Peruvian court confers rights on the Marañón River


Plaintiffs celebrate their court win on March 21 at a demonstration in Iquitos. (Photo by Barbara Fraser)

A group of Indigenous Kukama women has won a landmark rights ruling in Peru—but the rights in question were those of a river rather than their own. On March 18, a Peruvian district court found the Marañón River and its tributaries have rights including the right to flow, to be free of pollution, to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functions, to be protected, and to be represented. The court named Indigenous organizations in the watershed, along with the relevant government agencies, as the river’s guardians, protectors and defenders. The case, filed in 2021, is the first rights-of-nature lawsuit in Peru. (See "Giving nature personhood...and a chance" —EcoAméricas, August 2022.) Government agencies named as defendants have already appealed the ruling, so the Huaynakana Kamatahuara Kana, the Indigenous women’s federation whose members are the plaintiffs, now awaits... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?