Indian political awakening stirs Latin America

Keeping the oil in the soil in latin America – withoutyourwalls

By FRANK BAJAK (AP)

JESUS DE MACHACA, Bolivia — In Ecuador, the Shuar are blocking highways to defend their hunting grounds. In Chile, the Mapuche are occupying ranches to pressure for land, schools and clinics. In Bolivia, a new constitution gives the country’s 36 indigenous peoples the right to self-rule.

All over Latin America, and especially in the Andes, a political awakening is emboldening Indians who have lived mostly as second-class citizens since the Spanish conquest.

Much of it is the result of better education and communication, especially as the Internet allows native leaders in far-flung villages to share ideas and strategies across international boundaries.

But much is born of necessity: Latin American nations are embarking on an unprecedented resource hunt, moving in on land that Indians consider their own — and whose pristine character is key to their survival.

Read on…

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Posted on 3 November, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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