Comunidad Indígena Yakye AxaCase
The facts of the case concern the right to ancestral property of the indigenous community Yakye Axa, as well as the grave conditions of life in which its members were found as a consequence of being placed at the edge of a national road in a situation of extreme poverty and without access to basic services such as nutrition, housing, education or health, among others.
The IA Court recognized the right to collective indigenous property, developing the special significance which ancestral territories have for indigenous communities, as the fundamental basis of their culture, spiritual life, integrity and economic survival. As a result of this close link, they are protected by article 21 of the American Convention. The IA Court also evidenced the State’s responsibility for not adopting measures to address the poor conditions and lack of access to basic services which the Yakye Axa Community experienced, in particular children and the elderly.
The IA Court explicitly recognized that the traditional possession indigenous groups maintain of their lands has an equivalent effect to the title of full ownership granted by the State. As a consequence, those who for reasons outside of their control have left or lost possession of their lands retain the right of ownership over them, despite the absence of legal title when said lands are found to be under private ownership.
Similarly, it established that in order to guarantee the rights of the indigenous communities, States must interpret and apply the standards, taking into account the particular characteristics which shape their cultural identity.
- Presentation to the IACommission
- Jan 10, 2000
- Submission to the IACourt
- Mar 17, 2003
- IACourt / Judgment: rights violated
ACHR 1.1, 2, 8.1, 8.2.d, 8.2.e, 8.2.f, 25 1.1, 2, 21 1.1, 4.1
- IACourt / Judgment: rights non-violated
- Indigenous peoples
- Court documents
- Documentos de la comisión
- Geolocalización de los hechos
- Geolocalización de los hechos (linked Case)
- Comunidad Indígena Yakye Axa