News Feed: Rights

News Releases

Justice Prevails: Peru Court Sentences Murderers of Indigenous Land Defenders to 28 Years

After ten long years, justice was served on Thursday, April 11, for the victims of the emblematic Saweto case in the Ucayali region of Peru. The Court sentenced the five accused to 28 years and three months of imprisonment for the crimes against Ashéninka community leaders from Alto Tamaya – Saweto: Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Francisco Pinedo Ramírez, and Leoncio Quintisima Meléndez, who were brutally murdered on September 1, 2014.

Indigenous representatives speaking at COP28 podium
Stories

COP28: Indigenous peoples should take center stage, and supporting their communities is key to effectively mitigating climate change

Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) will participate in COP28, supporting Indigenous leaders from the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), an organization that unites Indigenous peoples and local community (IP and LC) organizations from 24 countries in the Amazon Basin, Mesoamérica, the Congo Basin, and Indonesia, among other national and regional partners.

Stories

Indigenous Tech Camps: An Incubator for Indigenous-Led Solutions in the Peruvian Amazon

Rainforest Foundation US hosted events in the Peruvian Amazon to develop four pilot programs led by Indigenous communities to scale up effective conservation strategies. The Indigenous Tech Camps served as a collaborative platform, uniting various Indigenous organizations with academics, government officials, and international allies. These initiatives underscore our commitment to advancing Indigenous-led solutions in the Amazon.

News Releases

Brazil’s Supreme Court Votes in Favor of Indigenous Rights in Landmark Trial

Brazil’s Supreme Court reached a majority decision to reject Marco Temporal, a pernicious legal argument that translates as a “Time Limit” on Indigenous peoples’ land rights. As the results were announced, Indigenous communities around Brazil erupted into celebration, filling the central plazas of state capitals with music and dancing.

Stories

Justice Eludes the Saweto Case: A Call for Global Solidarity

The longstanding struggle for justice for the widows and families of the murdered Saweto activists remains unfulfilled. In February, the culprits behind the murder of four Indigenous leaders from the Alto Tamaya-Saweto community had been sentenced to 28 years in prison. Then last month, in an unexpected twist, the Peruvian court reversed this decision and threw out the charges to order a reassessment of the legal process.

Waorani women raise their arms in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Stories

Yes to Yasuní: Democracy Survives Latest Threat in Ecuador

On August 20, the people of Ecuador made history by voting to protect Yasuní National Park from oil drilling.
When ordinary people have the strength and the courage to make their voices heard, they can enact real change on seemingly intractable issues. Through direct democracy, the people of Ecuador have been able to take on the power of big oil, and secure an astonishing victory for the future of the Amazon.

Stories

Constitutional Trial Threatens Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Brazil

The Marco Temporal thesis is the greatest threat to the rights and lives of Indigenous peoples in Brazil today. But the potential impacts are not limited to these communities—they are universal. Our shared future depends on the health of the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical forest and one of the major contributors to the climate’s maintenance. As the primary and best guardians of the Amazon rainforest, Indigenous peoples and their lands play a crucial role in mitigating climate change.

Célia Xakriabá and Sônia Guajajara of ANMIGA elected to Brazilian National Congress
Stories

Indigenous Women Uniting to Fight for Their Rights and the Earth

Indigenous women from rainforests around the world are uniting to fight for the health of the planet in their unique and powerful ways. Whether as activists, politicians, or mothers, they are bringing back ancestral knowledge and are determined to fight for their communities and the Earth.

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2022 A Year In Review

As the year comes to a close we’re looking back at all of the amazing things we’ve accomplished in 2022, together! Check out our Year in Review.

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Didier Devers
Chief of Party – USAID Guatemala
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Didier has been coordinating the USAID-funded B’atz project since joining Rainforest Foundation US in April 2022. He holds a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor’s in Geography. Before joining the organization, Didier worked for 12 years in Central and South America on issues of transparency, legality, governance, and managing stakeholders’ processes in the environmental sector. Prior to that he worked on similar issues in Central Africa. He speaks French, Spanish, and English, and is based in Guatemala.