Grassroots International

Saulo Araujo, Author at Grassroots International | Página 6 de 7

  • 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. 

  • Via Campesina Central America Appreciates Prompt Calls for Action

    "Life in Silin community in Honduras is coming back to normal," said Wendy Cruz, an advisor for Via Campesina Central America based in Honduras. In a telephone call yesterday, Cruz expressed gratitude for the prompt actions taken by allies: "Thanks for your support and solidarity. We received hundreds of emails and calls from friends worldwide. Your rapid response and caring gives strength to continue our struggle for land rights in Honduras."

  • Million Cistern Project Provides Life-giving Water in Brazil

    Brazil's northeast, with the biggest population of any arid region in the world, is home to many of the more than 10 million Brazilians who live without regular access to clean and safe drinking water. For years the people of the region struggled to survive with no help from national public policy makers. Now policy makers are pursuing two very different approaches to the problem of the northeast's water insecurity: a community driven, grassroots public policy that supports building low-cost cisterns to provide water to the families who need it most, and a top-down mega-project to redirect the São Francisco River through a massive series of dams and canals.

  • Livelihood Rights: The Right to Exist

    Members of Grassroots International's partner La Via Campesina -- an international network of peasants, indigenous peoples, fishers, pastoralists, women, and youth -- gathered in late June in Jakarta, Indonesia to defend their right to exist, and called for a UN Convention on the Rights of Peasants. (Below, see their final declaration)

    Under intense threat from the expansion of agro-fuels in South America and Indonesia, militarization in Colombia and South Korea, and increasing food prices, rural families are voicing a predicament that affects all communities.

  • A Crisis of Empty Promises

    Our partners in Guatemala have told us: the current food crisis will continue unless we guarantee the land, water and seeds rights of communities necessary to grow food. The same message is being echoed in Brazil, Mexico and many neighborhoods in the U.S.

    In two separate statements, Guatemala's National Peasant and Indigenous Coordination (CONIC) and Brazil's Small Producers Movement (MPA) put forth food sovereignty as a solution to the crisis: the right of communities to produce food for local markets and for consumers to have access to local healthy foods. Both organizations denounce the expansion of industrial agriculture and growing control of agribusinesses for contributing to the hunger of urban and rural communities.

  • Water conflicts in the São Francisco River basin in Brazil

    We have documented several cases of land conflicts in Brazil, a country of considerable territorial dimensions. Land conflicts are not the only contradiction in the largest South American economy. Brazil is also facing a growing problem of water conflicts, despite the fact that Brazil holds 8% of the world’s freshwater reserves.

    Free translation from the Landless Workers Movement (MST’s) website

  • One Drop of Water at a Time: Solidarity Moves the Global Movement for Social Justice

    In times of war and institutionalized terrorism, examples of solidarity between people in the United States and the Global South give us hope for a better world. In fact, it is only through solidarity with people that we will never actually meet that we can build the "global movement for social justice".

    Here is a case that has re-energized us at Grassroots International this end of year.

    Last spring, Grassroots made a brief presentation to students of Boston's Philbrick School about our work to support rural communities throughout the globe to reclaim their rights to land, water and food.

  • We Need a Democracy that Can Speak our Language

    In a few weeks, Guatemalans will cast their votes in the final round of the Presidential elections. They will choose between two candidates, the impresario Alvaro Colom and the army general Otto Perez Molina. So far, it seems that the next president will be elected with a small margin of votes with the two candidates disputing every vote in the capital of Guatemala City, where the election is expect to be decided.

    Far in the mountains, the votes of Mayan peasants will have almost no impact on the final outcome of the election. This lack of impact is evident in both political platforms, which fail to address the main issues and concerns of the Mayan population, including landlessness and the dire agrarian situation in the country.

  • Agrarian Reform and Peasant and Women’s Leadership Strengthened at the Francisco Morazan Central America Peasant School

    It is my seventh day traveling around Central America and I have filled many, many pages with notes. As much as I want to know, it is impossible to absorb so much information and history in a week. Conversations here are a rich experience often sprinkled with bountiful details of local and Latin American history.

    Over the last two days, I have been participating as an observer in the Central American Regional Conference on Agrarian Reform of the Via Campesina at the Francisco Morazan Central American Peasant School, named after the 19th century Central American leader who tried to create a united, progressive Central America.

  • Central America’s Women Fighting Oppression

    [In September 2007, Saulo Araujo, our Global Programs Assistant, is visiting our partners in Mesoamerica. He'll be reporting back about resource rights and food sovereignty issues in the region. This is the first of a series of three articles. --Ed.]

    As I waited for my flight to El Salvador on Tuesday, I decided to browse the newspapers for news about the election in Guatemala and saw a small blurb about the defeat of Rigoberta Menchu. The newspaper article reads that Rigoberta Menchu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, received only 3% of the valid ballots in last Sunday's presidential election in Guatemala.

  • Sugar Slaves: 1,108 freed, 14 in jail

    Much of the sweat that goes into cutting cane for sugar to eat and increasingly as a primary ingredient for ethanol comes from low-wage and slave (bonded) labor. This month, the Brazilian government freed 1,108 sugar cane cutters in the state of Pará in the Amazon region. In the western state of Mato Grosso, 14 farm workers from an ethanol producing plant were incarcerated for protesting the delay in payment of their salaries. The average salary of a sugar cane cutter is less than $ 300.00 per month.

  • River Rerouting in Brazil: Reinventing a Broken Wheel

    1,200 indigenous people, fishermen and peasant farmers occupied the construction site of a major river rerouting project of the São Francisco river in protest. Members of different organizations and social movements in northeast Brazil are demanding that the federal government stop the implementation of this project and guarantee indigenous people’s land rights in the area.

    “We are being evicted from our land for this by people who are not concerned with the river or with the livelihood of our families” said Neguinho Truká, leader of the Truká ethnic group.

  • Food Sovereignty and Biofuels

    Article three in a three issue series on biofuel in Brazil.

    The memorandum of understanding between Brazil and the United States signed during the visit of President Bush to Brazil early this month has been under intense scrutiny. For one, the high U.S. tariffs on Brazilian ethanol make the initiative unrealistic for now. But speculative investors are already rushing to expand the "green desert", as activists have taken to calling the vast areas of monocrops like sugar cane, soybean and castor seed that bring high profits for agribusiness and industry at the cost of rural livelihoods and biodiversity. This expansion takes land and water rights and the possibility of a dignified livelihood away from rural families.

  • Biofuels: The industrial model is bad for the environment, worse for workers

    The latest post in our ongoing series on biofuels, human rights and the environment in Latin America.

    We hear the claims so often—biofuels will save the environment, biofuels are clean and green—that they begin to sound like common sense. The corporations tell us that biofuels made from sugar cane, castor beans and soy will save the environment from the ravages of petroleum-based fuels, and we all wish that it were true.

  • Co-Director of Rede Social Receives Award for the Defense of Human Rights in Brazil

    Brazilian president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva will present an award for defending human rights today to Aton Fon Filho, one of the directors of Rede Social, a Grassroots International partner in Brazil. Aton Fon Filho, a lawyer by training, will receive the 2006 Human Rights Award from the National Secretary of Human Rights.

    This award was created in 1995 by the federal government to recognize individuals and organizations that are advocates and defenders of human rights. Since its creation 160 students, professionals and organizations have had their efforts recognized.

  • Oaxaca Under Undeclared State of Marital Law

    Armed forces, including local and Federal police (in and out of uniform) and various paramilitaries loyal to Governor Ulysses Ruiz have seized control of the streets of Oaxaca city, showing complete disregard for the human rights of activists who have been rallying for months against the policies of Ruiz. The current clampdown took place in the wake of the latest "megamarch" on November 25.

  • Ancestral Land of Black Community Reclaimed from Multinational Corporation

    Last month, 300 women and men from quilombos of the Brazilian southeastern state of Espírito Santo reclaimed a parcel of ancestral land from ARACRUZ Cellulose, a Norwegian-based corporation, according reports from the Anti-Green Desserts Network. The land is part of the former Linharinho quilombo. Two of Grassroots International's Brazilian partners, the Landless Movement (MST) and the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), supported the initiative of the quilombolas in Espirito Santo.