The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has handed down what advocates are calling a milestone victory for indigenous peoples. The court has sided with Ecuador’s Sarayaku indigenous community in a long-running dispute with the Ecuadorean government and a foreign oil firm. In its ruling, the court found Ecuador ignored the Sarayakus’ rights by failing to consult with them before approving a massive energy project on their ancestral land. In a statement, Amnesty International said the ruling will have “far-reaching effects” across the Western Hemisphere, adding: “It makes it crystal clear that states bear a responsibility to carry out special consultation processes before engaging in development projects affecting Indigenous Peoples and their rights.”
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