Latin America is a vast and ecologically diverse region known for the power and beauty of its river systems. International Rivers works in river basins throughout Latin America that are hotspots of biodiversity and that are also threatened by extensive large hydropower development, including the Amazon, the world’s largest river basin; Colombia’s Magdalena River and Peru’s Marañon; and the crystalline waters of Patagonia.
These magnificent rivers are fountains of life for an incredible diversity of plant and animal species, as well as for indigenous peoples and riverine communities.
Despite the fundamental social, economic and ecological importance of rivers, corporations and governments treat these natural treasures as a resource to be exploited for electricity, industrial-scale irrigation and mining. Fortunately, International Rivers and its partners are organizing to fight new dams, demand reparations for harm caused by old ones, save the region’s imperiled freshwater from pollution, promote permanent protection of these vital waterways, and enable a just energy transition.
Learn more about our work with threatened communities, indigenous peoples, social movements, NGOs, independent researchers, and other partners in the Amazon to fight destructive dam plans, promote energy alternatives and win legal protections.
Learn more about our work to produce scientific research, develop legal analyses, and mobilize a coalition of Chilean groups to advance permanent legislative protection for rivers to preserve their ecological health and biodiversity.
In Mesoamerica, we are presently focused on developing alternative energy policies, river protection legislation and reparations for dam-affected communities in Mexico, Guatemala and Panama. Learn more.
Learn more about work to protect major rivers that arise in the majestic Andes mountain range, including Peru’s Marañón, which flows into the Amazon Basin, and Colombia’s Magdalena, which flows from the Andes to the Caribbean.
Belo Monte: After the Flood
Directed by award-winning environmental documentarian Todd Southgate, and produced with International Rivers, Amazon Watch and Cultures of Resistance. The film explores the history and consequences of one of the world’s most controversial dam projects, built on the Xingu River in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.
Latest Latin America Updates
- Protegiendo el río Futaleufú; Nueva herramienta legal garantizará el valor turístico y ecosistémico de la zonaPor Leonardo Peña Garcia, Futaleufú Riverkeeper. English version here. El pasado sábado 3 de diciembre se realizó el Lanzamiento de la temporada de turismo aventura en Futaleufú, una de las…
- Protecting the Futaleufú River: New legal tool will guarantee the tourist and ecosystem value of the areaBy Leonardo Pena Garcia, Futaleufú Riverkeeper Spanish version here. Earlier this month, on December 3, the launch of the adventure tourism season was held in Futaleufú, one of the communities…
- Open Letter from the Civil Society Group concerning the selection process for the presidency of the IDB GroupCivil society organizations and communities affected by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) projects hope that the current election process for the president of the IDB Group is taken as an opportunity…