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Nicaragua indigenous group finally gains title to native lands

15 January 2009

Minority Rights Group International welcomes a decision by the Nicaraguan Government to formally recognise the land rights of the indigenous Awas Tingni community. In a ceremony on 14 December the government gave the community title deeds to their 74,000 hectares of forest land.

"The Nicaraguan government's action has been a long time in coming, but it marks a very positive step, not only for the Awas Tingni community, but for all indigenous groups throughout the Americas fighting for the recognition of their collective land rights," Carla Clark, MRG's Legal Officer, says.

In 2001 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua found the Nicaraguan government in violation of human rights for granting concessions to log on community land and for failing to recognize the community's right to land.