Resources

Progress on the Recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Rights in relation to the proposed Diquís Dam

In 2010, the Teribe indigenous people of Costa Rica decided to speak out in response to what they consider gross human rights violations to their people in relation to the proposed Diquís Dam in the country’s South Pacific region. This project will lead to the partial flooding of two indigenous territories and other grave impacts on 5 indigenous territories. In defence of their rights, the Teribe filed their first claim to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in mid 2010 and to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These actions have resulted in progress both nationally and internationally. 

Report from Kus Kura S.C on the UN Special Rapporteur’s official mission to Costa Rica to study the situation of indigenous peoples’ rights, in particular the rights of the Térraba people

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, S. James Anaya, visited Costa Rica on an official mission from 24-27 April 2011. His visit responds to an Urgent Request made by Forest Peoples Programme’s (FPP) partners in Costa Rica: Kus Kura S.C. and a number of Térraba indigenous peoples’ organisations.

The Urgent Request highlighted critical issues that the Térraba people are facing in their traditional lands, including: first, the denial of their territorial rights, and the massive encroachment on their lands by non-indigenous persons; second, the threat of irreparable harm caused by the proposed Diquís Dam that will permanently flood 10 percent of the Térraba lands (this will also affect other indigenous peoples as seven different indigenous territories are within the Térraba River basin); and third, the absence of effective judicial remedies to address the imposition of political-administrative structures in each territory (primarily local government bodies that are not fully accountable to indigenous peoples and are not their preferred form of political organisation).