Opinion | World

Jessica Carro: The forgotten Native people of the Americas

Qom activists staged a protest in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in May 2011. Photo © Patricio Murphy / Demotix

Writer Jessica Carro discusses the lack of information about Native people in South America:
As I write this, I remember the adorable dark skinned, chinky eyed, small faces of the children who would extend their tiny hands offering gifts made out of Alpaca wool in exchange for food or money as I walked the streets of Humahuaca, Jujuy in Argentina. Like the Native Americans, these people were the original settlers of the land, yet they are constantly ignored by the Argentine government and are subjected to violence, hunger, discrimination and extortion. They suffer from a lack of education, poverty, health issues and shortage of housing to name a few.

A reform had actually taken place in 1994, guaranteeing all legal titles over the land to the aboriginal people. This is actually stated in the Constitution of Argentina, still these people face a lack of implementation of such laws and of overall attention from their government. Despite what the law states, these people are completely ignored, treated like exiles in their own land.

One of the first things I learned living in Argentina was that there are no rules! This goes for most countries in South America. You see, all though there are laws that should be followed, corruption and a lack of control has people doing whatever they want, and creating there own rules as they go along. Besides, if you ever do get caught doing something illegal, you can just pay them off. No big deal. On an everyday scale, this may seem fun and adventurous for people like me, who come from a place where you can’t even hold a beer outside of a bar while having a cigarette. But on a larger scale, this has many consequences.

Get the Story:
Jessica Carro: The Forgotten People of the Other America (Indian Country Today 11/11)

Join the Conversation