SOURCE: Amesty International (www.amnesty.org)
In SOUTH AMERICA - BRAZIL
Mato Grosso do Sul: Indigenous Community Attacked, Threatened
The Arroio Kor indigenous community in the central-western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, have been attacked by gunmen trying to push them off their ancestral lands. One of the community is missing, feared dead. They are at risk of further violence.
According to the community, on 10 August around 50 armed men surrounded the 400-strong encampment in the municipality of Paranhos, on the border with Paraguay. For several hours the gunmen fired, shouted threats and burnt crops, and the community fled into surrounding scrub. One community member, Eduardo Pires, disappeared during the attack; the community say that he was taken away by the gunmen, and they fear he has been killed. The next day, a two-year-old baby girl, Geni Centuri o died. The cause of death has not been officially established, but the community have said that the infant became unwell during the attack and it was impossible to feed her.
SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (www.indigenouspeoplesissues.com)
In AFRICA - TANZANIA
As a result of lack of land title, insensitive state intervention and climate change, members of the Barabaig tribe of Tanzania are facing the greatest challenge to their physical and cultural survival in living memory.
Recognizing the problems of the Barabaig and the deficiencies of state assistance, the Indigenous Knowledge Project (IKP) has devised The Barabaig project' with members of the tribe. A fully participatory scheme, the project seeks to empower members of the Barabaig to help themselves out of their current crisis and to secure an autonomous future. This initiative is a rarity, founded on the ideals of sharing, autonomy, participation and sustainability. In the words of IKP co-founder Heather Cruise, it has to be "heart-to-heart, grass roots, participatory."
This is the story so far.
The Plight of the Barabaig of Basodami sub-village
The group of Basodami Barabaig who are the first to have chosen to embrace the IKP's initiative (after numerous consultations and unanimous votes) are facing grave challenges indicative of those being suffered by other Indigenous Peoples in this region. Based in a highland area of Tanzania near Mount Hanang the Barabaig were, for the largest part of their history, semi-nomadic pastoralists. However, since 1969 this way of existence has been under threat due to the extensive violation of Barabaig land rights. The result of these transgressions has been the privatization of vast swathes of indigenous territory for use as exclusionary nature reserves and agricultural developments. The Barabaig have weathered assaults, the desecration of their sacred sites, house burnings and the revocation of their customary land rights. As a result their livelihoods have been left decimated by decades of suffrage.
Today, our world is experiencing a rapid decline in cultural diversity and the eradication of indigenous peoples and their lifeway. One in five people in the world speak the same language: Mandarin Chinese. Spoken by the largest single ethnic group in the world - the Han - whose 1.3 billion speakers represent 92 percent of the mainland Chinese population and 19 percent of the world's population, while 235 languages make up the other 8 percent of China's population. Likewise, in India - the world's second most populous country - there are 415 living, recognized indigenous languages, but the majority of people speak either Bengali or Hindi. Around the world linguists recognize some 6,000 to 7,000 spoken languages, of which 5,000 or so are spoken by indigenous peoples who represent an estimated 6 percent of the world's population.
Many of these indigenous people, their language, culture, and lifeways face a questionable future. The relatively rapid decline in language diversity parallels the decline in cultural diversity. These changes are due in part to the product of both historical relationships - imperialism, colonialism, global economic development, and militarism - as well as cultural beliefs that rationalize or justify actions that have served certain cultures at the cost of others. In many instances, this cost has been disproportionally sustained by indigenous peoples.
For the week of AUGUST 23rd to AUGUST 30th, 2012
"News sources today include Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News and Amnesty International."
This Week's Program: Tuesday, August 21, 2012