The HREV Rights Node works to promote and safeguard the rights of individuals and peoples. We have tried to transcend a subjective vision of human rights, which isolates human beings from their social context. We understand that we have no rights if we are not citizens and we are only citizens in our social context.
For this reason, we are committed to the right to self-determination as the main axis of the realisation of many other rights in the Americas. Territory, as a spatial realization of rights, goes beyond the traditional Western (and thus colonial) framework of the nation-state and that is where we focus our work.
The capacity of the HREV Rights Node is limited because, in line with our mandate, we have not built stable structures or professionalized our team. Nevertheless, this situation has permitted us to enjoy two advantages which are difficult to achieve in our times: extreme flexibility and real independence (non-discursive).
So far, we have promoted and safeguarded the rights of communities and peoples through three types of actions:
Reports and Commissions
In cases of extreme crises or violations of rights, we have sent commissions or verification teams to the field. These have produced complete fieldwork reports which can be used by the communities concerned, and the HREV Communication Node has helped us to raise public awareness on these situations and to influence national and international organisations.
Investigation lies at the heart of HREV. This is where we started. We meticulously investigate phenomena related to violations and attacks on the rights of communities and peoples. These investigations are often related to economic megaprojects threatening territories, and therefore the political, cultural, social and economic self-determination of peoples.
We can only on rare occasions offer sustained accompaniment to communities or peoples who ask for HREV solidarity. Whenever we have been able to, we have done it. The accompaniment is not always physical; sometimes it consists of working indefinitely on a number of aspects in which the community requires occasional orpermanent support.