When Ines Santizo was a young girl her mother woke her up on the middle of the night and told her to get out of the house: Her stepfather was coming home in a drunk and violent state. Before Ines could escape, her stepfather kicked her in the face and broke her nose. “My mother thought I was going to die, there was so much blood,” Ines said. “I swore right then that I would never allow a man to treat me like that again.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘indigenous rights’
Reports about recent conflict in Peru have me thinking about a day I spent last November, riding around in the back of a truck in Cajamarca. I was with Father Marco Arana, a Catholic priest, writing a story about his work for our magazine.
At one point we passed a contingent of heavily armed men. Father Arana whipped out his phone and called his office to report their location. The men were elite police officers, he explained to me after he’d hung up, part of a DINOES unit (Dirección Nacional de Operativos Especiales, sort of like a SWAT team). They are used to quell violence that occasionally flares up near the Yanacocha gold mine when local farmers and indigenous people protest a lack of water or other problems that they attribute to mining. This type of violence is part of a pattern: indigenous people, farmers—those without sufficient political clout to get their local government to address a problem—sometimes block a road, or seize an oil well, anything to get someone to pay attention. Hopefully their protest will spur an official to come and talk with them, maybe promise to fix a problem, and everyone can go home.
Or DINOES can come.
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