"We have already been decimated and subjected, and we have been victims of the integrationist policy of governments and the national state," said indigenous leaders, as they rejected the new Brazilian government’s proposals and measures focusing on indigenous peoples.
Canadian activist Clayton Thomas-Muller crossed the border between his country and the United States to join the Native American movement against the construction of an oil pipeline, which has become a model to follow in struggles by indigenous people against megaprojects, that share many common elements.
At dusk on the Tapajós River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River in northern Brazil, the Mundurukú indigenous people gather to bathe and wash clothes in these waters rich in fish, the staple of their diet. But the “evil spirit”, as they refer in their language to the Sao Luiz Tapajós dam, threatens to leave most of their territory – and their way of life – under water.
The indigenous camp installed six months ago in the Argentine capital is virtually invisible to passersby who drive or walk quickly around it. The protesters are demanding the return of their land in the northeastern province of Formosa, which has not been fully demarcated and is caught in a web of conflicting economic interests.
“It hurts us that our land is affected, and the environmental impacts are not even measured. Wind farm projects affect streams and hurt the flora,” said Zapotec Indian Isabel Jiménez, who is taking part in the struggle against the installation of a wind park in southern Mexico.
Nearly three years after the rights of El Salvador’s indigenous people were recognised in the constitution, there are still no public policies and laws to translate that historic achievement into reality.
An “ethical and political trial on pillaging of natural resources” in Colombia condemned three foreign corporations, including Canada’s Pacific Rubiales Energy, which has dozens of oil and natural gas operations around the country.
Some good-byes can actually mean the start of a long road working together. That was how it felt at the end of the World Indigenous Network (WIN) conference in this northern Australian city.