The indigenous people of Peru call it a death sentence, their government calls it a lifeline. Over 50 people have been killed in riots in Peru over government plans to develop gas and oil on land that the indigenous people believe belongs to their ancestors. Here’s more on the story and on the oil companies involved.
Artappraiser responds to the blogpost and says
“We have some big national parks but we didn’t let a big portion of our country go undeveloped so that our indigenous could live there in their traditional manner…Chavez would be nowhere in accomplishing his socialist dreams without Venezuela’s already developed oil industry. Highly populated nations can’t live off handicrafts.”
For those of you reading this from Oregon, I know protecting the environment is pretty big there (I’ve heard it’s the US’ most environmentally friendly state) what do you think? Over 30,000 indigenous people might be affected by the Peruvian government’s plans – but with some of the worst violence the country has seen in a decade, is it a risk worth taking?
Mark Doyle blogged about a similar situation in Liberia the other day and asked will big foreign companies help stop Africa being poor ? It’s a common story in Bolivia where Indians are trying to reclaim their land. There’s an ongoing dispute between a tribe in India against development by a British mining giant. And land conflicts between foreign investors and locals have been growing in Tanzania in recent days.
What should come first in poor nations – the environment, indigenous rights or the future of a nation’s economy?