indigenous duty to resistance
me back my future, and we’ll sign the armistice,” the indigenous
people commonly say, according to the Guinean writer Zamora Loboch. They
say it to us, the heirs of those who invaded and conquered their lands.
In the middle of the 19th Century, Europeans tried to disguise their
conquests in the name of the Three C’s: Civilization, Christianity and
Commerce. History proves that the reason for every conquest is economic,
or what conquerors denominated as “open paths to trade.” Like the
interests that today encourage the World Trade Organization’s
interests, which seek to open markets for their products, sinking the
native ones and plundering the raw materials that they need. That’s
what they call “Helping the Third World”.
celebrate folkloric parties with the indigenous for them not to lose
their identity. “Take care of the indigenous people, don’t let them
lose their folklore, chop down trees, or pollute the environment.” The
civilizations of the North, which have wiped out forests, contaminated
rivers and turned coasts into sewers, impose how the indigenous should
preserve their habitat, converting it into Natural Parks for them. Why
don’t they release elephants and crocodiles by the hundreds into the
Bois de Boulogne, Central Park, or Casa de Campo? In Africa, people are
forced to have elephants devour the crops because the natural
equilibrium has been broken.
Indian Chief Roni, of the Caipós ethnic group, kept fifteen tourists as
hostages until the Brazilian government guaranteed them the zone of
recognized land in 1991. What would’ve happened if they hadn’t
exerted their due to resistance through the means that they had at hand?
Some years ago, the Ijuw people kidnapped 165 workers of the Shell
Company in Nigeria, which has devastated the environment. Sometimes
these groups are labelled as criminal bands but, if they prevail,
history recognizes them as heroes.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez
This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 13/12/2005