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Argentina's Indigenous People Fight for Land Rights

Gutman, Daniel

Publisher:  Inter Press Service News Agency
Date Written:  12/01/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article

Indigenous people in Argentina live with the constant threat of eviction on land to which they own no title. Much of their predicament is due to colonial laws and attitudes that persist even though constitutional changes now recognize Indigenous land rights as an urgent issue. Deforestation due to expanding agriculture exacerbates this conflict.



Today, indigenous people in Argentina are struggling to preserve their way of life in a scenario made complex mainly due to conflicts over land. Ninety-two percent of the communities do not have title to the land they live on, according to a survey published in 2017 by the National Audit Office, an oversight that depends on the legislative branch.
The scope of the conflict is huge. Approximately half of the 1,600 native communities in the country have carried out or are carrying out the process of surveying their lands that the State began more than 10 years ago, and they lay claim to eight and a half million hectares.
The backdrop is the pattern of discrimination that persists in Argentina despite advances made on paper, as then UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples James Anaya reported after a visit to the country in 2011.
"There are still legacies from the colonial era and the history of exclusion is still highly visible," Anaya wrote in his report.


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