Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Plight of the Embera People

'We demand dignified, safe and voluntary relocation NOW!'
Embera indigenous people protested on Ave. Septima today demanding the government help them return to their lands in the Chocó region, or find them new lands to live on somewhere else.
The Chocó region, near the Pacific Coast, is chronically poor and has been ravaged by drug-generated violence. Violent drug cartels, guerrillas and paramilitaries all roam the region and have forced residents, including indigenous people like these Emberas, to flee to cities for refuge. But for many indigenous people, used to an unsophisticated existence close to nature, find the move to the city jarring, and fall victim to addictions, disease and prostitution. They are often seen begging or selling small handicrafts (often an excuse for begging).

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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