Water

Now, activists seek personhood rights for a fifth river

An amicus brief was submitted to the Constitutional Court of Colombia on August 9 calling for recognition of the rights of the Anchicayá River

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 24 August 2018
River rights
The Anchicaya River in Colombia        Credit: Wikimedia Commons The Anchicaya River in Colombia Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A group of international activists have filed an amicus brief to seek legal personhood rights for Colombia’s Anchicayá River.

On August 9, 2018, non-profits including the Earth Law Center, International Rivers and the International Network of Human Rights (RIDH) submitted the amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia, calling for recognition of the rights of the Anchicayá.

The Anchicayá flows through the vastly bio-diverse Colombian Pacific region.

The brief also asks the Court to recognise the rights of every other river in Colombia, as well as to fairly compensate affected communities.

The case arises from over 17 years of legal proceedings after dam operators discharged some 500,000 cubic metres of sediment into the Anchicayá in 2001, devastating downstream Afro-Colombian communities and degrading river ecosystems.

Colombia has already granted personhood rights of the Atrato River and the entire Colombian Amazon in 2017.

Besides the Atrato, the Whanganui River in New Zealand and the Ganga and Yamuna in India were also given personhood rights in 2017.

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