The Mestizo-Indigeno Divide

Should we connect everyone, everywhere?  Another of globalization’s thorny debates, but this time argued very locally.  As always there are global implications (in this case having to do with the loss of unique cultural heritage).  Click the headline image above to go to the story in The Guardian:

The 125-mile (200km) road would pass through the Alto Purús national park in Peru, connecting a remote area to the outside world but opening up the most biologically and culturally important area of the upper Amazon to logging, mining and drug trafficking. Opponents of the plan fear it will threaten the existence of uncontacted tribes such as the Mashco-Piro. The first detailed photographs of members of the tribe made headlines around the world earlier this year after they were spotted on a riverbank.

The majority indigenous population of the region appears to be largely united in its opposition to the road, which would run parallel to the Brazilian border, connecting the towns of Puerto Esperanza and Iñapari. Conservationists warn it would cause irreparable harm to the environment and the area’s people.

But the road has the support of many mixed-race settlers – or mestizos – who make up roughly one fifth of the region’s population.

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