Occupy Amazonia? Indigenous Activists Are Taking Direct Action – And It’s Working

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Winning lots of battles – if not the war. Fernando Bizzera Jr / EPA Winning lots of battles – if not the war. Fernando Bizzera Jr / EPA

The Conversation

The native peoples of Loreto, in Peru’s Amazon basin, have just ended a month long occupation of 14 oil wells belonging to the Argentine company Pluspetrol. Negotiations are still underway between the oil company and various other communities, represented by the indigenous association Feconaco.

This is not the first time Feconaco has occupied Pluspetrol’s operations. Such actions on the part of indigenous groups are relatively common.

Amazonian people don’t appear to have learned direct action from the occupy movement or from Euro-American protest traditions, despite the similar tactics. In the absence of functioning state protection, native people have always had to stand up for themselves.

Last September, for instance, Ka’apor people of northeastern Maranhão in Brazil published photographs of illegal loggers whom they had captured and tied up. They had taken matters…

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