Developers of megaprojects have their sights set on Oaxaca, known for its indigenous peoples, biocultural richness, rugged and isolated terrain, and archeological sites. Proposed mining projects, hydroelectric dams, tourist developments, and more threaten indigenous and rural lands and the human rights of local citizens.
ELAW Attorney Alejandra Pavon traveled to Oaxaca on January 31 to join civil society organizations at a forum that explored how to include communities and respect for human rights in planning and decision-making processes for proposed projects.
“Environmental Policy and Human Rights,” was hosted by the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca, in collaboration with civil society groups, including the Mexican Council for Sustainable Forestry and Environmental Law and Policy.
“Indigenous communities have human rights to a healthy environment — clean air, clean soil, clean water,” says Alejandra. “It is urgent to establish safeguards that ensure these fundamental rights, and authorities must comply.”
Local NGOs were interested to hear about ELAW’s work around the world, empowering community advocates. They also asked for training and information to defend defenders from threats to their work and personal safety.
Alejandra and the ELAW team will work with these groups as they reach out for the support they need.
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