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.