Home > Americas, Economics, Latin America, Politics > Ben Dangl on Struggles in Latin America

Ben Dangl on Struggles in Latin America

Ben Dangl, author of the book, The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia, in an interview with the Vermon Guardian, posted in Toward Freedom:

Vermont Guardian: In the research for your book, The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia, what did you find to be the biggest misconception that people in the United States have about the struggles facing many of the indigenous people in Latin and South America?

Ben Dangl: There is a lot of romanticizing about the realities of indigenous struggles in South America, that these groups are all extremely democratic and united across borders. Many indigenous organizations in Bolivia for example are very hierarchical and totally dominated by men. Another misconception is that the electoral victory of indigenous president Evo Morales in Bolivia is a maximum victory for indigenous struggles in South America. It is symbolically, culturally and socially important, and can help to end a certain amount of racism and disregard for indigenous customs and culture. But outside of just being president, Evo has to do things to aid in the self-determination and empowerment of indigenous groups. For this to happen – both in Bolivia and elsewhere – there needs to pressure from below from these groups for change.

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