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By Carlos Fermín
Our ancestors truly developed a sustainable and sustainable modus vivendi for everyone. The quality of life and the feeling of fullness were not achieved through bank accounts and attachment to the material, but by learning to walk barefoot through the organic nature of their lands, taking advantage of the gift of Nature to clothe, feed and heal the soul of their disciples. Never abusing the biological nobility of the Environment, and always exalting the legacy of struggle, loyalty and freedom of its peoples. For the natives, the achievement of a common goal was more important than filling the personal ego. However, the ecological spirit of its dogmas has been destroyed by the corporate mind of the new generations of Human Beings.
Currently, the global environmental crisis is reflected by the unification of 5 factors, which demonstrate all the barbarism against indigenous peoples. The first factor is based on the great Indifference that moves the foundations of Modern Society. It is an unequal combat, full of injustice and bitter experiences, which never values the sacrifice embodied by the original ethnic groups, to preserve the sacred resources of Nature. The World never tires of ignoring them, mistreating them, and dispossessing them of the lands that by universal right belong to them. Although time is running out, reflection never surfaces in the discernment of men and women, who prefer to continue cramming the stores in the shopping centers, downloading the exclusive applications for the android and drinking gasoline bottled with ice.
While you waste electricity, by leaving the computer on throughout the day, the indigenous people take advantage of the sunlight to dance the Sebucán in the company of their loved ones. When you waste liters of drinking water, washing the cushioned seats of the car, they travel the immensity of the rivers through their beautiful canoes. Every time you waste thousands of sheets of paper, printing all the documents you find on the Web, they plant fruit trees and enjoy the wonderful sunset. We see that indigenous peoples do not pay a fortune for the monthly electricity bill, nor do they go crazy over the infernal city traffic, nor do they spend their time buying ink cartridges to recharge the printer. The paradox is that there is much more joy in their lives than in ours.
The second factor is Transculturation, the omnipresent scourge of Latin American peoples, which turns the idiosyncrasy of a population into a Hollywood science fiction film. The story is led by hyper-consumerism, junk television and the anti-values of the 21st century. Every day the lie wins more customers, fans and sponsors who continue to raise audience levels. Stereotypes of life are created that are totally remote from the ethics and morals of citizens, which negatively affect the mental health of the inhabitants. The voracious process of transculturation completely ignores the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples. Thus, the sense of belonging of the community is damaged, which does not have the will to instill environmental education, civility and tolerance.
In parallel, the people who inhabit the concrete jungle do not know that their indigenous brothers are the ones who provide the ideal environmental conditions for them to build and live normally in urban areas. The citizens of the metropolises are unaware of the effort made by the native tribes from their rural areas, to preserve all the wealth that awaits these natural spaces, which are considered plant lungs and vents of great value to maintain the ecological balance of the cities that we host. It is in those ordinary lands, forgotten by all, where the treasures of the Pachamama are safeguarded and the great biodiversity of the World is guarded.
The third factor is seen in the Disinformation carried out by the private media of social diffusion, which operate as the classic lackeys of the Empire, always ready to distort the news to fully comply with the ethnocidal plan of their owners. The disparity between the senders and receivers of the message is exaggerated. For every 3 community media that dare to investigate and denounce the irreparable environmental damage caused by transnational corporations that disrupt indigenous soils, more than 300 capitalist media appear that repeat the verb of Uncle Sam, and justify the destruction of habitats in exchange for receive bloody money.
For the most part, the private media that tune into Latin America are betraying their cultural roots and deceiving the community. They are sold to the highest bidder. The journalistic machine creates false opinion matrices, so that readers, listeners and viewers continue with the blindfold, and never decide to defend the territoriality of indigenous peoples and to estimate the resources of Nature. Let us remember that foreign news agencies tend to refer to ethnic groups in a pejorative way. In addition, they manipulate people through a publicity bombardment that enslaves them to remain in the grip of frivolity.
On the contrary, the community media play a key role in the environmental protection of our territories, since they work as public servants who delve into the reality of the peoples, in order to timely report the ecological grievances that are perceived there. Alternative communication allows the interaction of the Man-Environment-Society trinomial, which helps to establish a framework of responsibility with the environment. The philanthropic support of people is vital to achieve constant monitoring in their communities. The fourth factor is evidenced by the passivity of governments in creating environmental policies that reach rural and border areas where indigenous peoples are located. When the internal electoral processes of each country approach, the planes are always able to land in those regions, promising that their lands will be respected and protected from the landowners. But after the anxious Sunday of voting, they never return to pay their debts, with the archaic excuse that there are no access routes to visit those places. This is how the lack of legal mechanisms that truly protect their regions, enables the entry of mining, livestock and sports projects that destroy the territories.
The sovereignty of indigenous peoples is privatized so as not to harm the urban development of the rest of the citizenry, who pay taxes on time and deserve that the backhoe continues to consolidate ecocide. The abuse of power by public officials is also observed, such as parliamentarians, congressmen and notaries, who easily obtain the signature and the seal that legalizes the dispossession of the lands belonging to the indigenous peoples. The saddest thing is that the few times that state agencies claim environmental damage caused to aboriginal soils, it is just part of the great media show of the governments of the day, to feign patriotic interest and catch more votes for the next elections.
The fifth factor is triggered by the tidal wave of Industrialization, which for decades has poisoned the soul of Gaia. The indigenous people never thought that their fertile crops would become transgenic corn crops, that the purified air of their lands would be drowned in carbon dioxide emissions, and that their ancient trees would be transformed into large ATMs. Our indigenous communities are suffering an ordeal. All they ask is that they let them live in peace within their lands, along with their families, beliefs and customs. But in a robotic world due to the technological revolution, it is a utopia to believe that blind justice will guarantee that their fiefdoms will not be devastated by the orb.
Recently, we have witnessed environmental violations that violate the territoriality of the indigenous peoples. We see that in Latin America, the obtaining of wood, the extraction of minerals and sports recreation, are in charge of violating the human rights of indigenous peoples. For example, the Mayangna ethnic group has been denouncing the atrocious deforestation observed in Bosawás (Nicaragua), in which more than 2,000 peasants allied with logging companies to seize the lands, and deprive the indigenous people of their ancestral forests. The invasion of settlers in Bosawás was confirmed by UNESCO in January 2014, which denounced the government's leniency in allowing the soils to continue to be degraded by the expansion of the agricultural frontier. If the negative trend continues in the largest biosphere reserve in Central America, it is feared that Bosawás will disappear from the Nicaraguan geography in just 10 years.
Continuing with the theme of deforestation in sacred regions, we learned that indigenous communities of Tava´i in Paraguay have seen their Caazapeño mountains disappear, because the timber trafficking mafias do not hesitate to imbue themselves within the indigenous peoples, to Unlike the judicial bodies that never proceed criminally against criminals. For this reason, the indigenous Ayoreo people who inhabit the Paraguayan Chaco forest, resent the brutal clearing of their lands to increase livestock activities In Brazil, the Tupinambá ethnic group in the state of Bahia, warned of the massive felling of the mangrove that is located within its reserve, for the expansion of a hotel complex surrounding its territories. In Argentina, the Solco Yampa indigenous community denounced the illegal logging of cedars, cebiles and tipas on their lands, which caused a disruption to the ecosystems, which is paid for with chaotic floods in times of rain.
Unfortunately, mineral exploitation is one of the staunch enemies of indigenous culture. In Colombia, the production of ferronickel at the Cerro-Matoso mine has been polluting the environment of the department of Córdoba for years and harming the Zenúes indigenous people, who see how extractive activities destroy the lands where they live. In Peru, more than 20 Kichwa communities that are located near the Napo River, suffered the consequences of the 10,000 barrels of oil that were spilled in 2013. Although the spill occurred in Ecuador, the oil crossed the border with Peru, leaving a large toxic oil stain that affected living conditions for indigenous peoples. Both countries have allowed hydrocarbons to put protected natural areas at risk, such as the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, the Yasuní National Park, and the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.
Currently, the expansion of the Camisea gas project was a death sentence for the isolated and uncontacted indigenous peoples of Peru, who saw their human rights curtailed. In the jungle of the department of Cusco, an ecocide is being committed in which they pay just for sinners, due to the arbitrariness of the government to allow the exploitation of natural gas at the cost of the lives of the native communities. The negative environmental impact that the Kugapakori, Nahua and Nanti Territorial Reserve will destroy is already known, thanks to the industrial machines that predict a tragic genocide.
Despite this, we all met in Chile the Diaguita ethnic group in Valle del Huasco, who bravely knew how to denounce the environmental damage of the Pascua Lama project, in the face of the threat of muddying rivers and glaciers. In Mexico, the Huichol indigenous people ask for respect for Wirikuta, which covers 140 thousand hectares of incomparable natural beauty, but which, due to the mineral extractive megaprojects, has been causing a serious ecological deterioration in its spaces. The annihilation of that venerable place attacks the cultural heritage of the Aztec nation. Let us remember that in Honduras three indigenous people of the Tolupán ethnic group were killed in 2013, while they were in a street protest that sought to prevent the felling of trees in the Montaña de la Flor, where mining was intended.
As the environments of the indigenous tribes are destroyed, the environmental impunity that turns Nature into a source of entertainment is growing. For example, the Pemon indigenous people who inhabit and preserve the majesty of the Gran Sabana in Venezuela, have had to deal with irrational automotive events that devour the soils, pollute the waters and undermine the way of life of the ethnic groups. In 2011, the “Fun Race 4 × 4” races put the pedal to the metal on their fast machines to destroy ecosystems and win the ecocide race. The devastating image in the Venezuelan region is still visible and remembered by the Pemons.
It should be noted that in recent years the Rally Dakar sporting event has put the archaeological heritage of countries such as Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia at risk. The economic and tourist interest that this spectacle represents for the pockets of the governments, shows the wrong path that humanity travels. In January 2014, representatives of the Kolla indigenous people were physically attacked, expressing their disagreement for not having been consulted about the passage of the Dakar in their territories.
Between beatings and blood wounds by the police forces of the province of Jujuy, the lives of children, women, grandparents and even a priest who was protesting peacefully were disrespected. The rage of the Rally is over. The sports competition was a success and everyone is looking forward to the 2015 edition. But, we believe that it is important to compare the experience of the Dakar with the 5 socio-environmental factors described throughout the article.
The Indifference of the people was shown, who did not massively defend the Kolla people for the mistreatment they received from the local authorities. The lack of common sense is promoted by Transculturation, which makes you believe that the Dakar is the ultimate, because it is an event of international stature with luxury cars and motorcycles, which make it an incredible visual experience. Then Disinformation appears, since the private media only want you to turn on the television to watch the Rally 24 hours a day, and it is not convenient for them to report on the abuses of human dignity that this sports show promotes. Then comes the Passivity of the governments, which for money are capable of beating and killing their own ethnic race. And in the end, the whole circus is a consequence of Industrialization, which is the main engine for the Dakar to dazzle with marketing campaigns, mechanical assembly and metal prizes.
We observe that in Latin America the human rights of indigenous peoples are being violated more crudely, as there is no legal framework that truly guarantees respect for the territories where they live. Their natural environments are invaded and looted daily by the judicial inaction of public bodies, which do not punish ecological crime in time. In fact, the environmental authorities of each Latin American country have been assuming a conspiratorial role by processing the license so that transnationals decide to invest in the geography of their nations, regardless of the life and destiny of the indigenous people who live there.
When natural resources are vilely exploited, irreparable environmental damage is created that affects all citizens. We must rescue the fighting spirit and the conservationist teaching instilled in us by native peoples, to reorient our relationship with the Environment. It is time to look at ourselves in front of the mirror, and begin to show signs of empathy and solidarity with those who preach love for Pachamama.