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Zapatistas Turn to Politics

Zapatista leader Subcommander Marcos is exchanging arms for political opportunity. The Zapatistas, a group of Mexican peasant rebels dissatisfied with the extreme poverty, exploitation, and lack of political representation of peasants in Mexico, began their protests on January 1st, 1994 in an armed uprising against the Mexican government. In 1996, the Zapatistas method of demanding education,…

Yanomami Update

Since the late 1980s, the Yanomami of Brazil have faced violence, disease and environmental destruction brought by gold mining garimpeiros who have invaded their homeland in northern Brazil. According to Gail Goodwin Gomez in State of the Peoples, over 15% of the total Yanomami population died between 1987-1990 from violence, malnutrition, malaria, and other epidemics brought by the garimpeiros.…

The Routinization of Protest: Institutionalizing Local Participation

On June 25, 1996 a New York Times article detailed the Nicaraguan government's anger when Awas Tingni, an isolated Sumo Indian community, brought suit before the Organization of American States (OAS) and against the government after it granted a Korean lumber company logging rights to community lands. Another Times article on September 6, 1992 described the Ecuadorian government's "impatience"…

The Politics of Progress in Palau

Reef-fringed, tropical, and lush, the tiny western-Pacific island-nation of Palau is the picture of paradise. Rich natural resources, a low population density (15,000 people on a 188-square mile area), and a relatively high standard of living - thanks to U.S. dollars that poured in during decades of U.N. trusteeship - should make Palau's future bright. Independent as of 1994 and faced with a…

The Basarwa of Botswana: Leadership, Legitimacy and Participation in Development Sites

The Basarwa of Botswana: Leadership, Legitimacy and Participation in. Development Sites The challenge that contemporary scholars face with respect to explaining the complex notion of development in the context of social groups is to isolate and focus upon the linkages that develop between the interacting individuals or parties concerned. In this context, it becomes wrong to assume that just…

Sacred Groves Threatened by Development: The Kaya Forests of Kenya

Tourism is Kenya's main source of foreign exchange, and the tropical paradise of the Kenya coast is almost as powerful a draw as the wildlife herds of the interior savannahs. In 1990 it was estimated that over 100,000 jobs were created directly by the tourist industry, and many more Kenyans benefit from activities related to tourism. Yet these economic benefits are bought at great cost of the…

Politics of Coalition-building for Democratic Reform: A Philippine Experience

Politics of Coalition-building for Democratic Reform: A Philippine. Experience Political scientists, development practitioners, bilateral and multilateral institutions have asserted that social organizations and networks are forms of social capital that promote civic engagement and cooperative problem-solving, catalyzing economic and political development. Non-government organizations and people'…

Participatory Forestry in Bengal: Competing Narratives, Statemaking, and Development

Participatory Forestry in Bengal: Competing Narratives, Statemaking, and. Development During the last decade, groups of villagers in southwest Bengal were mobilized to protect certain second growth forests in the region. This process of local cooperation with villages and between villagers and the state is called Joint Forest Management (JFM) and has become a participatory forestry development…

Participation Without Representation: Chiefs, Councils and Forestry Law in the West African Sahel

Participatory development aims to redress the failures and inequities of top-down centralized development strategies. But, what is community participation without representation? Does it redress central control? Does it include community in decision-making, resource control or benefits? Can there even be community participation without some form of locally accountable representation? Community or…

Mining Threatens Innu, Inuit

In Labrador, Canada, the recent explosion of the mining industry is threatening the environment and the way of life of the Innu and Inuit peoples. In response, indigenous people are taking steps toward creating an indigenous-controlled, alternative ecotourism industry that would enable them to preserve their culture and environment. In 1993, mineral deposits were discovered at Voisey Bay,…

Micro Politics of Voluntary Action: An Anatomy of Change in Two Villages

The record of development and democracy in the Indian context presents some paradoxes. Rather than empowering the poor over time, these forces have enfeebled the poor relative to other social groups in society. In particular the process of development and poverty alleviation has shifted the balance of power in favor of development functionaries vis-à-vis the poor, while democracy has attenuated…

Maya in Exile: Guatemalans in Florida

International immigration continues to contribute to the formation of new ethnic groups in the United States. Allan Burns' Maya in Exile documents this trend by highlighting the emergence of Guatemalan Maya as an ethnic group in America. Since the 1980s, small towns in Florida have become migration destinations for some of the hundreds of thousands of Maya fleeing the Guatemalan government and…

Indigenous Sue Freeport

The dispute between Freeport-McMoRan Incorporated and the indigenous people of West Papua has entered an American courtroom, in the form of Beanal v. Freeport-McMoRan Inc., No. 96-1474, DC ELa). Freeport operates the largest gold and third largest copper mines in the world, both located on the western half of the island of New Guinea. The New Orleans based corporation has a close relationship…

Dzil Nchaa Si An, Mt. Graham: Fact and Fiction

By way of background, it is important to understand the circumstances and the history of the Mt. Graham Observatory. In the early 1980s, The University of Arizona, in an effort to develop the next generation of observatories to take advantage of new technologies, surveyed over 280 sites in the continental United States. The results clearly favored the desert Southwest as the region offering the…

Defining the "Local" in the Arun Controversy: Villagers, NGOs, and The World Bank in the Arun Valley, Nepal

Defining the "Local" in the Arun Controversy: Villagers, NGOs, and The. World Bank in the Arun Valley, Nepal The Arun III hydropower project was to have been the largest infrastructure project yet developed in Nepal, providing 201 mega-watts of power and including the construction of a 122-mile access road. The project would have cost an estimated $764 million and taken a decade to complete. In…

Cultural Survival in the Americas Conference: Education and Outreach Program

Cultural Survival in the Americas Conference: Education and Outreach. Program On May 22, 1996, in the first "Cultural Survival in the Americas Conference" 80 students from two Boston area schools became the newest contributors in Cultural Survival's 25-year mission to work for and with indigenous peoples as they fight for self-determination and basic human rights. As part of Cultural Survival's…

Bhutan Refugees Arrested

Bhutan is a small country bordering India, China and Nepal. Its main two ethnic groups are the majority Drukpas and the Lhotsampas, who are of Nepalese origin. These groups coexisted peacefully until 1985, when the government under King Wangchuk, a Drukpa, passed laws which forced Lhotsampas to adopt Drukpa cultural practices and made it impossible for Lhotsampas to prove their Bhutanese…

Amazon Indigenous Peoples: New Challenges for Political Participation and Sustainable Development

Amazon Indigenous Peoples: New Challenges for Political Participation and. Sustainable Development The incorporation of Amazonia into national and international economies has taken the form of colonization, by means of spontaneous or directed migrations and several extractive and production booms, dependent on the fluctuations of market demand. For the indigenous inhabitants, this process has…

"Who's Local Here?" The Politics of Participation in Development

Participatory approaches to development have become de rigeur once again in recent years. Popular in the community development schemes of the 1950s and `60s, and again in the 1970s turn to "basic needs" and "bottom up" philosophies of development, it has been resuscitated yet again in a current context concerned with human rights, democratization, civil society, and popular social movements. Some…

"LA FOMMA": LA FORTALEZA DE LA MUJER MAYA (The Empowerment of Mayan Women)

Only two years ago a handful of women lit candles and hoisted glasses to initiate LA FOMMA, the first Indian women's cultural center in Chiapas, Mexico. What was considered a reckless act of defiance by many was yet one more step in the women's path toward artistic fulfillment and respect. Today, La Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (The Empowerment of Maya Women) is a group of 25 women and 22 children…