Latin America – the indigenous, an endangered species

This tragedy is being acted out throughout Latin America.

We have an article from the common dreams blog that focuses on the plight of the indigenous on their own lands, lands from which they are increasingly expelled. Violent death to activists is part of the strategy to ensure submission. Key players in this drama include the multinational corporation (MNC) and its country-of-origin political backer, development agencies, ‘cooperative’ local and state governments and death squads (government or private). As Sian Cowman and Philippa de Boissière report, For Indigenous Peoples, Megadams Are ‘Worse than Colonization’ An excerpt,

In Honduras, market-oriented principles reached a new extreme following the U.S.-backed military coup in 2009. The new de facto government immediately overhauled Honduras’ legal frameworks in a bid to create favorable conditions for foreign investment. In practice, the sweeping changes — ranging from enforcing eminent domain to repealing laws preventing the construction of dams in protected areas — were intended to facilitate the rapid and cheap transfer of the country’s natural wealth into global markets.

And the clincher,

Berta was highly critical of the coup and of the subsequent handover of the country’s wealth. “There are a projected 300 hydroelectric projects planned,” she said in a 2015 interview with El Tecolote. “We are a small country with many riches. To give 30 percent of the territory to the transnational mining companies is worse than the colonization of 500 years ago. And, they do it with impunity.”

Not far from all this, or rather steeped in it, is one US politician with a rather interesting list of achievements. And that politician, notorious for one event, is being heavily promoted as ideal for presidency. Greg Grandin at the Nation posts, The Clinton-Backed Honduran Regime Is Picking Off Indigenous Leaders

Hillary Clinton will be good for women. Ask Berta Cáceres. But you can’t. She’s dead. Gunned down yesterday, March 2, at midnight, in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca, in Honduras.

Cáceres was a vocal and brave indigenous leader, an opponent of the 2009 Honduran coup that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, made possible. In The Nation, Dana Frank and I covered that coup as it unfolded. Later, as Clinton’s emails were released, others, such as Robert Naiman, Mark Weisbrot, and Alex Main, revealed the central role she played in undercutting Manuel Zelaya, the deposed president, and undercutting the opposition movement demanding his restoration. In so doing, Clinton allied with the worst sectors of Honduran society.

We have a clear statement on the poor standard of leadership in the United States, a leadership that continues to inspire deep distrust and antipathy, as the mindset of plunder seems not to have at all abated. Latin America and elsewhere should expect possibly more of the same – or much worse if Clinton is elected.

However, a good sign for the world at large is in the exceedingly inferior quality, the stunning mediocrity of the candidates for the US Presidency, aside Sanders or even Trump who unlike Clinton is beholden only to himself and his supporters, in a country awash with highly qualified experts and professionals – that inevitable decline of a too voracious empire.

Time may yet triumph here, and quickly so – to the welcome relief of the besieged innocent people of the world. A long awaited Deus ex Machina finally to the rescue?

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