Mexico: army rescues 165 kidnapped migrants

Thousands of migrants continue to be killed or kidnapped each year as they try to cross Mexico to the US; activists say Mexican officials are involved in some of the crimes.

The Amazon

Brazil: top indigenous official resigns

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.

Central America

Panama: campesinos demonstrate against dams

Campesinos are protesting three dams planned for the area where they live; meanwhile, the indigenous Ngöbe Buglé are still fighting a dam being built in their territory.


by Emily Greenspan, Oxfam America

Recent statements from the Peruvian government do not bode well for implementation of Peru's new Indigenous Peoples Consultation Law (Consultation Law). The landmark law, passed in 2011 and now being implemented, requires the Peruvian government to consult indigenous peoples affected directly by development policies and projects such as oil drilling, mining, roads and forestry. Consultations must aim to achieve agreement or consent. If implemented effectively, the law could help reduce the number of violent conflicts that frequently emerge in the country’s oil and mining industries.

However, last month Peru's Vice Minister of Culture Ivan Lanegra—responsible for overseeing implementation of Peru's Consultation Law—resigned in protest following Executive branch declarations that highland (or campesina) communities do not qualify as indigenous peoples. At the same time, the Peruvian government announced that it will proceed with 14 mining projects located in the Peruvian highlands without prior consultation with neighboring communities.