Skype and social media are becoming key tools for indigenous groups in their fights against mining, dams, and other unwanted development, says a guest blogger.
• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, bloggingsbyboz.com. The views expressed are the author's own.
The BBC covers how Latin American indigenous groups are using modern technology to coordinate their protests against modern technology. Specifically, they are using Skype and blogs to communicate with each other and share lessons learned from their protests against mining, dams, roads, and other infrastructure projects meant to power and connect the continent.
Some governments may see this sort of coordination among the indigenous as a threat (they are getting more effective protest methods), but that's really the wrong way to look at it. Individual indigenous cultures are being drastically reshaped by the process of communicating with modern tools and finding common cause with other groups thousands of miles away. Governments that help these groups connect and contribute to the debate about the balance between technology and traditional will likely find themselves in a far better negotiating position (plus a better understanding of indigenous demands) than governments that simply criticize and attempt to oppress and censor the movements.
– James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.
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