Landmark Decision Recognizing Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In March of 2022, LGN associates Laura Matson and Arielle Wagner spearheaded an effort to draft an amicus curiae brief on U.S. Federal Indian Law which was joined by some of the leading scholars in the field. The brief was submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in support of the Comunidad Indígena Maya Q’eqchi’ Agua Caliente, an indigenous community that made land and resource rights claims against Guatemala.  (Comunidad Indígena Maya Q’eqchi’ Agua Caliente v. Guatemala, Case No. 13.082).

In a landmark decision issued in December of 2023, the court found in favor of the Maya Q’eqchi’ Agua Caliente. Among other measures, the Court ordered Guatemala to pass legislation recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples, particularly related to collective land ownership, and to establish a procedure for effective consultation with indigenous peoples prior to approving projects affecting their lands and resources.

You can read more about this decision by clicking below.