"It has been 529 years since the cry of the rebellion of our Indigenous peoples, who resisted and battled to defend these lands from the Spanish invasion," tweeted Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.
Spain celebrates Oct. 12 as its National or "Hispanic" day. On the other hand, in many Latin American countries, this day is no longer marked as "Columbus" or "Discovery" day, but as the "Indigenous Resistance Day."
In Latin America, there are some 826 different Indigenous Peoples, who represent more than 45 million people, about 10 percent of the continent's population. However, in certain countries, they account for a much higher percentage of the total population.
In this region, significant progress has been made regarding the constitutional and legal recognition of their rights. However, their formal rights are often frustrated in practice by the discrimination and exclusion that they continue to face due to the capitalist interpretation of "modern development."
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Francisco Cali highlighted violations of Indigenous peoples" rights in the name of environmental conservation in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, and Mexico. Also, the construction of highways, electricity networks, and hydroelectric plants transforms their territories and models of economic and social development.
"It has been 529 years since the cry of the rebellion of our Indigenous peoples, who resisted and battled to defend these lands from the Spanish invasion ... today the Bolivarian Revolution supports their struggles," tweeted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Last week he considered that Spain should apologize to Latin America and the Caribbean peoples for the American conquest crimes. Pope Francis and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) expressed themselves in the same vein in recent days.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Placencia stressed that today" "we remember the warrior impetus of our ancestors, defenders of these land." FormerBolivia'ss president Evo Morales recalled that "10/12/1492 is the day of the invasion, and it is not the day of the arrival of civilization. The alliance between the monarchy and the Catholic Church imposed economic relations of exploitation, political relations of subordination and cultural relations of oppression".
The Senior Counselor of the National Organization of Colombian Indigenous Peoples (ONIC), Orlando Rayo, said that this is not a day of celebration because "it is the day of the extermination of Indigenous Peoples. Our knowledge and wisdom are colonized by forms of life and government that do not belong to our culture; they increase our physical and cultural extinction" Today is a day of struggle for Latin American Indigenous peoples.
Also, in Mexico City, marches to denounce their systemic marginalization have occurred. In Buenos Aires, several Indigenous organizations are demonstrating in front of the Argentine Congress to demand an Indigenous community property law extension. In Asuncion, groups demand that the government set up a work table to discuss land restitution. The event "Memories of October and meeting of social organization" is held in Quito, led by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), among many others.