Indigenous Mayan communities in Southern Mexico are on the front lines defending their lands, people, natural resources and culture against the violent imposition of resource extraction projects in their territories. Frayba provides the communities with knowledge on territorial rights, increases the impact of their public advocacy efforts, and strengthens their organizational capacities to defend their land and prevent irreversible socio-environmental impacts and serious human rights violations.
The Mexican government and corporations are eager to acquire indigenous communities land to extract its natural resources. Without their land, indigenous peoples have no livelihood, identity, or means of survival. Indigenous communities face many obstacles defending their lands, such as lack of information, insufficient knowledge of their rights, their voices go unheard, and to neutralize their struggle they are coerced, intimidated or the target of violent attacks.
By training 17 communities on their rights, negotiation skills, connecting them to other communities facing similar problems, and by making their voices heard we strengthen their fight for the respect of indigenous rights. We work with human rights observers and a global advocacy network that publicly reacts when communities face eminent threats to hold the Mexican government accountable. We detain further violations so that communities can continue their life and work without fear of repression
The 17 Mayan indigenous communities will develop various actions to position their demands and perspectives, to temporarily stop or cancel extractive undertakings that threaten their territories, and thereby preserve the necessary means to live in dignity and to secure their livelihoods. Protecting land and resource rights of indigenous peoples will not only increase security for historically exploited group but also help the global fights against biodiversity loss and climate change.