Indigenous communities in the Western hemisphere are increasingly relying on international law and international fora for enforcement of their human rights.When there are no domestic laws that recognise indigenous rights, or such laws exist but there is no political will to enforce them, indigenous peoples in the Americas may turn to the Inter-American human rights system. Consequently, the Inter- American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have developed a progressive case law in this area. In 2005 and 2006, the Inter-American Court decided seminal indigenous ancestral land rights cases and a political rights case. This article analyses these cases and the previous jurisprudence and decisions on indigenous rights in the Inter-American system. 1.
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