This report addresses the pattern of pervasive, long-standing and inter-connected violations or denials of the rights of indigenous peoples in the Republic of Costa Rica, and the ongoing situation of impunity in which they occur and persist.
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.
For over 40 years, the Costa Rican government has planned the construction of one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Central America. The plan has been modified several times due to serious criticism for its potential negative environmental and social impacts – especially on indigenous peoples. In 2008, the government of Costa Rica declared the Diquís Dam as being of public interest and national convenience, giving full support for its construction. The proposed Diquís Dam will flood more than 10% of the traditional and titled lands of the Teribe people and more than 5% of those of the Cabécar People. The Teribe people consider the Diquís Dam as a grave threat to their survival as a people, since the Teribe total around only 750 individuals.
Letter from CERD (UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination), under the urgent action procedure, in response to request submitted by FPP.
See related reports for Submission to CERD by FPP
Submission to CERD (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination).
See CERD response 27 August 2010 (related documents)