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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Indigenous uproar?

The New observer has an article on it's website that recounts some of the recent political coalescing, by Indigenous Peoples, across some countries in South America. The focus is mostly on the Indigenous Peoples living in the states of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador with a cursory mention of Brazil. Here is an excerpt.
LIMA, Peru (CSM) - Back in April, indigenous people in Ilave, on the shores of Lake Titicaca in southern Peru, lynched the town's mayor after accusing him of corruption, leaving the area in turmoil ever since.

That same month, across the Andes in Brazil, a dozen indigenous people in the Amazon massacred 29 miners who were believed to be illegally extracting diamonds from their land.

Next door in Bolivia, tens of thousands of indigenous protesters took to the streets last October to protest the government's energy policy, ultimately forcing the president to resign. They also killed a mayor for alleged corruption. And to the north in Ecuador, indigenous groups are asking the U.N. to step in to avoid bloodshed in an escalating conflict that they say is being stoked by the president.

Across South America, some of the region's 55 million indigenous people have been making noise lately - sometimes violently - fighting against abject poverty, inequality, and scant political representation in. While the problems vary from country to country, they reflect the difficulties facing indigenous movements here as they attempt to translate gains made over the past decade into lasting political victories.

"The challenge of the indigenous movement is to understand what it means to have political power, what we can do with it," says Tarcila Rivera, a Peruvian indigenous leader and chair of the Fourth International Meeting of Indigenous Women, held recently in Peru. full article


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