Commentary: Business, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Security in the Case Law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Author: Núria Reguart-Segarra, Universitat Jaume I, on Business Human Rights Journal, Published on: 7 March 2019

"Business, Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Security in the Case Law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights", 19 Feb 2019

The history of indigenous peoples from across the globe is marked by constant aggression, persecution and conflict. In these times, they are being obliged to confront the consequences of economic interests in their ancestral lands and natural resources, which often take the form of extractive projects conducted by corporate actors with the permission of governments. These abusive practices have led to a number of social, legal and political disputes, many of which have resulted in violence. All of this reveals that indigenous rights cases cannot be omitted in the study of the interrelation between business, human rights and security, since these three elements are present in many of them. In particular, the case law of the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights needs to be closely examined, as it is considered to be the regional system of human rights protection that has played the most prominent role in delimitating indigenous property rights...

This article aims at studying the recent case law of the IACtHR concerning the personal and communal security of indigenous peoples and the violation of their human rights in land grabbing conflicts affecting their territories, with a particular focus on their right to life. First peoples have constantly suffered – and are still suffering – threats, persecution and harassment which, in some cases, have eventually culminated in their own deaths. Hence, an analysis of the IACtHR rulings is required so as to ascertain the pattern it follows to hold states accountable for failing to provide adequate measures of prevention and protection which guarantee the security of the members of indigenous communities...

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