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October 28, 2005

VENEZUELA: Land returned on Indigenous Resistance Day

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned 1.65 million acres of land to 15 indigenous communities in recognition of national Indigenous Resistance Day on October 12. The collective titles are for land in the states of Apure, Anzoategui, Delta Amacuro, and Sucre. Chavez also offered governmental assistance for social development projects for the 34 ethnic groups that live in the territory.

This was the second delivery of collective land titles under Chavez; 313,824 acres were returned to indigenous communities in Monagas and Anzoategui in August 2005. Prensa Latina reported that Chavez emphasized that the ceremony was the country's third annual celebration of Indigenous Resistance Day. In 2002, the government changed the holiday from Dia de la Raza (Race Day), which celebrated Christopher Columbus' arrival to America.