FILM: Avatar is not fiction—fighting for the rights of indigenous people


Avatar is not fiction: the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africa are displaced by wars and private companies

As with Pandora, the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africa are being displaced by wars and corporations, to extract natural resources in their territories. 

If you have not seen the movie "Avatar", get ready for a good movie that excels in creativity, imagination, emotion, plot and the incredible technical work. The result is overwhelmingly pleasing to the senses, and I suggest you see your 3-D version to better enjoy it. Most importantly, this film has a message beyond the central story of romance.
Avatar is not fiction: Pandora exists on our planet and is located in Central and South America, and Africa. Na'vi peoples, indigenous peoples in these regions are being displaced and killed at this time, in order to extract resources existing naturally in the basement of their territories. The names of places and peoples may be different in the movie, but the facts of reality are almost the same as music tones inspired by Andean natives. 

Remote areas, green beauty rich tropical forests are in danger because of the abundance of treasures hidden behind unfamiliar human eyes. In order to obtain the necessary resources by rich countries, multinational corporations are using the governments, armed forces, indigenous paramilitaries and the guerrillas to slaughter and displace. 

Unfortunately, most of these cases the U.S. military are involved in one way or another.

In the next generation, Central and South America are the next battlegrounds for the rich countries in their struggle for natural resources they need to continue to grow and maintain their excessive consumerism and lifestyles. Minerals, oil, water, natural gas, forestry and biotechnology resources are widely available in those regions of the planet, which have been kept in balance by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. 

So the last pristine and virgin forests of the planet, may be invaded by the powerful armies working for multinational companies, especially the U.S., Europe and Canada, and perhaps India, China and Russia. 

This is not fiction. It is happening already in the tropical forests and mountains of Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Ecuador, where private mining, oil, housing, tourism, real estate, and pharmaceuticals are invading the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples, as they steal their culture, heritage and territories, in complicity with local puppet governments. 

In the film, the thugs who attack people Na'vi are cold and unfeeling, and employees of companies that invest money in military science, research and cultural programs in order to win the hearts and minds of indigenous peoples living in sacred groves, virgins, virgins in a balanced environment, but fragile. Those places are the final destinations for mining machinery destructive, ready to extract the bowels of mother earth. 

Sebastian Machineri is a leader Yaminawa indigenous people who live in the border area of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, in the bowels of the Amazon rainforest. Sebastian was recently in Washington, DC, participating in a working meeting of the Organization of American States for a continental statement of indigenous rights, he told me that indigenous peoples in Brazil are being killed, attacked, displaced and exterminated by the federal government and private ranchers settlers. "I have no hope of anything changing in the near future," he said, when asked whether international law the rights of indigenous peoples, as the UN declaration adopted in 2007 - can help with anything.He told me greedy and powerful interest groups are pressing governments to destroy our planet, for money. 

That is the truth. In 2009 the indigenous peoples of the Americas faced increasing violence, which included deadly military attacks, travel, legal persecution and imprisonment by governments, paramilitaries, guerrillas and the military linked to corporate interests and industries mining, as mining and oil companies. 

To displace indigenous peoples, governments in Latin America are bound by powerful interest groups to pass legislation based on the model of "free trade", which was designed by Wall Street. This economic trend known as "neoliberalism" has opened the doors of world's protected areas, private companies with enough money and influence to do what they want, regardless of the rights of indigenous peoples who live there, unless still protecting the environment. 

In early June 2009 in Peru, hundreds of farmers and indigenous Awajun Wampis were massacred by the military police of Peru, trained in the U.S., in the Amazon region of Bagua. The natives were protesting peacefully against government laws that allow companies to take control of their lands and resources without prior consultation. Also as a result of the attack, many police officers, also of Indian heritage, were killed by an Indian mutiny in a petrol station after he heard of the slaughter of Bagua. Months later, people Wampis Awajun and arrested five employees of the Canadian mining company IAMGOLD, who were not allowed to enter its territory. 

Illustration by Bajo La Lupa 

In several regions of Peru, mining companies are causing pollution and poisoning of entire indigenous peoples. This has caused social unrest and the growth of a vibrant indigenous movement, but the response of President Alan García has been racism, violence and repression, accusing Indians of being terrorists, criminals and second-class citizens. Many community leaders have been jailed while protesting against government plans. 

In Peru, some 49 million hectares of the 74 million hectares of the Peruvian Amazon (72%) have been licensed to corporations lotizadas and mining, oil and natural gas by the government in Lima. Indigenous communities have only 12 million hectares. 

In 2006, the Bush administration forced Peru to accept a free trade agreement (FTA), which was written entirely in the United States. The slaughter of Bagua was an indirect result of the policies included in the FTA. Similarly, Cusco authorities were forced to pass legislation banning bio-piracy, ie the appropriation and monopolization of traditional knowledge of the population [Indian] and their biological resources "to prevent the negative effects of unpopular and controversial US-Peru FTA. But that's not all. 

Jeremy Hance complaint further atrocities faced by indigenous peoples in Peru in this excellent article in Mongabay News: 
Just weeks after the bloody incident [of Bagua] Hunt Oil Company of Texas, and with the full support of the Peruvian government, was installed in Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, with helicopters and heavy equipment for seismic testing. A scene not unlike that of "Avatar," which shows a company entering an indigenous territory with armed vessels. Only seismic testing included 300 miles of test roads, more than 12,000 explosive charges, and 100 landing strips for helicopters in the center of a region almost untouched and unknown Amazonian jungle. The reserve was created to protect the homes of indigenous peoples, soon could become a land of oil wells. Indigenous groups say they were never properly consulted by Hunt Oil for use of their territories. [...] 

Na'vi in the film is portrayed as blue monkeys "and" savages "by the administrator of the company [mining]. Both the company and its contracted soldiers to Na'vi see as less than human. 

In Peru, President Alan García has called indigenous peoples "savages confused," "barbaric," "second class citizens", "criminals" and "ignorant." Even compared with the infamous Shining Path terrorists. 

There is no final solution in sight, in the struggle between the indigenous peoples of Peru and corporate power backed by the government.
Let me go to Colombia, where indigenous Amazonian peoples are trapped in the middle of internal war between the government, the guerrillas and paramilitaries backed by the government. Twenty members of the Awa indigenous community were killed in 2009 by the guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the end of 2009, another 74 indigenous Awa were killed by paramilitary groups linked to illegal drug cartels. Many indigenous peoples are forced off their land due to such violence, and abandoned land are made by the agribusiness corporations. 

Also last year, more than 2,000 indigenous Embera people in Colombia have left 25 villages in its territory, fleeing the violence of the paramilitaries. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives of Colombia adopted a controversial program to persuade local women to undergo sterilization. This same type of program has affected more than 330,000 women and indigenous men in Peru in the 1990s. 

In the Pacific region of Colombia, the Afro-Colombian population continues to bear the violence, killings and displacement. Just last month the leaders Manuel Moya, Graciano Blandon and his son were murdered by paramilitaries. More than 4 million Colombians have been displaced by this type of violence created by violence between the guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries who have strong ties to the government of President Álvaro Uribe and the Colombian government itself. 

The same tragedy is happening throughout the continent. According to information published by John Schertow the Indian news website Intercontinental Cry, these are some of the most violent attacks faced by indigenous people in Central and South America in 2009: 
* In central Brazil, the Yanomami Paapiu community began to demand the immediate expulsion of illegal gold miners, who have occupied their land.Survival International reported that "[the Yanomami] say they are willing to use bows and arrows to expel the invaders themselves, unless the authorities take immediate action." 

* The community of Apyka'y Kaiowá Guarani in Brazil was attacked by ten armed men who shot her community, wounding one person. Gunmen also struck and injured with knives and set fire to houses in the village. This was the second town burned down in less than a week. 

* At least 300 troops of the National Police of Panama demolished Naso indigenous people in Bocas del Toro for a second time. No injuries were reported, however, about 150 adults and 65 children were left homeless and with limited access to food and water. 

* Following an eviction was canceled, Ava Guarani indigenous community in the district of Paraguay Itakyry was sprayed with toxic chemicals, pesticides likely, resulting in almost the entire village in need of medical treatment. 

* In Guatemala, a Maya Mam group of farmers set fire to a truck and drilling exploratory tower, after the Canadian company Goldcorp repeatedly refused to remove their equipment from the territory of the community.
In Chile, several Mapuche communities reclaim their lands began in the Araucania region, located in the center of the country, ensuring that these were stolen in the sixteenth century during the Hispanic invasion. At least five people have been killed by the Chilean government has also adopted a strong law of "fighting terrorism" to prosecute and imprison indigenous Mapuche leaders. 

In Ecuador, indigenous people are suing the U.S. oil companies for damages to their lands in the Amazon forests and water pollution. Meanwhile, the leftist government of Rafael Correa has tried to betray their electoral promises, through the sale of large tracts of land for oil and mining companies. The response has been a national strike and social protests in the country. 

The picture is different in Bolivia, where indigenous peoples are beginning their autonomous governments with their own cultural traditions, after victory in the presidential and legislative elections of December 6. About 12 of the 327 municipalities of the country voted for autonomous indigenous governments and groups, giving them control over their natural resources and its territories. The same model but on a smaller scale is being applied in Venezuela by the government of President Hugo Chávez, who is giving their indigenous populations the right to own their ancestral lands. 

Unfortunately, justice for indigenous peoples seems to be a mistake for the government of Barack Obama, who already controlled by the same corporate interests of their predecessors. This is obvious when the media manipulated manipulated U.S. often target the governments of Bolivia and Venezuela, portraying them as enemies of this country. 

Meanwhile the White House and its media remains silent about the massacres of indigenous peoples in Peru, Colombia, Brazil and the violent repression in Chile and Ecuador, or violence promoted by the coup regime of Honduras, where death squads trained in U.S. are killing the opposition, including Garifuna, Miskito and other indigenous groups. 

The future of Central and South America and Africa, directly depends on the amount of power that can control the rich countries and their multinational corporations in these regions. In recent decades, Wall Street and London have said poor nations that small governments are the key to progress and development. The less control, more democracy, human rights and especially more foreign investment. This model has failed.

We see what is happening now in Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, etc., Where weak governments can not stop internal wars financed by rich countries and private corporations. Only in Congo such violence has claimed more than 6 million people killed and 500 thousand men and women raped and mutilated. This is a painful proof that national governments must be strong, that people must take control of their destinies, not corporations. 

Growing up in South America, we were told that our indigenous people were exterminated, destroyed, finished. Therefore, we were taught in schools can not do anything to reverse the colonization process, that our people would never dare to stop him. We were told that there was no indigenous, we no longer existed. 

In fact, there is so much that all people-of all races, can do to put an end to imperialist oppression against indigenous peoples and the destruction of our planet. Everyone can do something, because ultimately it is the survival of the human race and our home, our mother earth. 

We have to be against the rich oppressing the poor nations against direct military invasion or through internal conflicts produced. Contrary to what is happening today in Congo, Uganda, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Mexico, Colombia, Yemen, Burma, Pakistan, Nigeria, Peru, Canada, the poorest cities in the U.S., and so on. 

As in "Avatar," the Pandora style violence against indigenous communities around the world sector is promoted by a racist, selfish U.S. government and companies involved in military invasions, coups, paramilitary groups, the training of torturers and repressive forces, and funding from governments and anti-Indian groups. 

For example, during the Bush administration's strategy to seize the natural resources of Latin America was dominated by free trade agreements (FTAs) and the financing of violent conflict in Colombia, Haiti and Mexico. Thousands of civilians have been killed, most of whom were indigenous and Afro-descendants. 

In 2009, with Barack Obama in power, the U.S. government has slowed in its free trade policies, but the Pentagon has confirmed the opening of seven military bases in Colombia, while possibly have increased their presence in Peru with three military stations . The Pentagon's Southern Command has also increased military exercise programs conducted with Peru, Panama, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, while Chile was approved by the U.S. Congress for missile high-tech war. 

In the film Avatar, destructive leaders are the main military leader and head of private enterprise. The relationship between U.S. military intervention and the interests of private investors is never more evident than in Colombia, which is the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the world after Israel. Colombia is a major source of oil, minerals, agriculture and export cocaine, which are crucial for the U.S. economy. His neighbor Venezuela relationship is not taking this lightly, and recently the government of Hugo Chávez has bought arms from Russia, China and possibly Iran. 

Military spending in the world in 2008 
Source Global Issues 

In the movie of James Cameron, the U.S. military becomes a sophisticated army of private mercenaries, working for extractive industries to protect their huge profits. No matter what they had to destroy or who they kill, they had to do the dirty work. The "people of heaven" and had destroyed his house "and" there was nothing green, "then went to Pandora. 

In spite of the white supremacist to the end of the film, with a white man saving the indigenous population, but the script has an interesting approach to the race environment. While the company is led by destructive mainly white, the rescuers are a young, multiracial, are the thinkers and dreamers. 

The film features Pandora's Indigenous peoples as animals almost blue, not humans. In fact, this is how some people see our indigenous peoples in the Americas, almost as sub human, without feelings, without knowledge, without right to live. So our people are victims of greed and continuing racist calls developed nations, led by elites destructive.

As a result of extraordinary experiments, some human beings in laboratories are mixed with the natives. The Avatars were a new breed, mixed, hybrids that are physically similar to the natives, but mentally more aware of certain things. They learn the spirituality and natural science of the "savages" and eventually, they learn that mining is not worth the price of that destruction is not justified. Then they become the protectors of the natives, who used a mixture of both human knowledge Na'vi eventually expel the invaders from their territories, but not before killing most of them. 

Sorry: I reveal the story of the film, but at least mention the romantic part. Do not worry, you'll really enjoy this film. 

Avatar is a new step in the film industry, not only for his [major] high-tech animation, by the way it mixes fiction with real action, but also because it shows the most likely future of this planet, if we let it happen. 

In the film, money is Invest to reach out the Indigenous peoples in order to convince them to leave their lands. In real life, the Indigenous leader Machineri Sebastian told me that Native peoples in the Amazon forests are angry at many non-profits that come to their communities, video record their ways of live, take photos and teach them "modern" skills. Soon later, corporations and ranchers move in. 

In the film, money is invested to connect to indigenous peoples and persuade them to leave their land. In real life, Sebastian Machineri indigenous leader told me that the native peoples in the Amazon forests are upset that many NGOs reach their communities, record videos of their ways of living, take pictures and teach them knowledge "modern." Later , businesses and farmers enter their territories. 

The potential military conflicts taking place in Central America and especially in South America in the coming years, are related to corporate greed and special interests of capital. This is the chilling future that awaits future generations. 

Unless, of course, that the United States, Europe and other rich countries to end their colonial policies, which are designed and imperialist dominated by corporate and military mafia. 

As in "Avatar," the future of our Pandora is in the hands of "the people" so we can regain control of our lives and our future, to ensure a true democracy with equality for all regardless of race or origin, respecting our indigenous peoples. Then we can preserve our planet and life becomes sacred again.