Indigenous Bolivians Protest Amazon Road

Walking 300 miles to La Paz

Aug 22, 2011
Outside Magazine

Hundreds of indigenous Bolivians are marching more 300 miles to La Paz to protest the construction of a road through one of the Amazon's most diverse reserves. About 500 members of the Chimane, Mojeno, and Yuracaré tribes began the march on August 15 in the northern city of Trinidad. They expect the journey to take about a month. The Brazilian-backed and built road through the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park will connect Cochabamba with the northern city of San Ignacio de Moxos, providing a link between the Brazilian Amazon and ports on the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile. Environmental and indigenous groups say the road will open up the reserve to illegal exploitation by loggers and coca farmers. "We want to live in peace, with development that respects our lands," said Adolfo Chávez, a leader of the Indigenous Peoples' Confederation of Bolivia. President Evo Morales accused USAID of inciting the protests, and said that the road would be built "no matter what."

Read more at The Independent