Resource Rights

Via Campesina calls for Peasant Rights

On February 23, Grassroots International partner, the Via Campesina met with representatives of the United Nations in New York City to discuss ways to address the chronic problems faced by peasant communities around the globe.

The growing violation of resources rights of peasants by development policies - especially mega-projects whose main goal is to speed up the extraction and export of resources for corporate profits - is an issue that demands immediate attention.

Take Action: Community Activists in Chiapas Face Harassment and Intimidation

Human rights and community leaders in Mexico continue to experience threats - including death threats. They ask for help from global activists to protect their lives and their community work.

Current threats follow previous repression, including the unjust prosecution of local organizers of the Civil Resistance against the high cost of energy in the southern state of Campeche.  Last December, in response to an emergency action, letters of solidarity with Sara Lopez and Joaquin Aguilar brought authorities in Campeche to the negotiating table.

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Haitians Organize to Cancel Debt

Grassroots International's partners in Haiti have joined with their Global South counterparts to demand an end to forcing countries to pay exorbitant debt to Northern countries whose failed economic policies helped cause the crisis in the first place. 

The following is a summary of the Declaration of the Assembly of Movements struggling to overcome Debt domination put forth in Belem, Brazil: 

In a World of Crises, Disastrous Governance

It has become clear that the numerous crises we face today are a result of disastrous global governance formulas that try to accommodate powerful interests, instead of addressing the real issues.

And these formulas are getting old. Discredited in the public eye, global institutions led by a handful of nations, and dominated by corporate agendas, are losing ground. 

Gaza Under Fire

For years, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) has been turning food aid that feeds dependency on its head. Their Farm to Table program purchases food for hungry families from local Palestinian farmers to address critical humanitarian needs and provide local farmers with needed income. Like nearly all organizations working in Gaza, PARC's operations came to a swift halt on December 27, 2008, when Israeli Defense Forces began bombing the region. Their buildings were severely damaged, along with the rooftop and backyard gardens at the core of the urban farm program.

Cease-fire Remains Tenuous

For the most part, Gaza has been quiet for the past 10 days. News coverage from the region has faded from headlines as direct conflict between Hamas and the Israeli military halted in the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration and the subsequent transitions of power.


Indigenous Peoples Call On Us To Heed Their Call To Save The Amazon


Nikhil Aziz,  Grassroots International's Executive Director is in Brazil this week attending  the World Social Forum (WSF), which is happening in Belem in the Amazon region of Brazil.   For four days before the WSF our partner,  the Landless Workers Movement  (MST) did a special site visit  to show international visitors including members of media the destruction that has been brought about by the agribusiness expansion in the Amazon region. They traveled through the southern part of Para state and saw the impacts of mining, logging and hydroelectric projects on the Amazon and its people.

Haitians Organize for Political Action

Peasant organizers in Haiti - including Grassroots International's partners and allies - are uniting their efforts to collaborate in rebuilding their country.  These organizers plan and mobilize across the island, linking issues such as environmental degradation and food scarcity to failed agricultural and economic policy and demand political action.  Their advocacy and education activities are centered on reducing prices of food by increasing natural production and warning that the international financial crisis could have a deadly impact on Haiti if economic and agricultural policies fail to change. 

Zapotec Indigenous People in Mexico Demand Transparency from U.S. Scholar

The Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO) - a longtime partner of Grassroots International based in Mexico - denounced a recently conducted study in the Zapotec region by U.S. geography scholar Peter Herlihy. Prof. Herlihy failed to mention that he received funding from the Foreign Military Studies Office of the U.S. Armed Forces.  The failure to obtain full, free and prior informed consent is a violation of the rights of indigenous communities as codified in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations in 2007. In addition, UNOSJO fears that this in-depth geographical mapping of indigenous communities may be used in some harmful manner by the military.