A large group of representatives from three native groups in Bolivia begin their march through 375 miles of land today in hopes of keeping a highway from being built through their land. Via NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America):
On August 15, representatives of three indigenous groups and their supporters will begin a 375-mile trek from Trinidad in the Bolivian lowlands to the highland capital of La Paz, to protest the government’s plan to build a highway through their ancestral homeland known as the TIPNIS (Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park). The march opens a new chapter in the increasingly conflictive relationship between leftist president Evo Morales and the social movements that brought him to power.
The TIPNIS is both a national park and a self-governing territory, that combines indigenous autonomy (granted under Bolivia’s 2009 Constitution) with environmental protection. Legal title to the land and resources in this 3,860 square mile preserve is held in common by the Yuracaré, Moxeño, and Chimán people.
This unique model had its origins in an earlier cross-country march organized in 1990 by lowlands indigenous organizations, which Morales accompanied as leader of the Chapare coca growers union federation.
[Continues at NACLA]