In the last two years 300 activists of the environment were murdered. Help visibilize violence against environmental activists and amplify just climate alternatives.
The environmental and climate crisis has been an increasingly constant concern in many places around the world. From the young and elderly, women and men, to institutions, companies and governments, all have expressed concern about the environmental costs that have been provoked due to unrestrained economic growth and rampant consumption.
In this reality the United Nations proposed a new economic model, the “Green Economy”, beginning in the 1990s. The plan was designed to assist governments in “greening” their economies by reshaping and refocusing policies, investments and spending towards an emerging range of sectors. These areas include “clean” technologies, renewable energies, hydroelectric dams, wind farms, renewed water services, green transportation, eco friendly waste management, building green cities, agriculture and promoting sustainable forests.
On the other hand, there are a plurality of original peoples, indigenous and farmworkers, in many parts of the world who believe in other world views, and whose connection with nature and the land has been historic and constant. Yet over the course of the last two or even three decades, specifically in Latin America, these indigenous peoples have been displaced or evicted from their ancestral lands to make way for megaprojects under the guise of ‘sustainable development and conservation of the environment. In many cases, these people have been criminalized, even charged under anti-terror laws, as they seek to have a voice and resist this particular kind of “development”. In Latin America rate of murders of environmental activists, mostly indigenous, have increased. These individuals have struggled to stop clean energy megaprojects, industrial agriculture, deforestation, mining, among others. murders of activists.
Many of the people being killed in these struggles are not only protecting their local land and water. By keeping carbon in the ground, and defending ecological farming practices, they are showing the rest of us how to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Our project is to rigorously investigate the real impact of this new model of the Green Economy. Likewise, we seek to expose different alternatives that are being created from below in response to environmental and the climate change crisis.
1. Creating a Green Economy watch dog organization, essentially a website or digital platform where the following materials will document and make public the relationship between the Green Economy and Human Rights violations:
- Interviews, expert analysis, articles and reports made during the period in which we will tour and document Mexico-Central America
- Multimedia, Photographs, video reports
- Maps and documents
This material will be directed towards and made free and accessible for the indigenous and farmworking communities, their leadership organizations, NGOs, non-profits and independent media.
2. Production and final publication of a book-report derived from research and interviews conducted in the course of the trip, with the aim of observing the link between the Green Economy and human rights violations against indigenous peoples, farmworkers, minorities, small-scalle producers, and placing emphasis on the role of women.
The book will be made available in print as well as in a digital format. The electronic version will be accompanied by an interactive and dynamic map, which will allow for the user to locate in each of the countries and regions of Mexico and Central America, the major projects of the Green Economy model. The map will also provide visual and textual elements that identify and locate the major transnational companies as well as their financing, and the groups of people who are directly and indirectly negatively impacted by the actions of these companies.
Our commitment is to deepen our research and reach the places where the commercial or mass media fail to reach.
We kindly request that you be part of this project, give it a push, and support not only independent and ethical journalism, but to better our understanding of the dramatic changes to our environment, the people most affected, and to emphasize ground-up democratic solutions.
About the team members:
Renata Bessi (Brazil) is a freelance journalist. She has written for : Truthout the Americas program and collaborates with the Mexico based Subversiones Communications Agency. Bessi was a finalist for the “Libero Badaro of Jornalismo” award in 2014 in Brazil, with her exhaustive report “Transposição do Rio São Francisco ameaça terras indígenas”. She has also published in Upside Down World, Agência Pública de Periodismo Investigativo and Repórter Brazil.
Santiago Navarro F. (México) is a freelance journalist and photographer. Navarro F is a member of the the Subversiones Communications Agency and is a collaborator of the community radio station of the Autonomous University of Chapingo. Navarro F has also published in Truthout, the Americas program, and Upside Down World.
The documentary “Aquí estamos, no estamos extintos (2015)” (Here we are, we are not extinct) of Renata Bessi and Santiago Navarro F., was recognized by the jury of the International Film and Video Festival of Indigenous Peoples – 2015 as best documentary in the category of socio-organizational process of Indigenous Peoples. The documentary was exhibited in Chile, Argentina and Spain.
Clayton Conn is a photographer and journalist whose work has been published in such outlets as Free Speech Radio News, Upside Down World, and NACLA. He was formerly a member of the editorial group of Desinformémonos. Since 2014 he has been the Mexico correspondent for TeleSUR English.