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August 7th, 2015
Since 1994, August 9 has been dedicated as the UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The primary purpose of this commemorative day is to help promote and protect the rights of indigenous people around the world.
By Diana M. Holguín
August 5th, 2015
The challenges faced by indigenous peoples often transcend geographical location, so it’s not surprising that indigenous groups in India and Brazil share similar stories of oppression and strife.
Grassroots International stands with people on the frontlines of defending the human rights to water, land, and food. Recently, we awarded more than 15 grants to movements in Haiti, Latin America, Palestine, West Africa and India – bolstering the efforts of those leading the global struggle for climate justice and creating sustainable solutions that we can all learn from.
Honduran people are filling the streets in massive demonstrations, outraged over a purported multimillion-dollar theft of social security funds. The scandal involves significant amounts of that money allegedly going to finance the governing political party. The social moments as well as other sectors of civil society have been publically demanding the resignation of the President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and calling for the creation of an international commission to investigate corruption and impunity.
The US Treasury Department will now be responsible for restructuring Guatemala’s tax collection agency (the Superintendency of Tax Administration, or SAT). That announcment came last week from the US Ambassador and Guatemala’s President and follows weeks of public outrage and political fallout after a customs bribery ring was exposed in a UN-backed investigation.
Social movements around the world, including Grassroots International partners, take action on World Environment Day (June 5) to highlight the importance of ecological justice. On this day, we are happy to share a video from a recent talk that Grassroots International had the opportunity to be a part of, along with Anim Steel, founder and Executive Director of the Real Food Challenge, and Mark Bittman, New York Times journalist and author.
Outraged by a pervasive corruption scandal that implicates top government officials, tens of thousands of Guatemalans filled the streets of the capital for their fourth week to demand the resignation of President Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti. The nonviolent protestors already won the second of those resignations when Baldetti stepped down after being implicated in a massive Tax Administration corruption scandal. And yesterday, Ministers of the Interior, Environment and Security also resigned in the wake of the scandal.
Small-scale food producers and global movement leaders gathered in Mali earlier this year to lay out a plan to transform and repair our food system and the rural world that has been devastated by industrial food production. Their declaration (below) spells out specific values, strategies, challenges and next-steps to not only feed the world, but also address climate change by advancing agroecology.
Hosted by Grassroots International grantee CNOP (the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations) and La Via Campesina, among several other leading agroecology organziations, the International Forum on Agroecology outlined agroecology is a key form of resistance to the commodification of food and seeds, and moves toward a healthy planet.
The Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellant court, ruled that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied. The Court affirmed that these traditional land rights constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination.
After almost a decade of legal struggle, the April 20th judgement finally upholds the rights of the indigenous Maya to their ancestral lands.
Grassroots International has supported he Maya Leaders Alliance, a lead plaintiff in the case and community voice for indigenous rights and cultural.
Contrary to Western assertions, Africa is not a blank slate.
Africans have a long history of vibrant culture, politics, economics and agriculture. However, since Europe’s first encounter with Africa through present day, international “decisionmakers” have approached the African continent as though it was devoid of people along with history. Africa is imagined out of context, and those projections become the basis for policy.
In our times, the battle for Africa is being waged one plot of agricultural land at a time. Control of Africa’s food system is being wrested away from peasant farmers and being turned over to agribusinesses such as Monsanto under the guise of agricultural development.