Bolivia hosts Andean indigenous summit
Indigenous leaders from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) ended a three-day meeting in La Paz Dec. 19 with a call for international unity in the struggle against neoliberalism. Delegates from Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia denounced the privatization of natural resources and their delivery to corporate transnationals, while expressing support for the pending constitutional reform in the host country.
Mario Palacios, president of the Confederation of Peru Communities Affected by Mining (CONACAMI), said Peru's government "is committed to selling the lot—water, land and its natural resources—pushing mechanisms such as the free trade agreements." He said the Peruvian state has "declared war" on indigenous peoples."
Fernándo Arias, leader of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) said of Colombia's government: "They want to exterminate us; in the last six years almost 1,500 of our comrades were killed and over 70 thousand displaced from their homes."
Bolivia was extolled as an alternative to this model. "As indigenous peoples, we are in support of Evo Morales; the process of change is being made in consultation with the people, and to that we add ourselves." said Andrés Andrago, president of CAN's consultative council. (Prensa Latina, Dec. 19; PL, Dec. 18; Xinhua, Dec. 17)
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