Together with Lottie, Kornelia is looking into the democratization of evidence-collection to fight territorial crimes.
Indigenous territories in Nicaragua are currently undergoing internal colonisation. This sparks violent conflict that, according to Lottie, could lead to a civil war. To prevent this, the government of Nicaragua needs to intervene and resolve the dispute. Lottie and several other lawyers currently need to compile evidence of the illegal settlement in indigenous lands by third parties.
It is difficult and even dangerous to quantify and locate the process of internal colonisation. Kornelia is developing a forensic geography investigation tool which layers different types of evidence in order to generate convincing proof. The way illegal settlers use the landscape is very different from the indigenous communities, and the distinction is visible on satellite imagery. This analysis can be combined with the visual, verbal and digital testimonies of indigenous people. Cross-referencing the evidence from both experts and victims drastically reduces bias and mistakes, allowing the investigation to arrive at a common truth.
To develop a prototype of the investigation tool, Kornelia will work with an expert on the evidence requirements of the Inter-American Court of Human Right. In parallel, she will consult with a cultural geographer to understand how this kind of analysis can be implemented in the field of evidence collection.
Lottie is the founder of CEJUDHCAN, an organisation which works on human rights in Nicaragua. Specifically, she defends the land rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. Her goal is to support them in gaining and developing full control and governance of their ancestral territories. In 2001, her testimony for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights helped in obtaining a sentence in favour of the local community in the landmark case 'Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua'.