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Indigenous Struggle

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    In the Path of the Mining-Energy Locomotive – Resisting Colombia’s Quimbo Hydroelectric Project (Photo Essay) Entre Aguas February 7, 2012

    While the tone of Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, is much more diplomatic than his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, the state policies of militarizing territories to facilitate resource extraction under the guise of economic development and counter-insurgent security have not changed. The forced displacement of inhabitants that it spurred has also not abated.

    Santos, the Minister of Defense under Uribe, assumed the presidency in August 2010. He kicked off his administration by naming four focus areas as the “locomotives” of his government´s economic development, one of these being mining-energy generation.

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    Collective Liberation: Lessons Learned in Allyship with Indigenous Resistance at Black Mesa Liza Minno Bloom, Hallie Boas, and Berkley Carnine August 12, 2011

    The stories of the traditional Dineh people of Black Mesa, the land surrounding the sacred peaks of Big Mountain, tell us that coal is the liver of Mother Earth. Black Mesa is a rural area of the Navajo reservation in Northeastern Arizona, where for more than 30 years, Dineh (Navajo) have lived in resistance there, steadfastly refusing to relocate as strip mines rip apart their ancestral homelands and coal-generating plants poison the desert air.

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    Movement Pachamama: Indigenous struggles in Latin America Francesca Fiorentini July 1, 2009

    (Pachamama = Mother Earth in Aymara and Quechua)

    It is no accident that most of the remaining natural resources are on indigenous land. First the white world destroys their own environment, then they come asking for the last pieces of land they have put us on, the earth we have protected.  —Luis Macas, former president of The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador

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    Territory and the Environment on the Colombian Border: Indigenous and Campesinos Build an Alliance for Self-Defense Andrew Willis Garcés July 1, 2009

    To reach one of the Colombian indigenous tribes that overlaps with Venezuela, you first need to get to the town of Honduras, in the municipality of Convención in the Norte de Santander department. It is accessible by a precarious, one-lane dirt road hugging the eastern spine of the Andes Mountains; average speed, about 12 mph. From there you walk or, if you’re lucky, ride a donkey past acres of relatively new coca fields and forest being cleared for that pasture. After four hours you’ll arrive at the state Catatumbo-Barí Forest Reserve and the small village of Bridicayra, one of the few remaining indigenous Barí settlements.

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