panama gave a powerful account of the negative impacts of the CDM-supported Barro Blanco Dam.

Chronology of Events for Barro Blanco Dam (Panama)

M10 protest on the Pan-American Highway, 2011
This chronology was compiled to provide a clear picture of the stakeholder activities surrounding the Barro Blanco Dam in western Panama since its inception. The sources of information include first-hand accounts, blogs, official documents, and media reports. While we hope this will provide a comprehensive and useful resource for those interested in the project, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of all the information listed here. We welcome any corrections and additions you may have. Compiled by Melissa Orozco, Latin America Communications Intern 1981General Omar Torrijos was forced to cancel

Panama Report Back by Task Force on the Americas

May 2011 protest on the Pan-American Highway
Friday, April 26, 2013
In February, participants from the first Task Force on the Americas delegation to Panama visited and took testimony from members of the Ngäbe-Bugle community near the Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Dam on the Tabasará River. Despite unresolved issues around a lack of consultation with the local indigenous peoples and allegations of human rights abuses, the reservoir created by the dam will likely start flooding fertile agricultural land and destroy the river’s fish and shrimp as early as May or June of this year. Hear from delegation participants at three community report-backs and learn more

A Visit to the Kiad and Quebrada de Caña Communities of the Ngäbe

Kiad boy holding baby.
Photojournalist Rick Gerharter visited the Ngäbe-Buglé communities in Panama in February. His delegation documented their stories and the potential impacts of the Barro Blanco Dam, which if completed, would flood the lands and threaten the livelihoods of over 5,000 indigenous inhabitants. Last Friday, a member of the Ngobe community was murdered and one left seriously injured after a protest against the dam and its human rights violations.


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