Thursday, December 13, 2018
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Chávez moves to return indigenous lands
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Government expropriates 25 lots for Yupka people.

President Hugo Chávez on Oct. 12 gave the green light for the expropriation of 15,808 hectares (39,000 acres) that comprise 25 lots in the northwestern state of Zulia, so that the Yupka indigenous people can move on the land. The announcement was made on the Day of Indigenous Resistance, which is celebrated instead of Columbus Day.

Chávez said he was unable attend the festivities because he is battling cancer.

“I am approving the immediate occupation of 25 lots in Yupka territory ... to give these lands to the Yukpa ethnicity,” he said.

The community lives near the border with Colombia.

His administration said that it will continue to expropriate lands that belong to indigenous peoples.

Vice President Elías Jaua said the move was necessary for “the demarcation and restoration of the homes of the indigenous peoples from the Sierra de Perija. This is an act of justice.”

“To resolve the indigenous issue and situation of exclusion and poverty, the first thing that must be done is return their lands.”

But Pablo Pérez, the governor of Zulia, where Chávez faces some of his most ardent opposition, rejected the plan calling it “an act of manipulation by the government.”

He added that it does not help indigenous’ inclusion into society but rather is an act of those who are “spokesmen of racism.”
—Latinamerica Press.

Latinamerica Press / Noticias Aliadas
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