The Associated Press is a press institution usually responsible for offensive misrepresentation of Bolivia and its indigenous peoples, the latest case being this apologist article on Leopoldo Fernandez's Vice Presidential candidacy, labeling the Pando massacre a "clash". However, today is one of those days when the AP crew puts their collective brains together and actually publishes a thoughtful and well done story on Bolivia and indigenous politics. Spooky. Good job Frank Bajak.
Indian political awakening stirs Latin America
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.