Action Alert and Video: Amador Hernandez, Chiapas – Starved of Medical Services for REDD +

 Stop REDD-related Indigenous Rights Abuses (view video below)

In March, 2011, Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP), with support from Global Forest Coalition, traveled to the village of Amador Hernández, inside the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. GJEP had been invited there by the villagers who explained that their right to remain on their land was under threat from REDD+ (the UN and World Bank’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation scheme). The state’s efforts to implement a climate change policy to “protect” the forest was putting them and other communities at risk of being forcibly moved off of their lands.

In Amador Hernandez, GJEP documented and interviewed residents about the ways in which Indigenous communities are threatened by forest carbon offset policies like REDD+. We investigated the way REDD+ projects in the Global South are being driven by legislation in the Global North—such as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), which promotes forest carbon offsets.  We assembled a photo essay from the trip, as well as numerous articles and the video below.

In this video, Indigenous villagers clearly explain the insidious link between such policies and their current health emergency. A year before our visit, the government had withdrawn all medical services from their community, which had led to the deaths of several elderly people and children.

“The fact that they cut off our medical services after we refused to enter into any of their plans makes us believe that it has to do with our lands.  They’re attacking our health as a way of getting access to our land.”  — Santiago Martinez, Amador Hernandez

(double click on video image to get full screen mode)

Take Action!

Under international law, Indigenous Peoples can only be moved from their homes under conditions of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. It appears the government of Chiapas plans to use international funds, including potential funds from California’s climate legislation, to “protect” the Lacandon for carbon sequestration by evicting the community of Amador Hernandez, in clear violation of The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Please submit public commentsdue this Thursday, July 28 – to the California Air Resources Board to demand they not use forest carbon projects to offset emissions from California industries.  Demand emissions be cut at the source.
For more information on the situation of Amador Hernández and its relation to California legislation and global climate policy, see the current issues of Race, Poverty and the Environment and Z Magazine and ongoing reporting on Climate Connections.


- The GJEP team

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, REDD, Videos

3 responses to “Action Alert and Video: Amador Hernandez, Chiapas – Starved of Medical Services for REDD +

  1. Pingback: Village in Chiapas Starved of Medical Services for REDD

  2. Pingback: Underreported Struggles #53, August 2011

  3. Pingback: Debate: Should California cap and trade use forestry offsets? | Climate Connections

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