Lottie Cunningham Wren

Lottie Cunningham Wren

Role
Nicaragua

Lottie Cunningham Wren is committed to improving the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Nicaragua. Cunningham  Wren aims to guarantee the full recognition of legal rights to protect natural resources.

Cunningham Wren is the Director of the Center for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. She has taken on a crucial role in defending the rights of indigenous peoples when it comes to traditional use and management of property and land. She has played a substantial role in the legal proceedings of the Community of Awas Tingni against the State of Nicaragua in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. As an expert witness, she helped achieve the favorable ruling to protect communal property of the indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. Furthermore, Cunningham Wren has formulated a proposal to demarcate and title indigenous territories and lobbied to receive approval for Act No. 445 of the Autonomous Regions of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and of the Bocay, Coco, Indian and Corn Islands. This law establishes the legal basis for full recognition of property rights use and management of traditional lands and their natural resources. Besides her contributions in legal proceedings, Cunningham Wren also actively works together with indigenous leaders and settlers to promote and support the process of demarcation and titling of communal lands and indigenous and afro-descendant territories on the Caribbean Coast in the North of Nicaragua. This contributes directly to the facilitation and strengthening of capacity-development of indigenous communities through empowerment at the local level.

For over twenty years, Cunningham Wren has worked in the field of protection of the collective human rights of indigenous peoples. Her successes have come from her implementation of strategic litigation. Cunningham Wren has not allowed any obstacles to decrease her determination to defend the rights of indigenous people, although she has become the victim of direct threats, defamation and harassment. Her perseverance has led to big achievements in natural resource rights, the indigenous territories and their self-determination as codified in territorial law at the regional, national and international level, thereby advancing the Indigenous People of Nicaragua tremendously.

This profile is based on the information shared in the nomination form.          
Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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