Land and Natural Resources

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The Ombudsman filed an amparo action against the Ministry of Environment and Sociedad Occidental de Colombia Inc. on behalf of the U'wa people. The presentation sought the revocation of a license granted to the said company to develop an oil project in indigenous lands, alleging the communities potentially affected by the decision had not been duly consulted before the license had been granted.

On April 27, 1998, oil company Arco Oriente Inc. signed an hydrocarbon development agreement with Ecuador. Although 70% of the land belonging to Federación Independiente del Pueblo Shuar del Ecuador (FIPSE) was within the area to be devoted to the project, its members were not notified of the terms of the agreement or the related environmental impact. FIPSE, in a Special Meeting of its members, decided to prohibit all individual negotiations or agreements by FIPSE Member Centers or Associations with the company. This was notified to both the State and the company.

The Mapuche Pehuenche people of the Upper Bío Bío sector, in the Eighth Region of Chile, started a long fight to defend their rights when the Government of Chile authorized the construction of hydroelectric plants that would have deep consequences on their ancestral land and culture.

The Yakye Axa community, a Paraguayan indigenous community belonging to the Lengua Enxet Sur people, filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) alleging Paraguay had failed to acknowledge its right to property over ancestral land. Given its impossibility to solve the case, the Commission referred it to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The Mayagna Awas (Sumo) Tingni Community lives in the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua and is made up of approximately 142 families. Jaime Castillo Felipe, a leader of the community, lodged a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) denouncing the State of Nicaragua for failing to demarcate the Awas Tingni Community's communal land and to take the necessary measures to protect the Community's property rights over its ancestral lands and natural resources.

400 people who had been evicted from adjacent municipal land settled on the private Modderklip farm in 2000. In April 2001 an eviction order was issued, but the occupiers had no place to go and failed to comply.  The numbers of occupiers continued to increase and the sheriff demanded a deposit of 1.8 million rand – more than the land was worth to carry out the eviction.   

Port Elizabeth Municipality filed an eviction application in response to a neighbourhood petition against 68 adults and children occupying shacks erected on privately owned land.  They had been living on this undeveloped land for between two to eight years and were willing to vacate the property subject to reasonable notice and suitable alternative land.

Five joined communications alleged the existence of slavery and analogous practices in Mauritania and of institutionalized racial discrimination perpetrated by the ruling Moor community against the more populous black community. It was alleged, amongst other things, that black Mauritanians were enslaved, routinely evicted or displaced from their lands, which were then confiscated by the government along with their livestock.  It also was alleged that black Mauritanians were denied access to employment and were subjected to tedious and unremunerated work.

Country: 
India
Working Group(s) / Area(s) of Work: 
OP-ICESCR
Country: 
Kenya
Working Group(s) / Area(s) of Work: 
OP-ICESCR