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Recent News

Another Mayangna indigenous murdered in the Sauni Bû territory, special regime area of ​​San José de Bocay

September 14 2023: We received the following update from a source in Nicaragua.

On September 12, 2023, in the community of Kipih (Peñas Blancas) of the Mayangna Sauni Bu Special Regime Zone territory, a group of 4 Mayangna community members were heading to their work plots, approximately 3 hours away from the interior in the Wassah Tingni Puputni sector. They were intercepted by a group of six unknown people although the community members blame armed settlers in the area. The assaliants shot with firearms at the community members, and community member Clen Dixon Fernández, 36 years old, was seriously injured. He was shot several times in his right abdomen and right arm. Fortunately the other three community members were unharmed and managed to retreat to their community and then, with a brigade of community members, rescued the body of their wounded companion.

After being rescued, he was immediately transferred to the secondary hospital of San Andrés de Bocay. It should be noted that given the distance and access difficulties, they traveled all night to get to the hospital. Once arriving at the hospital, given the seriousness of the patient, he was immediately ordered to be transferred to a departmental hospital in the department of Jinotega. Unfortunately, on the way, the Mayangna Indigenous community surrendered to death, at approximately 11 pm on September 13. 2023. Clen Dixon Fernandez was an active member of the sports youth movement and a member of the Indigenous Youth Movement of the Mayangna Sauni Bu Territory.

We denounce this crime. The indigenous territories, mainly the Mayangna, are in an extremely serious situation of insecurity due to the massive presence of settlers settled in our territories.

We reiterate our demand to the government of Nicaragua, the urgent need to guarantee security in the tenure of communal property. As long as the sanitation of our lands is not carried out in accordance with the law, our assets, livelihoods and life itself are in danger of extinction.

Being a millennial people, first inhabitants of Nicaragua, to date we are victims of dispossession, murders and disrespect for our right to self-determination in a continuous and systematic manner even in a republican context of State and Law, where multiple national and international legal instruments protects. We ask the territorial governments and the Mayangna Nation to raise their voices, denounce and demand that the government avoid the systematic continuity of these degrading abuses. And that territorial security and sanitation be restored in all Mayangna territories and indigenous and Afro-descendant territories. Given in the autonomous regions of the Northern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua on the 14th day of the month of September.

Ongoing Human Rights Violations

August 15 2023: We received the following update from a source in Nicaragua, which we have translated into English:

On Sunday August 13, 2023, the National Police and Army (BECO) illegally detained Indigenous land defenders from the Musawas community of the Sumu Nation Mayangna Sauni As. The police and army showed up in six vans and dressed in riot gear. They entered aggressively, violating the physical integrity of people’s bodies and community property. They arrested four territorial defenders, Rodrigo Bruno Arcángel, 48 years old, Victor Castro, 20 years old, 28-year-old Stony Bruno Smith from Kauhmakwas and a son of Rodrigo Bruno who has not yet been identified. 

When capturing Rodrigo Bruno, they used tear gas when entering his house, where he and his family were at the time. Police forces violently took Rodrigo from his home, without clothes. His family members and friends denounce this violation of his rights and dignity. 

The army and the police, instead of capturing gang members and criminals that circulate freely, target Indigenous territorial defenders. We believe that the police and army are connected to corrupt politicians and organized crime.

Human rights violations in towns and communities are becoming more and more frequent, causing extreme stress for the Mayangna and Miskito Indigenous peoples. What’s more is that the impunity and silence from authorities, and their lack of action to support the Indigenous communities continues to deepen and worsen. 

We reiterate to the state of Nicaragua to respect the physical and psychological integrity of all Indigenous people who defend their ancestral lands. We want the illegal arrests to stop! We are defending the rights of our people and of our land. 

We call on the state of Nicaragua to immediately release community members detained illegally. They are Mayangna rangers, they are not criminals.

The following is the original update recieved by the Global Justice Ecology Project: 

Comunicado Urgente

Hoy domingo 13 de agosto del año 2023 a eso de las 2 am de la madrugada en la comunidad de Musawas Capital de la Nación Sumu Mayangna Sauni As ,la Policía Nacional y Ejercito (BECO) detiene ilegalmente a Defensor de Territorio Indígena, se hicieron presente con 6 camionetas lleno de Antimotines (DOEP) con técnica canina realizaron la detención de 4 comunitarios miembros y guardabosques activos de sector kahkah Territorio

Mayangna y Miskito lo llevaron con ropa y los están acatando toda la información falsa que está dando a la fuerza Pública también denuncian que ningún Mayangna esta vinculado con el delincuente esto lo hace con el fin de salir libremente de la cárcel como inocente.

El Ejercito y la Policía en vez de desalojar y capturar a los bandas delincuenciales que circulan libremente en el sector kahkah, sector Daka was, sector sulun waspuk abajo denominado (Banda Halcón) ,( Banda los Miranda) y más integrantes de Banda Chávelo ahora en contra de los comunitarios si están usando toda la fuerza es una violación total porque no apresan a los políticos corruptos que también están vinculado con las bandas armados que circulan en el territorio .

Las violaciones de derechos humanos en los pueblos y comunidades indígenas Mayangna y Miskitos cada vez mas muy preocupante y el silencio de las autoridades impuestas por los políticos están más pegados a la política y no atienden la situación que atraviesa el territorio Mayangna reiteramos al estado de Nicaragua respetar la integridad física y psicológica de todas las personas indigenas que defienden sus tierras ancestrales y basta ya de detenciones arbitrarios ilegalmente solo por defender sus derechos y sus tierras en donde sobreviven las comunidades.

Hacemos el llamado al estado de Nicaragua liberar inmediatamente a los comunitarios detenidos de manera ilegal y sin ninguna evidencia , son guardabosques Mayangna , no son delincuentes.

100% Noticias: Leonardo DiCaprio supports campaign to save the Indio Maíz reserve, its species and its people in Nicaragua

A July 25, 2023 article that appeared in 100% Noticias’ Website (originally posted in Spanish)  discusses how actor Leonardo Di Caprio published an Instagram post denouncing the situation in the Indio Maíz reserve, Nicaragua, where illegal cattle farming is the cause of the “death” of thousands of hectares of forest and also the violations of indigenous populations.  His post included the following “As Nicaragua faces an escalating crisis—with illegal cattle ranchers and miners decimating the irreplaceable Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve—the government has an opportunity to step up and safeguard its wild lands, biodiversity, and Indigenous and local communities who depend on them.”

The post also promotes the film PATROL that follows the Rama and Kriol communities in Nicaragua fighting to protect their ancestral lands from the invasion of illegal cattle ranchers.


Take Action!

There is a petition on the film’s website that can be signed to demand greater transparency and stricter controls of Nicaragua’s Beef Supply Chains, as well as an Open Letter to 118th Congress (USA) that can be signed.

The following is a first hand account from the region regarding recent murders, shared with GJEP on June 24, 2023:

Report Mayangna Sauni As Territory 2023 (English Version)

Informe de la incidencia en el Territorio Mayangna Sauni As 2023 (Spanish Version)

Despacho 505: Another indigenous person is murdered in the Caribbean in less than a week

The article “Another indigenous person is murdered in the Caribbean in less than a week” by Despacho 505 was published July 6, 2023 on the Despacho 505 website.

The article, written in Spanish, reported that the Center for Legal Assistance to Indigenous Peoples (Calpi) counts at least nine murders of indigenous people in 2023 in the Mayangnas territories in Bosawas.

According to the article, in less than a week two indigenous people were killed by armed settlers in the Mayangna Suani territory, in the North Caribbean of Nicaragua.

The article reported that on July 5, 2023 23-year-old Serato Juwith Charly was murdered while working on land near the Kauhmakwas community.

The article also reported that on July 2, 2023, forest ranger Sergio Julián Juan was attacked between the communities of Musawas and Betlehem by settlers encroaching on indigenous lands. Sergio Julián died on July 5 from his injuries.

The entire article, including more information on the murders, can be found on the Despacho 505 website.

Take Action

For more information email:

Indigenous Mayangna traveling by panga (dugout canoe) on the Rio Pis Pis in the Bosawas Reserve in Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Autonomous Region. At the time, the Bosawas rainforest was the largest rainforest north of the Amazon Basin (1998) photo: / GJEP

Raise Awareness of the situation happening in Bosawas Reserve, Nicaragua!

Let the Nicaraguan government know that people are paying attention to what is happening there, and the Nicaraguan government must stop the invaders immediately. You can contact the Nicaraguan embassy in your country and demand that the persecution of the Mayagna immediately stop, as well as demand that the Nicaraguan government protect the Mayanga and remove the colonizers who have taken over the Mayangna lands in the Bosawas Biological Reserve.

Past Events

Human Rights and Non-Intervention in Nicaragua

Sunday July 9, 2023

Myrna Santiago, Don Macleay, and Diana Bohn will discuss the current situation in Nicaragua and what it means for the US solidarity movements and the Green Party. The speakers have been involved in Nicaraguan society, solidarity, and the support of human rights dating back to the time of the Sandinista Popular Revolution 1979-1990.

The event is sponsored by the Green Party of Alameda County

Additional information on the event can be found on this webpost.

World Peace and Prayer Day

June 19, 2023


Monday June 19th, 2023 (1:20pm PT): leading up to World Peace and Prayer Day 2023, a video will be played on the Indigenous Mayangna Peoples who live in the UNESCO designated Bosawas Biological Reserve in what is known as Nicaragua. These communities are under attack by settlers who want the Bosawas forest for illegal logging and ranching. Homes have been burned, crops destroyed and leaders murdered.


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GJEP is a US 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2003, EIN# 81-0626946

Mailing Address: Global Justice Ecology Project, 266 Elmwood Ave, Ste 307, Buffalo, NY 14222

Media Inquiries: Steve Taylor,, +1.314.210.1322

GJEP Phone: +1.716.931.5833

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