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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Latin America’s Indigenous Movements,” an examination of the leadership, impact, and challenges of native activists in Central and South America, with Kevin Healy, adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies and former representative of the Inter-American Foundation supporting local indigenous projects.
Recent decades have witnessed a political awakening by Latin America’s indigenous people, who have been demanding more political rights and a greater voice in their nations’ affairs. In Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Peru they’ve made major strides, and they’ve emerged as a significant political force looking to protect the Amazon rainforest and Andean highlands.
Gain a deep understanding of how this has come about from Kevin Healy, the author of two books on indigenous people in Bolivia and a long-time teacher of courses on indigenous movements in Latin America at Georgetown, American, and George Washington universities. Having spent 30 years working with indigenous groups as a representative of the Inter-American Foundation, he has a rich understanding of the history of these movements and the many challenges that Latin America’s indigenous people continue to face after centuries of colonialism and neocolonialism.
Professor Healy will discuss how such movements arose and grew from the bottom-up partly through game-changing events such as the advent of Liberation Theology, the emergence of international and national human rights and environmental justice organizations, and the proliferation of like-minded civil society organizations. Also playing a major role: The replacement of right-wing military regimes by democratically elected governments and a growing willingness of Latin America’s political left to incorporate and support indigenous political activism. In the ensuing years, much of the movements’ energy has been focused on mobilizing organized democratic resistance to extractive mining, agricultural expansion, and controversial infrastructure investments that threaten the environment and indigenous livelihoods.
You’ll learn about the indigenous political empowerment taking place through the Aymara and Quechua organizations in the Andean highlands of Bolivia, and various Peruvian and Brazilian organizations from the Amazon region, and the mobilization of the U’wa Indigenous Peoples of Colombia. Professor Healy will discuss the movements’ tactics and describe key events and milestones in their struggle. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: Members of the Aymara wave a flag representing various indigenous people of the Andes during a ceremony in Bolivia. (Wikimedia Commons.)