Tuesday, December 5, 2006
The current political and social climate in Latin America is conducive to the success of mobilized groups as more Leftist candidates, such as Chavez in Venezuela and Correa in Ecuador, push for the recognition of indigenous communities and their land rights. I think the rise of these types of leaders is a direct result of action against corporations like Bechtel in Bolivia and the success of the Zapatista movement in Mexico.
The implication for women of the success of these types of movements is that they play some part in the organization and solidarity within the movement. Also, they are able to experience the benefits of success as they can educate their children using indigenous language and methods, their families have the autonomy to use land for growing subsistence crops rather than crops allocated to them by neo-liberal agricultural policies, and they likely have more personal autonomy. In current movements such as Morales's policy, women are specifically allotted land and the right to own land, which doesn't usually exist in state policies.
The success of Morales, Macas, Bolivian's against Bechtel, and the Zapatistas are all examples of indigenous people mobilizing against neo-liberal policies of the North. These movements could be characterized as anti-capitalist, but mostly, they are interested in the continuation of indigenous ways of life and respect for their culture and rights.