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11/1/09

LatAm Indigenous Rights 101

Every so often, paid hacks hanging in LatAm suddenly get a pang of something or other (I doubt it's guilt by the way they usually report the region) and feel the urge to write the sweeping "indigenous awakening" article. This time is Disassociated Press's Frank Bajak who got the mojo, so with the help of his friends dotted up and down the region he's put together a big, bad 1,850 word special on the whole theme. It starts like this....

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. CONTINUES


...so you get the picture.

To be honest, it's not a bad piece. For sure the broadstrokes necessarily applied will never touch on the details or nuances of an overwhelmingly complex subject and as such will always leave the more knowledgeable reader with room to mutter, moan and harumph. But for someone unaware that there's a real grassroots revolution going on in this little corner of the globe, it's a fair starting point. So go have a read. Here's the link again, just in case.

UPDATE: Holy post hallowe'en spooky coincidences, Batman. I hadn't seen Abiding's post on this very same article before hitting the publish button, but El Dude draws the same conclusions. Go see.