Argentina's bicentennial celebration - what about the indigenous people? And how does the plight of indigenous people over there, relate to our fight for rights, over here.
"As bicentennial events commenced, indigenous groups led a caravan to the nation’s capital to demand recognition of their sovereign culture and plurality, in one of the largest indigenous demonstrations in Argentina’s history. During the march thousands commemorated the nation’s non-colonial history.
Santiago de la Casa, a Pilagá community member traveled from the province of Formosa to push for a law to recognize indigenous cultures, languages and territory. “We can’t be happy and celebrate the nation’s past 200 years as indigenous people. The indigenous people already existed here. The other, the Europeans who came here 200 years ago can celebrate. They can be happy because they have benefited from the waters, rivers, air, earth apt to produce. We are sad because we don’t have a specific law for the aboriginal people.”
The Pilagá community has faced environmental devastation and water pollution due to the construction of public water works project which has flooded indigenous ancestral lands. Amnesty International published a report on the “systematic violation of human rights.” The Pilagá community numbering around 6,000 inhabits the bordering lands of the La Estrella wetlands. The indigenous have faced constant repression from security forces and threats, in addition to the degradation of living standards due to the pollution of the wetlands. The Pilagá face food shortages and risk losing their traditional ways of life, such as hunting and fishing which they have depended on for centuries."These issues are global. The systemic, deliberate destruction of indigenous communities and peoples has and is happening all over this world and it is an absolute disgrace.
"More than 30 indigenous nations have survived the mass immigration of Europeans to Argentina. However, the nation’s early leaders led campaigns such as the “conquest of the desert,” to wipe out indigenous communities in the Patagonia south to make room for white inhabitants. General Julio Argentino Roca led this campaign in which “30 million hectares were stolen from the indigenous and distributed among the nation’s most wealthy under what is called the campaign of the desert,” said Anarchist Historian Osvaldo Bayer."The article includes much historic information about the fate of indigenous people in Argentina - please go and read.
And what does it say about here? Maori are not alone in being denied their rights - the right to freedom and independence and truth. The right to live on ancestral land, the right to protect ancestral waterways, mountains, and other sacred places. The right to be equal.
Is putting stolen land into national parks any better than giving it to genocidial generals?
Hat tip Upside Down World