She has been instrumental in ensuring legal protections, including initiating the process of demarcation and titling of indigenous lands in Nicaragua. Cunningham has also fought to uphold the human rights of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants, protecting them and their livelihoods from armed settlers.
Through the use of international and domestic law, Cunningham has secured indigenous land rights in Nicaragua, pioneering legal strategies that have been successfully used by indigenous communities around the world to demarcate their lands. Cunningham has also shown that the protection of indigenous land is instrumental to the protection of local ecosystems.
As human rights defenders, they are at permanent risk as they continue to carry out their work. This assertion is based not only on the general violence in the region but also on concrete threats, defamation and harassment. They have received calls and text messages, threatening to kill them and their families.
1. V; Nicaragua´s Atlantic Coast; June 11, 2006; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 2. Leonora (Ellie) Enking; Brosimum alicastrum; January 27, 2011; (CC BY-SA 2.0). 3. Fernweh Reisefotos; Kakabila; March 24, 2018; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 4. Alba Sud Fotografia; Traviesa; June 16, 2013; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 5. Official logo ‘The Right Livelihood Award’. 6. Pedro Pablo; Nicaragua; January 4, 2006; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).