The Case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua: A New Step in the International Law of Indigenous Peoples (S. J. Anaya and C. Grossman)


S. James Anaya and Claudio Grossman


indigenous communities, Nicaragua, Mayagna, sumo, environmental protection, equality, land rights, America, human rights systems, Awas Tingni, international law, logging, preservation of culture, natural resources, developing nations, displacement, sustainable development


The people of Awas Tingni did not set about to forge an international
legal precedent with implications for indigenous peoples throughout the world, yet that is what they have done. Awas Tingni is one of numerous Mayagna, or Sumo, indigenous communities in the isolated Atlantic Coast region of Nicaragua. The Community has sought simply, but doggedly, to be secure in the peaceful possession of traditional lands. It has achieved a major step toward that
end, and more. The Community’s identity in the minds of outsiders is now merged with that of a landmark case, The Case of the Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community v. Nicaragua, decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on August 31, 2001.


(2002) 19 Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 1.


The Case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua: A New Step in the International Law of Indigenous Peoples