Three Indigenous Peoples Under Threat You Didn’t Know About

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Indigenous Peoples day has passed a few weeks ago. We take this time to think about those who lived in North America before it was colonized by Europeans. But that’s as far as many take it in the US. Many do not realize the scope of threats that endanger indigenous peoples across the world today. Many know about those who are affected by the pipeline in the Dakotas, but what about a massacre in Guatemala? Here are a few intriguing stories that just scratch the surface. Links with more information are provided below. (picture above is of native Guatemalan dolls

The Amazon’s Guajajara tribe in the Brazilian state of Maranhão

Indigenous forest protectors called the Guardians of the Forest are trying to stop illegal logging and land clearing operations that continue to eat away at the tropical rainforest of Brazil that these indigenous people live off of. The guardians and others like them in Brazil are pushing back, they patrol the Caru River marking the boundary of the Guajajara’s 700-square-mile forest reserved for their tribe by law. They try to intervene by breaking deforestation equipment like tractors. (1)

Yolngu Aboriginal people fighting industrial pollution in Yalangbarra, Australia

The fishing industry in this area has led to not only a decrease of food for the indigenous tribe but their pollution of plastic nets and other waste further threaten the amount of food available for the Yolngu. They have begun to group together as ‘rangers’ who clean the waters and beaches of plastic waste. (2)

Guatemalan military commit genocide of Mayan Peoples, a conviction in process

During the decades’ long civil war in Guatemala, the government killed more than 200,000 people while forcibly taking 40,000 more. 80 percent of those killed and displaced people were Indigenous Mayans in the Ixil area north of Guatemala City. Jose Mauricio Rodriguez was the head of military intelligence when most of this happened and the families of victims are fighting for him to be convicted of crimes against humanity. (3)

(1) https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/our-wealth-forest-indigenous-tribes-are-last-best-hope-amazon

(2) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/world/australia/indigenous-australia-dhimurru-rangers.html

(3) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/guatemala-indigenous-survivors-await-genocide-trial-verdict-180926224236985.html

 

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