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In early April over 30,000 indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon began peaceful protests calling for the repeal of recently adopted national laws that would open up 70% of the Amazon forest to exploitation by multinational companies. The laws ignore indigenous peoples' rights to their traditional lands. As a result of the protests two of the more flagrant laws have now been repealed and a framework for dialogue between the government and indigenous peoples is finally being developed.
At a ceremony in San Francisco this award was made to the leaders of the Saramaka Maroon community for their work on the 2007 Saramaka People v. Suriname case decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This case ultimately led to a landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the Americas to control resource exploitation in their territories.