UNSR Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

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Conflict, peace and the human rights of Indigenous Peoples Print

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz

Conflict, peace and the human rights of Indigenous Peoples
Presentation by Victoria Tauli-Corpuz,
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Unreported Struggles: Conflict and Peace
14-15 May 2016, Columbia University, New York

It is a pleasure for me to be present here today and speak on this important topic. Through many decades of my life as an indigenous activist and an indigenous rights advocate and in my two years as the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, I regrettably have born witness to the tragic consequences armed conflict has on indigenous peoples across the world.

As part of my mandate as Special Rapporteur, I monitor and report publicly on the situation of indigenous peoples through country visits and by sending communications to Governments on specific cases of alleged violations. Through this work, I and my predecessors have engaged numerous situations of armed conflict where we have called for halt of violations and the adoption of protection measures, argued for the need to hold perpetrators accountable and to ensure that victims are provided with reparations.

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Berta Cáceres’ murder: UN experts renew call to Honduras to end impunity Print

justiceberthaGENEVA (11 April 2016) – More than a month after Berta Cáceres' murder, United Nations experts* have reiterated their appeal to the Government of Honduras to provide justice and reveal the truth in the killing of the woman human rights defender, and to ensure the security and protection of all people defending the environment and human rights in the country.

Berta Cáceres, founder of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations Honduras (COPINH), was shot to death on 3 March 2016 in spite of the 2009 decision by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights requiring Honduras to protect her.

Despite repeated acts of intimidation, including gender-specific attacks, arrests and violence that she suffered over the years, she continued to defend the rights of the Lenca community of Rio Blanco, denouncing and opposing the exploitation of indigenous natural resources, especially via the hydroelectric project of 'Agua Zarca'.

"The murder of Berta Cáceres, which is believed to be directly linked to her work and to the fact that she was a woman and indigenous, sadly illustrates an appalling backlash against women human rights defenders and, especially against environmental activists," the experts stated.

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Brazil. End of Mission Statement. United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Print

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United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights
of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz
End of Mission Statement
17 March 2016


In my capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples I carried out a visit to Brazil from 7 to 17 March 2016 to identify and assess the main issues currently facing indigenous peoples in the country and to follow up on key recommendations made in 2008 by my predecessor James Anaya.

Over the last ten days I have travelled to Brasilia and to the States of Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia and Pará. I met with representatives of the three branches of Government in Brasilia, as well the national and local offices of the Federal Prosecutors and FUNAI, the vice Governor of Mato Grosso do Sul and several officials from Famasul, delegates from European Union and Norwegian Embassies, UN officials, Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization (ATCO) and staff of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), representatives of indigenous peoples, a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations working on indigenous peoples' rights, as well as other actors whose activities impact on their rights.

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UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples announces follow-up visit to Brazil Print

brazilThe United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will carry out a visit to Brazil from 7 to 17 March 2016 to identify and assess the main issues currently facing indigenous peoples in the country. She will also follow up on key recommendations made by the previous Special Rapporteur in 2008.

“While the indigenous population in Brazil is relatively small, the challenges they are facing at the moment are overwhelming,” Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said. “I hope that this visit will help to bring to light some of their concerns and will lead to resolution to some long standing issues.”

“I will assess the implementation of my predecessor’s recommendations, including a follow up to the statutes and amendment proposals of concern to indigenous peoples, demarcation and protection of indigenous lands, impact of large-scale development projects as well as updates related to indigenous health,” the expert noted.

Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, who visits Brazil at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Brasilia and to the States of Mato Grosso Do Sul, Bahia and Pará. She will meet with Government and UN officials, a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations and other non-State actors, including those working on indigenous rights. She will also visit indigenous communities to hear directly from them about their issues and concerns.

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UN expert condemns killing of rights defender Berta Cáceres in Honduras Print

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GENEVA (4 March 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, today strongly condemned the murder in Honduras of human rights defender Berta Cáceres, founder of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations Honduras (COPINH) and leader of the Lenca community of Río Blanco.

The murder of Ms. Cáceres took place earlier this week despite precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for her protection after an increase in the number of death threats she had received for years because of her work denouncing violations of human rights against indigenous peoples.

The Special Rapporteur met Ms. Cáceres during her first official visit* to Honduras in November 2015, when the indigenous leader facilitated meetings with the Lenca community. At Río Blanco, the UN expert received information about the community's opposition to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam which had led to killings, harassment and threats to members of the community.

"It is very likely that this killing is linked to her work in defense of human rights of the indigenous Lenca people," Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said, recalling that Ms. Cáceres had received the Goldman Prize in 2015 as an environmental activist in recognition of her work against the construction of the Agua Zarca dam.

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