thousands of indigenous people demonstrate in several Latin American countries

Thousands of members of the indigenous communities of Colombia, Chile and Bolivia demonstrated on Monday, October 12, the day to commemorate the arrival of Christopher Columbus’s expeditions to the Americas in 1492, “Hispanic Day” and national holiday in Spain, called “Race day” in many countries in the region.

Indigenous Colombians gathered to request a meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque on Monday, October 12.

In southwestern Colombia, protesters converged on Cali to “Denounce the systematic massacres which occur in our territories without the government taking an interest in them”, said Franky Reinosa, of the Indigenous Regional Council of Caldas State (West). ” For us, [le 12 octobre] was the biggest ethnocide in the history of our territories. “

The demonstrators also ask to be consulted on the major projects that impact their territories, and the full implementation of the historic peace plan of 2016 that ended half a century of violence with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) .

The southwest of Colombia, which borders the Ecuador and the Pacific, has a large indigenous population estimated at 4.4% of the 50 million inhabitants, and is one of the regions most affected by the related violence. with cocaine trafficking in the country, the world’s largest producer.

  • Conflict between the Mapuche and the State over land

A Mapuche manifesto in Santiago, Monday, October 12.

In Santiago (Chile), representatives of the indigenous Chilean peoples, mainly Mapuche, the largest ethnic group in the country, also demonstrated. Clashes broke out with the police and at least twelve people were arrested.

“October 12 is a dark date for the peoples, for the first nations of the Americas, because it marks the beginning of genocide, exploitation, plunder, slavery”, said Jorge Huenchullan, spokesperson for the Mapuche Autonomous Community of Temucuicui, in Araucania (south).

Most of the Mapuche in Chile live in Araucanía and have a historic conflict with the Chilean state from which they claim land that they consider to be their ancestral right. The authorities have handed over several to private companies, mainly logging companies.

  • Violence against women also denounced in Bolivia

In Bolivia, in the capital La Paz, women’s rights activists placed a traditional Andean skirt on the statue of Isabella the Catholic (1451-1504), Queen of Castile and Aragon, who had funded the expeditions. of Christopher Columbus.

The statue of Isabelle the Catholic dressed in La Paz, Monday, October 12.

Through this action, which also aimed to denounce violence against women, the demonstrators intended to say “That colonization was genocide, that America did not have to be discovered, that America already had societies formed”Diana, an 18-year-old activist, told AFP.

  • Reclaiming public space in Venezuela

For his part, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has decided that he will initiate “A process of decolonization and reconquest of all public spaces bearing the name of colonizers, conquerors and genocidaires, and from today” the highway Francisco Fajardo, a descendant of Spaniards born in Venezuela and linked to colonization, will be called “Grand cacique Guaicaipuro”, announced Nicolas Maduro.

This 28-kilometer-long highway connecting the east to the west of the city “Bore the name of the genocidal colonizer Francisco Fajardo (…) it is as if in a European country they had named a highway [Adolf] Hitler “, added Maduro.

The World with AFP


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here