Archive for Latin America

1st Great International Assembly of the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians

Assembly to be held in Brasilia, Brazil ~ October 11-17, 2017

Brasilia - First Great International Assembly of the Alliance of Mother Nature's Guardians

The first Great Assembly of the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians will be held in Brasilia from the 11th to 16th of October 2017.
Nearly 200 indigenous representatives from around the world and personalities committed to environmental preservation wi ll meet for over five days to discuss global issues which impact the future of humanity climate, biodiversity, environment, energy, technology, conflicts, human rights, nature’s rights …

Working from the problems, challenges and solutions found on the traditional territories of indigenous peoples from a ll continents, be trey forests, islands, arctic , deserts, steppes or mountains, together they will build an inspiring strategy to protect the planet, for peace, for future generations.

The tasks of the historic Great Assembly will be divided into three main themes: Mother Nature, Humanity and Development. Proposals and recommendations to States and calls to action to the general public will be formalized, based on the 17 points set out in the Constitution of the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians, drafted during COP21 in Paris in 2015.

The other objective of this Assembly is to strengthen links between participants, to help build permanent bridges between geographically remote peoples in view of future joint actions.

As a result of the Assembly ‘s work, a common document will be drafted and adopted. It will be presented to international bodies and a delegation of indigenous representatives from all continents will then participate in COP23 (Bonn, Germany, Nov 2017) and in 2018, following on from the Great Assembly, will embark on an international tour to present and defend the strategy of the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians, advocating for protection of the planet. The tour will be supported by local artists, organizations and personalities in each capital city visited.

For more information visit Brazil AGMN English presentation (300dpi)

For more on the Alliance visit: Alliance of Mother Nations Guardians  or AGMN Portuguese.



Colombia Constitutional Court Finds Atrato River Possesses Rights

Press Release:  The Court Finds the Atrato Possesses Rights to “Protection, Conservation, Maintenance, and Restoration”

Rights of Nature Movement Gaining Ground as Court Declares Need to Move
Away from Legal Systems in Which Humans are the “Dominator of Nature”

“(I)t is the human populations that are interdependent of the natural world – and not the opposite – and that they must assume the consequences of their actions and omissions with the nature. It is a question of understanding this new sociopolitical reality with the aim of achieving a respectful transformation with the natural world and its environment, as has happened before with civil and political rights…Now is the time to begin taking the first steps to effectively protect the planet and its resources before it is too late…” – Colombia Constitutional Court

Press Statement

Mari Margil

MERCERSBURG, PA, USA: In November, in an extraordinary decision, Colombia’s Constitutional Court declared that the Atrato River basin possesses rights to “protection, conservation, maintenance, and restoration.”  The decision is only now being made public.

Columbia's Atrato River has rightsThe Court’s ruling comes in a case brought to address the significant degradation of the Atrato River basin from mining, impacting nature and indigenous peoples.

Declaring that the river has rights comes after thousands of years of history in which nature has been treated as “property” or “right-less” under the law.  Much like women, indigenous peoples, and slaves have been treated as property under the law, without legal rights, so today do legal systems treat nature.  Under this system, environmental laws regulate human use of nature, resulting in the decline of species and ecosystems worldwide, and the acceleration of climate change.

Transforming nature to be considered as rights-bearing – and thus in possession of legally enforceable rights – is part of the growing “Rights of Nature” movement.  The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has been at the forefront of this movement, partnering with communities and governments in developing the world’s first Rights of Nature laws.

more …

Read full release at Colombia Court finds Atrato Rivers Possesses Rights

Earth Law Update – March 2, 2016

From Tom Brenan, Gaia Foundation

  • The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has released its judgment in the case of Kaliña and Lokono Peoples v Suriname, nine years after the case was first submitted by Chiefs of the eight Kaliña and Lokon villages of the Lower Marowijne River and Association of Village Leaders in Suriname. The Court found Suriname responsible for violations of the American Convention on Human Rights due to the failure to recognise and guarantee legal personality and territorial rights of the Kaliña and Lokono as well as breaches of these and other rights in connection with bauxite mining, grants of individual titles to non-indigenous persons and restrictions imposed in two nature reserves. It gave orders with deadlines to comply. The Court said that ‘respect for the rights of the indigenous peoples may have a positive impact on environmental conservation’ and that ‘the rights of the indigenous peoples and international environmental laws should be understood as complementary’.
  • The Green Party of England and Wales has become the first UK-wide political party to vote Rights of Nature into their policies. This follows an overwhelming vote in favour at the party’s spring conference on 28th The Scottish Green Party introduced a Rights of Nature policy at their autumn conference in 2015. The vote for Rights of Nature builds on the Green Party’s current commitment to support the development of an international law of ecocide.
  • The Center for Earth Jurisprudence will hold the third in its Protecting our Common Home webinar series on 16th The focus will be “Florida Constitutional Revision Committee and a ‘Community Rights’ Amendment Protecting Human and Ecological Health”.

From Paris with love for lake Poopó

By Pablo Solón, El Observatorio Boliviano de Cambio Climático y “Desarrollo”, 21 December 2015

Lake Poopó becomes a desert while in Paris, governments conclude an agreement they call “historic” to address climate change. Will the Paris Agreement save over 125,000 lakes that are in danger of disappearing in the world due to climate change?

 From Paris with love for lake Poopó

The second largest lake in Bolivia did not disappear by magic. The causes of their demise are many and complex, but among them is the rise in temperature and increased frequency of natural disasters like El Niño caused by climate change. The lake Poopó that had an expanse of 2,337 km2 and a depth of 2.5 meters, is now a desert with a few puddles in the middle with no more than 30 centimeters of water depth.

If the average temperature rose globally by 0.8 °C due to climate change, on the lake Poopó the increase went to 2.5 °C leaving in its path thousands of dead fish, dead flamingos, fishing boats anchored to the ground, and hundreds of indigenous people, who for centuries were devoted to fishing, that now roam for help thinking of a very uncertain future. That is the true face of climate change that expands like a cancer throughout the world.

Will the Paris Agreement save over 125,000 lakes that are in danger of disappearing in the world due to climate change? 

Read the full text at Paris and the break with reality

Thank you and Congratulations

Winter Newsletter and Thank You Members

Greetings Alliance Members,

Looking back on 2014, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your partnership, resiliency, creativity, and support.  Starting with the launch of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal and our Summit in January and culminating with the second International Tribunal in Lima this month, 2014 has been a momentous year for the Alliance.

Additionally, we have cheered as many of you hosted regional peoples tribunals, launched Rights of Nature initiatives in your communities and for the EU, organized events to advocate Rights of Nature, and reaffirmed recognition of Rights of Nature and Mother Earth through the messaging of your organizations and at events world wide. Some were spawned in conjunction with our Earth Rights Days of Action in October. Others germinated independently.  It is humbling and exhilarating to be a part of this movement with you.  Our aim is to shine a light on you to spur your momentum and success and to move us all toward a world living in harmony with nature and each other.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal ~ Lima, Peru


The Global Alliance convened the second International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima, Peru concurrent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 20) in December 2014.  The hearings were an intense, deeply moving two days as one by one experts and witnesses came forward to present facts and stories detailing how they individually and collectively are impacted by gross violations to Mother Earth and the Rights of Nature.

Casey CampCasey Camp-Horinek of Oklahoma, USA told how “fracturing the skeleton of Mother Earth” for oil and gas is killing indigenous communities across the United States. Her own 600 person Ponca Nation is burying one relative a week due to death from cancer and other diseases.  She spoke movingly about feeling frequent earthquakes in an area that was not prone to earthquakes before fracking.  The shaking is all the more riveting to raw emotions dealing with the deep personal loss and the destructive impact of extractive industries.

Sônia Guajajara, the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), described the expansive flooding of the Amazon basin in Brazil caused by construction of the massive Belo Monte Dam.  Tens of thousands of indigenous peoples are being dislocated as their traditional homeland becomes buried under water.  Brazil is building a series of hydroelectric power dams throughout the Amazon to fuel the prodigious demands of aluminum smelters and a burgeoning economy. Furthermore seasonal water levels create questions about Belo Monte’s ability to provide proposed uninterrupted power and may require additional dams upstream to insure water supplies.

José Tendetza

Widows with their children from Ecuador and Peru spoke of the murder and disappearance of their husbands from communities who have been fighting the expansion of mining and oil extraction in South America. The Tribunal was dedicated to the memory of Jose Tendetza, Shuar leader (pictured right) who was found murdered only days before he was to present the Condor Mirador Mine Case.

Pablo Solon and witnesses provided clear evidence that false solutions for Climate Change such as geoengineering and carbon market mechanisms employed in REDD projects are systemic violations to Mother Earth and Rights of Nature.

Spirits soared as the Yasunidos Collective burst into the room singing and dancing after days of being repeatedly detained by Ecuadorian police who ultimately confiscated their bus. Yasunidos is a group of young activists who are calling for the Ecuadorian government to halt oil development in the fragile Yasuní National Park and to protect one of the most bio-diverse regions on our planet.

The Climate Caravan left Mexico several months ago in route to Lima.  The young Yasunidos group joined the caravan as they came through Ecuador to give a global voice to their stand in defense of Yasuní.  In spite of the delays and harassment by Ecuadorian officials, the group hired another bus and arrived to present their case to the Tribunal.


Yasunidos manifests the resiliency of communities and organizations who are saying “Stop this madness!” The International Tribunal, and related locally hosted Tribunals, examine the evidence and give voice to this global call. The time is NOW to transform human consciousness, to redesign failing, consumptive economic and social structures, and to create a framework for living in harmony with nature grounded in the recognition of the Rights of Mother Earth.
Learn more:

NinewaWe are in the process of posting decisions of the Tribunal including videos and details of each of the cases on the Global Alliance website at

David Hill of the Guardian published a compelling article, Fracking and Lima Climate Talks Slammed at Rights of Nature Tribunal saying “It’s difficult to know what was more moving or arresting” as he went on to describe the intimate testimony of indigenous leaders describing “being fracked to death” and Nnimmo Bassey declaring that “business as usual means cooking Africa”.

At the conclusion of the International Tribunal, key members including Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN, Tom BK Goldtooth presented at a Press Conference inside UNFCCC COP 20 in Lima:

UN Press Conference Lima on the International Rights of Nature Tribunal

Also in Lima, the Alliance hosted a Rights of Nature Tribunal event at the People’s Summit and marched with partners and some  200,000 participants in the Peoples’ Climate March through the streets of Lima.
peoples march

A special Thank You!

The Tribunal was truly an international collaboration of our members.  Among the participating leaders were Alberto Acosta – President, Natalia Greene – Secretariat, Ramiro Avila – Prosecutor, WECAN International, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Focus on the Global South, Amazon Watch, Acción Ecológica, Movement Rights, Alianza Arkana, our distinguished judges, and representatives from impacted communities of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and other areas of the Americas, Australia, and Africa.  Thank you to WECAN International and Amazon Watch for arranging the UNFCCC Press Conference.

Next steps for 2015

In December 2015, the UNFCCC COP21 meets in Paris, France.  The Global Alliance intends to again convene the International Rights of Nature Tribunal concurrent with the UN Climate Conference.

We need your support to maintain the momentum and carry on to Paris. We invite you to support us financially by making a donation to the Global Alliance!   Your financial contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you for your partnership and for your work towards advancing Rights of Nature ~ Rights of Mother Earth.

Blessings on the coming New Year!


Robin Milam
Administrative Director
Co-Secretariat, International Tribunal

Contact Us at

Follow Rights of Nature Tribunal – Lima, Peru and on Facebook at The Rights of Nature for more details.

Nati Greene with Tom Goldtooth on Tribunal Outcomes

Tom Goldtooth of IEN interviews Natalia Greene, Secretariat, on the outcomes of the Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima Peru December 2014.  Nati stated, “I did not expect to be so touched…”

Tribunal de Derechos de la Naturaleza – Dia 1

Lima, 6 de diciembre de 2014
Pueblos indígenas representan a la naturaleza y denuncian violación de derechos indígenas y de la naturaleza por los Estados y las transnacionales

• Poblaciones originarias alertan sobre la impunidad corporativa
• En primer día del Tribunal de los Derechos de la Naturaleza seis casos fueron sometidos a juicio: Caso de las cuatro cuencas amazónicas en Loreto; BP; Chevron; Conga; Belo Monte y Condor Mirador en Ecuador.

Empresas transnacionales y Estados se encuentran bajo la lupa por el Tribunal Internacional por los Derechos de la Naturaleza, que se viene desarrollando en Lima, desde el día viernes 5 hasta sábado 6 de diciembre, donde se seguirán presentando otros casos a nivel nacional e internacional respecto a la violación de los derechos de la naturaleza y de los pueblos indígenas, en el marco de la celebración de la vigésima Conferencia de las Partes (COP).

“Este tribunal ético permanente es un llamado a la humanidad para encontrarnos con la Naturaleza. Esta instancia surge cuando los Estados no cumplen con su obligación de preservar la vida de los seres humanos”, afirma Alberto Acosta, presidente del Tribunal, y ex presidente de la Asamblea Constituyente de Ecuador.

Casos peruanos: Conga y Pluspetrol (4 cuencas)

“Yanacocha es una herida profunda en la Madre Tierra, en Cajamarca”, lamentó Milton Sánchez, de la Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendín. Sánchez relató durante la audiencia toda la trayectoria de contaminación de la empresa Yanacocha. Asimismo, el ambientalista denunció que este proyecto destruiría las fuentes hídricas de la región. “Se verterían 85 mil toneladas diarias de relaves tóxicos durante 17 años”, afirmó. Milton condenó al presidente Humala por no cumplir con su promesa de velar por el derecho al agua de las comunidades.

José de Echave, director de CooperAcción, manifestó que no se realizó una consulta previa, libre e informada a la población, a pesar de la vigencia de la Ley de Consulta. Además, resaltó que el Estudio de Impacto Ambiental (EIA) que se presentó era “inconsistente, incompleto y violaba normas nacionales”.

Respecto al caso del Lote 192 en la selva loretana, se personó José Fachín de la cuenca del Pastaza. Relató al Tribunal que hace un año fue encarcelado, torturado y judicializado. Afirma que “desde hace más de cuarenta años la actividad petrolera ha generado muerte humana y animal”. A pesar de que el Estado ha declarado el Estado de Emergencia denuncia la inacción del Gobierno y de la empresa Pluspetrol. Exigen sancionar a Pluspetrol y que se determinen las responsabilidades del Estado por no proteger sus derechos y los de la naturaleza.

Casos del Ecuador: Cóndor Mirador y Chevron-Texaco

La cordillera del Cóndor está atravesada por proyectos mineros a gran escala, como es el caso de Condor Mirador. Luis Corral, defensor de los derechos humanos y de la naturaleza, manifestó que este caso viola los derechos de la naturaleza y colectivos”. Denunciaron el asesinato del luchador social, José Tendenza quien estaba citado para que asistiera al Tribunal como testigo. El dirigente achuar Domingo Ankuash condenó este proyecto y sentenció: “La Naturaleza y los seres humanos somos aliados, si uno desaparece, el otro también”. Por su parte, Narcisa Aucay, habitante de la región manifestó: “No nos van a callar. Nos han enseñado a vivir libremente, con honor y con dignidad”.

También se expuso en el Tribunal el caso de la empresa Chevron-Texaco que extrajo extrayendo petróleo desde el año 1967 en plena amazona ecuatoriana. La corporación construyó 860 piscinas donde se arrojaron los desechos tóxicos. En la actualidad, existen más de 2.000 casos de cáncer atribuibles a los tóxicos desechados por la actividad petrolífera. Pablo Fajardo, abogado de las víctimas de Chevron concluye que “se ganó el caso, pero no se limpia la amazonía ecuatoriana”; además informó que Chevron no acepta las sentencias de remediación del ambiente, por lo que se genera una afectación a los derechos internacionales.

Caso BP

Esperanza Matínez, de la organización Oil Watch, presentó el caso de la explosión en 2010 de la plataforma petrolífera ubicada en el Golfo de México que causó el derrame de aproximadamente 5 millones de barriles de crudo, y la muerte de 11 trabajadores. Martínez calificó este derrame como “el más grave de la humanidad”, y denunció la afectación de las especies que habitan en el mar. Asimismo, puso en conocimiento del Tribunal que el sistema de limpieza que empleó la empresa BP provocó que las partículas de petróleo se hicieran más pequeñas lo que facilitó que fueran absorbidas por las especies.

Caso brasileño de Belo Monte

El Tribunal también escuchó el caso de Belo Monte, la megarepresa que está construida al 50%, y que se convertirá en la tercera más grande del mundo. “Los pueblos están siendo afectados en su alimentación. No pueden pescar porque los peces se han ido de la región. Los pueblos no pueden beber su propia agua, debido a la actividad hidroeléctrica”, alertó la especialista Sonia Guadalajara.

Prensa y comunicaciones
Magali Zevallos

Remembering Jose Tendetza

 Fuente CEDHU

Semblanza …

José Tendetza

Líder indígena de la nacionalidad Shuar de la cordillera del Cóndor ubicada al sur de la Amazonía ecuatoriana.

Habitante ancestral de la zona donde una empresa china está construyendo  la mina de cobre llamada Mirado.

Hombre valiente y luchador, defensor de su tierra, orgulloso de su lengua, de sus raíces, le temblaba la piel de orgullo cuando hablaba de su familia, de la tierra de sus abuelos, de los padres de sus abuelos, de la tierra que él creía también iba a ser la tierra de sus hijos, mostraba con orgullo los árboles plantados por sus mayores.

Hombre joven, cazador certero, conocedor de las plantas sanadoras-

Lleno de energía, de alegría!

Su generosidad no tenía límites

Repetía una tarde que de aquí me sacan muerto!

Cumplió la promesa.

Su cuerpo sin vida fue hallado flotando en el río Zamora.

Su espíritu andará entre las cascadas sagradas, en el canto de la aves y los bosques de la cordillera.

Basada en la carta póstuma de su amiga Lupita de Heredia


El Tribunal Internacional por los Derechos de la Naturaleza se dedica a José Tendetza.

In English:

José Tendetza

Indigenous leader of the Shuar of the Condor Range located in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon.

Ancestral inhabitant of the area where a Chinese company is building the copper mine called Mirado.

Brave fighter and defender of his homeland, proud of their language, their roots, his skin trembled with pride when talking about his family, the land of their grandparents, parents of their grandparents; of the land he thought was going to be the land of their children; He proudly showed trees planted by their elders.

Young man, clever hunter, connoisseur of healing plants

Full of energy, joy!

His generosity was boundless

He repeated one afternoon that “I will be taken from here dead!

He kept his promise.

His lifeless body was found floating in the river Zamora.

His spirit walks between the sacred waterfalls, singing birds and forests of the Andes.

Based on the posthumous letter from his friend Lupita de Heredia


The International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima is dedicated to José Tendetza.