Natives’ land in danger

New Saudi hi-tech megacity NEOM, a project of 500 bln USD, puts in danger the existence of the Huwaitat, one of the oldest tribes in Saudi Arabia. The authorities allegedly arrested, harassed, hounded, and even killed members of the tribe who refused to sell their land and oppose the plan. The government continues to evict the tribe from their property in 13 villages along the Red Sea. Members of Huwaitat called to the United Nations to investigate the issue.

The mining concessions overlap over 20% of indigenous land in Amazon, and illegal mining affects 31% (or 450 000 square kilometers) of indigenous reserves, according to the report by the World Resources Institute. Deforestation caused by garimpeiros – independent, wildcat miners – rose between 2018 and 2019 by 23%, to the record 10 500 hectares. Brazilian gold export is currently estimated at three bn USD and rose 35% between January and August this year.

The Guapinol community from northern Honduras opposes the activity of an iron oxide mine which poses the danger of contaminating the river Guapinol – their main water source. The mine was opened within the area of a protected national park and without consultations with locals. The government and the mining industry target the community members who fight the Inversiones Los Pinares company actions: they are threatened, harassed, and even persecuted.