Skip to main content
 

Guatemalan Refugees in Camps Outside the Lacandon Forests

According to official government statistics 37% of the Mayan Indian refugees in Mexico have km in the state of Chiapas. These Guatemalans are not, strictly speaking, foreigners. Various cases illustrate a population in which some of the refugees were born in Mexico, went to live in Guatemala as children, and returned as refugees. All along the border there has always been movement back and forth…

Death Blow to the Bushmen

A proposed game park in Namibia would force the last Ju/wasi off their traditional lands. On Monday, June 4, a plan for the future of Bushmanland was submitted by the Department of Nature Conservation to the Administrator-General of Namibia. The plan calls for the proclamation of about 6,000 km² of Eastern Bushmanland from the Botswana border west for about 60 km As a nature reserve. The reserve…

Agta Negritos of the Philippines

As colonists and multinational corporations have moved into their areas, Agta are forced to change their economic strategies. Today, they are organizing and pressing claims for their lands. The Negritos of the Philippines are comprised of approximately 25 different ethnolinguistic groups, widely scattered throughout the archipelago, totaling an estimated 15,000 people. All are or were hunter-…

The Mbuti of Zaire

Political change and the opening of the Ituri Forest For perhaps 2,000 years the Ituri Forest of northern Zaire has been the home for both Mbuti (Pygmy) hunter-gatherers and Bantu and Sudanic shifting cultivators. Cultivators are settled in isolated villages using only small areas of the forest. The population density in the forest including both Mbuti and cultivators, is low, averaging less than…

The Forest Camps in Eastern Chiapas, Mexico

From August 6 to 14, Beatriz Manz was invited by the Mexican government, as part of an America's Watch team, to discuss the situation of Guatemalan refugees with Mexican officials and to visit refugee camps in eastern Chiapas, Palenque and Campeche. This report is a description of conditions in some of the camps in eastern Chiapas where refugees agreed to the relocation as well as camps where…

The Campeche Camps

On 23 and 24 July, Beatriz Manz and Jason Clay visited the refugee camps at China, Hecelchakan and Canasayab in Campeche. At that time some 9,000 refugees had been moved to Campeche from Chiapas. Two weeks later, more than 12,000 had been moved. China and Hecelchakan are temporary camps where refugees are held until housing has been built in the permanent camps. At the time of our visit,…

Tengboche Culture Center in Nepal

For more than 20 years increasing numbers of outsiders have visited the Sherpa of northeastern Nepal's Khumbu region near Mt. Everest. While visitors provide increased economic opportunities, they also cause the progressive erosion of Sherpa cultural traditions and serious degradation and depletion of natural resources in the fragile mountain environment. In response to these changes, the head…

Miskito Refugees in Costa Rica

During late July 1984, Theodore Macdonald, Jr., Cultural Survival's Projects Director, interviewed Nicaraguan Miskito Indians and Black Creoles at the Pueblo Nuevo refugee camp near Limon, Costa Rica. The brief narratives included here illustrate the sentiments which have led these people into armed conflict with Nicaraguan security forces since 1981. Two themes consistently arose during the…

Hunters and Gatherers: The Search for Survival - An Introduction

Thousands of years ago, all humans lived by hunting and gathering rather than growing their own food. The number of hunter and gatherer societies has gradually diminished. Those societies that remain live in relatively inaccessable areas, either remote jungles or arctic regions. However, as is often the case, the more such societies are either exterminated or assimilated, the more interest-they…

"Unofficial" Refugees in Chiapas

In addition to the large number of Guatemalan Indian refugees in camps in Mexico along the border between Guatemala and Mexico north of the Panamerican Highway, there is a substantial number of refugees not in camps in an area along the southern border between Chiapas and Guatemala, from the coast almost to the Panamerican Highway. Guatemalans have traditionally crossed the border in this region…

Yahgan & Ona - The Road to Extinction

Just 100 years after the first European settlement on Tierra del Fuego, the last Ona Indian died. During the nineteenth century, the Yahgan and Ona peoples of Tierra del Fuego captured the attention of many Europeans. Charles Darwin, who visited the area, insisted that the inhabitants were the least civilized race on earth and, furthermore, that they were cannibals. Some individuals from each of…

West Papuans Flee Violence

As Indonesia moves to "incorporate" West Papua, thousands of Papuans are fleeing for their lives. Between February and July 1984, 10,000 to 12,000 West Papuans sought refuge in Papua New Guinea. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), many of the recent arrivals are from the West Papuan capital of Jayapura where increased resistance to Indonesian occupation has…

The U.S. & Genocide

On 5 September 1984, the Reagan Administration announced that it would back ratification of the 36-year-old United Nations convention against genocide. The convention, written in 1948 in response to the systematic killing of Jews by German Nazis, has been signed by more than 90 countries but never ratified by the United States Senate. According to the convention, genocide is "the intent to…