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Lottie Cunningham Wren

Lottie Cunningham Wren

HRD, Lawyer & Founder
Center for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua
International Day of the World Indigenous Peoples - Campaign

Lottie Cunningham Wren Testimony

As human rights defenders, we are at permanent risk as we continue to carry out our work. This assertion is based not only on the general violence in the region but also on concrete threats, defamation and harassment. We human rights defenders know that the situation in our communities needs, more than ever, our attention and constant work, and we are committed to our work; however, we are being forced to carry out our work in a constant state of danger and alarm.

Lottie Cunningham Wren

I want our communities to have ownership.

Lottie Cunningham Wren is a lawyer and founder of the Center for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. She is working in 124 remote communities to help indigenous peoples exercise their legal rights to protect natural resources.

Lottie was an expert witness in the Awas Tingni vs. Nicaragua case, before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This case resulted in a tremendous land rights victory for indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. Lottie`s goal now is to implement that decision and help communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua demarcate and title their lands.

Lottie has received threatening letters warning her not to continue her work with the communities and there was a kidnapping attempt against her in May 2015 in one community. Her colleagues have received threatening phonecalls warning them against speaking out like Lottie.


Land disputes in Nicaragua, largely ignored by the authoritarian government, have led to precarious situations for indigenous communities and those who defend them. In many cases, the companies who carry out violations and human rights defenders and communities are working in collaboration with police forces and even the army.


Stories of resistance: the struggle of indigenous WHRDs in Mesoamerica