Navajo’s Go To Human Rights Commission

In a final attempt to stop a controversial project to mine uranium near two Navajo communities in northwestern New Mexico, a Navajo environmental group is taking its fight to the global community. Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining, with the help of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in May arguing that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) decision to grant Hydro Resources Incorporated a license to mine uranium near Churchrock and Crown Point (NM), is a violation of international laws. The groups contend the mines, first permitted by NRC in 1999, could contaminate drinking water for 15,000 Navajo residents in and around the two communities, which lie just outside the Navajo Nation. In 2005, the Navajo's tribal government passed a law prohibiting uranium mining within its borders. "By its acts and omissions that have contaminated and will continue to contaminate natural resources in the Dine communities of Crownpoint and Church Rock, the State has violated Petitioners' human rights and breached its obligations under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man," the petition reads.