Nicaragua rebuffs attacks at human rights hearing

Nicaragua was one of the first countries in Latin America to give constitutional rights to its Indigenous peoples and its laws to protect their territories are justly famous (especially the Autonomy Law of 1986 and the Demarcation Law of 2003). Some 40,000 Indigenous families live in areas that are legally owned and administered by over 300 Indigenous communities, covering almost a third of the country. Governmental recognition of land rights was the first step in tackling incursions by non-Indigenous settlers from western Nicaragua and the violent conflicts they sometimes produce. But because colonization of Indigenous territories has been taking place for decades, taking the next steps – delineation of the territories, dealing with illegal titles (primarily given under previous governments) and potentially removing settlers – is a complex process that involves delicate negotiation and agreement at the local level.

Nicaragua rebuffs attacks at human rights hearing