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The highest court in Guatemala has made a precedent setting decision in favor of the community of Agua Caliente, a small Maya Q’eqchi’ indigenous community of 385 people in El Estor, in the country’s Izabal province. The community has been fighting for formal recognition of its land rights and for justice against plans to mine nickel on the community’s lands.

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On April 27, 2013, Tahoe Resources’ private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the Escobal silver mine, in the municipality of San Rafael las Flores in southeastern Guatemala. The seven victims, allegedly shot at close range and while attempting to flee, have filed a lawsuit in Canadian courts against the company for its role in the violence.

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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) sets an important standard for the treatment of indigenous peoples that will undoubtedly be a significant tool towards eliminating human rights violations against the planet’s 370 million indigenous people and assisting them in combating discrimination and marginalisation.

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