Latin American and Indigenous peoples’ issues

Originally, my dissertation research was to take place in Peru. For many reasons, it’s probably better that it didn’t happen that way. Nonetheless, I’m still interested in South American issues, particularly those pertaining to women and indigenous communities. As I write, a major situation is ongoing in Peru between Amazonian indigenous peoples and the Peruvian government, which just happens to be led by a man re-elected despite being president once during a time of the greatest inflation and increase in poverty in the country. While Alan Garcia was president the first time in the 1980s, the country also saw the rise of the Sendero Luminoso, or the Shining Path, a Maoist rebel group that terrorized the countryside in an effort to overthrow the neoliberal Garcia government.

Okay- I got a little off-topic there. What I meant to say is, because of the ongoing issues regarding the indigenous peoples of South America and their seemingly eternal struggle for respect and survival, not to mention that Peru and other Latin American countries have some of the highest rates of violence against women (hence my interest in the region), I’m going to devote one of my sidebars to a list of organization web sites and news stories documenting events in the region along these topics. The goal, as always, is to increase awareness of these issues so that we don’t forget our neighbors to the South.

And just now, it occurred to me: we have indigenous issues of our own here in North America. That is a budding research are for me, specifically relating to the state of Oklahoma and the near symbolic annihilation of any of the issues that really matter to indigenous peoples in my homestate. So, there will also be a sidebar with links to stories and organizations who work on those topics.

Please read and soak it in. And, please spread the word. We need to pay attention to these things.

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