THE 2018 GRANT IN MEMORY OF ANNA DAHLBÄCK
Lottie Cunningham Wren
Lottie Cunningham Wren has been awarded the Grant in Memory of Anna Dahlbäck.
Ms Lottie Cunningham Wren works for human rights in Nicaragua, a Central American country with a history of colonization, exploitation and civil war. Ms Wren is herself of the Miskito people and has for the last twenty years focused on the indigenous people's right to land, culture and natural resources, i.e. to their existence.
Ms Lottie Cunningham Wren has founded the Organization for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (CEJUDHCAN), which gives voice to the increasingly displaced indigenous peoples. And the organisation has had success: the first case regarding the collective rights of indigenous people in Nicaragua began in 1997, with Ms Lottie Cunningham Wren playing a key role. The ruling in 2001 was a victory for the indigenous communities. A couple of years later in 2003, Nicaragua adopted a new law on collective land rights for indigenous peoples. But much work remains before the law has been implemented. Meanwhile settlers have threatened and harmed members of the CEJUDHCAN and the indigenous peoples without due repercussions.
Ms Lottie Cunningham Wren's vulnerability is reinforced by the fact that she is a woman who works for women's rights and for the inclusion of women in political life and against gender-based violence. The harassment and death threats against her and CEJUDHCAN have been intensified in recent years and the Inter-American MR Commission issued 2016 safeguards for all its members. With outstanding courage and unremitting work, Ms Lottie Cunningham Wren nonetheless continues her hard work.