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Webinar Video: Nicaragua's Failed Revolution

On April 29th, the Oakland Institute released a new report Nicaragua’s Failed Revolution: The Indigenous Struggle for Saneamiento exposing the drivers–foreign gold mining firms, national and international actors in logging and cattle ranching industry, as well as prominent Nicaraguan officials – behind the incessant violence facing the Indigenous & Afro-descendant communities in the Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions of the country.

Nicaragua is seen as exemplary in granting land rights to the Indigenous, however, the report reveals the failure of the government in enforcing these laws, its collusion with business interests, and its active role in the colonization of the protected lands by outsiders. This research and advocacy has generated millions of media impressions, including coverage in the New York Times, Guardian, Le Monde, Washington Post, ABC News, and MongaBay, among others as well as in social media.


  • Anuradha Mittal, author of the report and Executive Director of the Oakland Institute

  • Lottie Cunningham, Founder of the Center for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (CEJUDHCAN)

  • Guillermo Rodríguez, Advocacy Officer at Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL’s) program for México and Central America

Moderator: Kendall Dunnigan, Director of Resilient Communities, Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

Key Findings of the Report:

  • Indigenous communities in the Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions are facing increased violence, as evidenced by recent attacks against the Alal, Wasakin, and Miskitu communities.

  • Since January 2020, eight people from the Mayangna and Miskitu communities in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCN) have been killed in land invasions, bringing the total number of killings since 2015 to 44. Dozens have been injured, kidnapped, disappeared, and thousands displaced due to land invasions.

  • The government of Nicaragua has made millions of hectares available for mining, logging, and cattle ranching – attracting transnational corporations and driving thousands of colonos to autonomous regions at the expense of Indigenous lives and livelihoods.

  • While the country’s laws establish the autonomy of Indigenous communities in the management of their land and natural resources, these rights are systematically denied through forced dispossession.

  • Nicaraguan officials collude in illegal land sales and state-sponsored police repression of communities who resist dispossession.

The Oakland Institute is an independent policy think tank, bringing fresh ideas and bold action to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues of our time.

CEJUDHCAN is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that provides educational programs, legal support, and practical assistance to Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant communities on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

CEJIL is a regional organization that promotes and defend human rights in the Americas before international protection systems such as the Inter-American Human Rights System. Among the different litigations that it has conducted are the protection measures in behalf of 12 Miskitu communities and two Indigenous People’s human rights defenders.

OAEC is a movement strategy center based in Northern California that facilitates global and regional networks working at the vanguard of justice and ecological sustainability.