Miskito Communities Seek Justice

ELAW Bulletin
CEJUDHCAN empowers mothers groups to make their voices heard.

This week, ELAW partner Lottie Cunningham Wren will travel from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, to Washington, D.C.  to testify at hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Lottie is a Miskito attorney and founder of CEJUDHCAN.  She is working with community members on Nicaragua's North Atlantic Coast who are under siege in a violent land conflict with settlers.

Ten community members have been murdered and dozens more have been attacked and kidnapped since June last year.

"The situation is incredibly tense," says Lottie.

Settlers are drawn to the North Atlantic Coast for its natural resources, including abundant tropical hardwoods.  Natural resource extraction and illegal sale of indigenous territory are fueling the conflict.

In October, Lottie joined with other organizations to successfully petition the IACHR to call on Nicaragua to take precautionary measures to halt the violence.  The Government of Nicaragua did not act and IACHR called for precautionary measures, again, in January.

IACHR wrote:

"The information provided by the petitioners indicates that the members of these indigenous communities are in a risk situation due to acts of violence, kidnappings, death threats, killings and forced displacement."

ELAW attorneys Pedro Leon and Killian Doherty worked with Lottie to organize the information she will present on Thursday.

The IACHR is described as "a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States ("OAS") whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere."

We will let you know the results of Lottie's meetings with IACHR seeking justice for Nicaragua's indigenous peoples.

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Bern Johnson
Executive Director