Indigenous women all over the world suffer from triple discrimination as they are not only discriminated simply for being women or for being indigenous, but also for being indigenous women. Indigenous women are often not only left out of local and national political processes but are also excluded from decision-making processes and structures within indigenous communities.
The indigenous peoples of Bolivia facing the fires and a new development model
The international press clearly showed how the fire swept through the Brazilian Amazon and Bolivian forests. The images of calcined trees and animals suffering from the voracity of the flames brought climate change and environmental depredation to the forefront. However, in the shadow of the Amazon, other victims are invisible: the indigenous peoples that live in the jungle and mountains, and establish reciprocal relations with Mother Earth.
While the international community is focusing its attention on the advancing fires in Brazil, the reality is that the problem transcends the South American giant and is reflected in the nine Amazonian countries. Beneath the ashes, the fire has shown (once again), a conflict that specialists have long pointed out: the implementation of a development model based on the extraction of natural resources at the expense of nature.
“Monkey”, “pig”, “dog” – these words were shouted at a group of West Papuan students, who had been arrested and later released due to lack of evidence. They were accused of burning the Indonesian flag. This is the latest development in a more than 60-year struggle for the independence of West Papua. Massive protests are currently taking place in West Papua, and news of victims on both sides has reached the media. A local indigenous organisation condemns the racist remarks and general stigmatisation of indigenous peoples in West Papua.
Indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest are on the front line of defending themselves and their land from the rapidly spreading fires. A majority of the tens of thousands of fires are happening in Brazil, though fires are also raging in Bolivia where 10,000 km2 of forests (an area the size of Lebanon) have burned, as well as large areas in Paraguay and Peru.