Death to the Yankees

The film was a documentary centering on the successful election of Evo Morales. One of his campaign songs had lyrics like “Long live socialism” and “death to the Yankees”, which speaks volumes about his goals while in office. Evo Morales’ success can be attributed to his looks in many parts, as an indigenous many related to him. A farmer said during the film that he felt a part of the political party because his skin is the same color. The farmers are definitely on his side, as seen by the union in Cocalero. His strong support of the cocoa leaf made them like him even more.

Ecuador’s Pan-Indian Uprising chronicles the struggle of the native people to gain back the land that they believe is theirs, starting a group calling themselves the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador. One of the first things they did was block of major roads and highways, cutting off supply of many things the internal cities depended on, proving their importance. In some places the indigenous went to even more drastic measures, taking the police and governors hostage. The police then began reprimanding the indigenous, especially the leaders. This was probably done to prove a point. The leaders made a priority land list and negotiations to appease the people.

The indigenous had much smarter farming practices, and therefore had better yield which helped them survive despite mistreatment. The government put a halt to the indigenous technological advancement in every arena, which was ignored somewhat in the film. The article lists the demands of the CONAIE, totaling sixteen. Most were reasonable, including clean water, while others may seem a little steep like erasing all debts.

Agrarian reforms did little to change some areas. Also, there was a long line of police corruption, assassinating many leaders and stopping at nothing to prevent indigenous success it seems. The groups are not giving up though. Things seem to be looking brighter.

Suzana Sawyer’s article spoke about one of the most successful movements, where indigenous marched to Ecuador’s capital city, fighting for what they believed was theirs. They were supported by Indian communities with food, places to stay, and pats on the back. They eventually make it, meet with the president and he agreed. This lead to a superficially perfect snapshot description of Borja walking beside the happy indigenous, displaying a victory for them. The article speaks about road blocks and many difficulties. The author also speaks of the similarities between the 1992 and 1990 agreements, with the edge being given to the 1992 because more reasonable requests. They won, but not by a landslide, the government only agreed to some of the demands. They also maintained rights to the products of the land, like petroleum. Some people said that the Indians did not have the right to the land saying they were “lazy”. One can be hopeful that all this attention will end up benefiting the Indians and they will be granted what they deserve.