Latin American Indigenous Movements in the Context of Globalization

By Juan Houghton and Beverly Bell | October 11, 2004

Globalization has increased, in previously unsuspected ways, the risks for indigenous peoples living on lands that contain strategic resources for market exploitation: water, oil, gas, forests, minerals, biodiversity. Increased foreign investment and increased profit depend upon the exploitation of natural resources, and these natural resources are predominantly found on indigenous lands. As the Chilean political scientist Sandra Huenchuán Navarro says, “Though indigenous people don’t know it, the most powerful determining factor of their destiny is the New York Stock Exchange or transnational companies’ logic of global investment.” 1

Throughout the Americas, indigenous peoples are losing economic and social ground. Their fragile control over their lands, waters, and other natural resources is loosening. Both academic researchers and indigenous organizations show that market-driven global processes are increasing environmental deterioration and poverty in indigenous communities, blocking the viability of sustainable indigenous communities and societies.2

In response, indigenous peoples are mounting new forms of resistance and organizing. While concentrating on consolidating their autonomy, the political and economic conjuncture brought on by globalization has also forced indigenous peoples to engage in new fights. 

A Second Conquest

Indigenous peoples’ experience of the nation-state and dominant society is one of systematic exclusion and dispossession. Globalization has greatly worsened this condition, based on agreements between nation-states, corporations, and financial institutions forged without the input or consent of civil society groups.

National governments are taking it upon themselves to negotiate natural resources on the international market with little concern about whether these resources are on indigenous, black, or peasant lands. These projects are often negotiated behind the backs of indigenous peoples, in open violation of Convention 169 of the ILO that states that indigenous peoples have the right to be consulted before decisions that affect their territories or natural resources are made.

In this context, many indigenous people perceive “globalization” as a euphemism for a second colonization. The following statement from the “Abya Yala Indigenous Peoples’ Mandate,” from a continental congress of indigenous peoples in Quito in 2002, is typical of dozens more emanating from indigenous federations and gatherings in recent years. This one, directed to the ministers for economic issues in the Americas, states:

It has come to our attention that, representing various countries, you are meeting to design a project for Latin American integration. However, we who were the first inhabitants of these lands, and therefore the hosts, have not been notified, much less consulted. Because of this, we consider your presence to be suspect and unwelcome.3

In one of countless similar examples, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) called free trade pacts “a new crusade to re-colonize our territories, our cultures, our consciences, and nature itself.”4 The “Declaration of Chilpancingo,” produced at the National Gathering of Indigenous Mexican Peoples and Organizations in Mexico in 2002, talked about trade pacts “which turn over our sovereignty to large national and transnational capital, turn their backs on the interests of the majority, and seek to maintain a homogeneous nation, rejecting the plurality and diversity of our peoples.”5 

Opposition to Free Trade Agreements

Among trade pacts, the FTAA has been the main focus of attention and opposition. The “Abya Yala Indigenous Peoples’ Mandate” also speaks for much of the opposition to the FTAA:

The FTAA will lead to greater destruction of the environment [which will cause us] to be evicted from our own territories. We will be led down the path of submitting to the privatization of water and the generalized use of genetically modified foods. Labor rights and working conditions will deteriorate. The living conditions and health of our peoples will worsen as the privatization of social services is accepted and implemented. Many small- and medium-sized businesses that are still surviving will go bankrupt. Democratic rights in society will be further limited. Severe poverty, inequality, and inequity will increase. The ancestral cultures and ethical values we still have will be destroyed. They will even end up dismantling nation-states and turning them into incorporated colonies. What kind of integration are you trying to tell us about when, as your plans are carried out, we are being disintegrated and eliminated? What kind of integration are you proposing if the basis of your proposal is competition, the desire to accumulate and obtain profits at any cost, inequity, disrespect for peoples and cultures, and the desire to make us all part of the market, part of rampant consumerism? What kind of integration are you proclaiming if the first and foremost relationship of human beings is to mother earth, and you do not have such a relationship?”6

Similar statements have been made by: the National Encounter of Mexican Indigenous Peoples and Organizations,7 the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador (CONAIE),8 the Interethnic Association of Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP), the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) in the Congress of the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia (November 2001) and in the International Seminar Against Neoliberalism,9 the National Indian Council of Venezuela (CONIVE), Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Cuenca Amazonia (COICA), the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), the General Kuna Congress of Panamá, various Chilean and Bolivian organizations, and the Pan Amazonian Social Forum.10 

The Battle for Control Over Natural Resources

In most countries of Latin America, structural adjustment has meant moving economies back to reliance on raw materials, through the extraction of natural resources by multinational companies, sometimes in association with local business, and with the willing help of governments. 11 This renewed “raw materialization” of global Southern economies has meant aggressive takeover of indigenous land and resources. Green markets, carbon dioxide sinks, genetic information, oil, gas, and water are all subject to rapid privatization processes led by national governments and to sale on the stock market.

In the Amazon, wood, pharmaceutical, and oil extraction is increasing. The Plan Puebla-Panama promotes the construction of highways and railroads, the development of oil and electricity industries, and the creation of a huge free trade zone in an area throughout Mesoamerica—an area rich in resources and biodiversity.12 The highlands and eastern area of Bolivia are being affected by gas and water projects. Two million hectares of the Ecuadorian Amazon have been ceded to oil companies, and 50% of the Colombian Amazon is considered by oil companies available for direct contracting.13

In Nicaragua, the Korean transnational Kumkyung has a 30-year concession on the forest resources of the Awas Tingni indigenous people. In Madre de Dios in Peru, in the Colombia Pacific, in the southern region of Chile, at the Amazonian borders of Brazil, and in Guyana—all indigenous territories—forest plantations are growing. The increase in tree plantings is intended to maintain a stock of exploitable trees to keep world paper prices low and to continue lowering the price of vegetable oils used by transnational food companies. This, in turn, has turned entire indigenous regions previously dedicated to agriculture, as in the case of Mapuche lands in Chile, or to sustainable forest harvesting, in places like Chajerado and Embera lands in Colombia, into areas used only for short-term and intensive forest extraction.

Multinational and local companies mining for gold, copper, ferro-nickel, and other minerals, have transformed indigenous lands in Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama. There is a permanent war being waged by gold miners and illegal armed groups against indigenous communities residing on these and other lands, including the Yanomami, Curripaco, Baniva, and Kuna.14 The indigenous peoples are often forced to pay taxes even as they play the role of private guards for these transnational businesses.

One result is a new round of displacement of peoples from their resource-rich lands. A recent study on the impact of globalization on indigenous territories by Chilean political scientist Huenchuán emphasizes that over the past centuries many indigenous peoples were forced off of their lands and took refuge in “places that were often considered hostile ecosystems but are areas of high biological diversity and have an ecological importance far beyond their immediate boundaries.” Now that many of these lands have been targeted by multinationals for resource extraction, indigenous communities are again being forcibly removed en masse.15 

Plans for Displacement

The neoliberal model in Latin America has another new face that is even more painful for the indigenous: the Andean Region Initiative, also known as Plan Colombia , and Plan Dignity in Bolivia , with their exorbitant price tags. These initiatives involve wars against the opposition and a chemical war against the mostly indigenous people who grow coca and poppies for survival and, in the case of coca, for sacred purposes as well. In addition to disrespecting the cultures whose cosmologies are based on the coca leaf, t he aerial spraying of Round-Up damages environmental and human health. The spraying occurs in selective areas where the governments wish to control insurgent movements as well as indigenous lands and resources. In Colombia , for example, there has been no direct fumigation of land controlled by the death squads run by the Colombian military.

There is also a notable militarization of the entire continent with the installation of dozens of new national and U.S. army military bases on indigenous lands. Indigenous and campesino peoples and movements experience repression in the areas affected, as well as increased poverty.

The so-called drug wars have been effective in accelerating displacement of indigenous peoples and campesinos from resource-rich lands. This has occurred as much through direct military action against communities as through aerial fumigation of the food base of communities whom the military wishes to push out.

Moreover, these measures secure U.S. corporate investment in the region, as U.S. initiatives provide weapons and financial resources to countries that accept a growing U.S. military presence and adopt a policy of protecting U.S. investments.16 In Bolivia, for example, Plan Dignity has been effective not as a challenge to drugs, but as a challenge to popular opposition to privatization of state-owned natural resources. The militarization of these and other countries in Latin America has paved the way for expansion of neoliberal globalization.  

Reshaping Autonomy Struggles

Under the current terms of economic integration, national sovereignty itself has become virtually expendable, its power often trumped by laws of international trade pacts and the demands of international financial institutions (IFIs). The weakening of roles and positions of nation-states accentuates the internal economic crises of individual countries and the social and political instability of the whole region.

This creates a new context for self-determination for indigenous peoples. States’ unwillingness to “represent” the interests of their civil societies—in this case indigenous peoples—has decreased their legitimacy and strengthened throughout the continent the idea of autonomy that indigenous peoples have been defending for centuries. As the states’ inability to respond to society as a whole provokes increasing crises in their claims of representation, and ability to govern, indigenous peoples have begun an inverse process. They are relying on their history and social structure, on recent political developments, and on the clarity with which they have promoted the consolidation of indigenous governments and jurisdictions. Indigenous governments have gained legitimacy in spite of the difficulties, and laws are often enforced in autonomously run areas more effectively than where standard governmental legislation exists. Where neither federal governments nor laws protect or represent people and their lands, indigenous peoples, campesino communities, and peoples of African descent are bursting onto the scene to take on local, regional, and national power.

Indigenous peoples have historically had to build their political entities inside nation-states, which mediated and still mediate many of their relationships with the world. While a decade ago, they took their concerns only to the state, now they must also go to the international arena. At one level, the margins of their political power are expanded as they deal directly with multilateral organizations like the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), the Ibero-American Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (a multilateral organization created by the Ibero-American heads of state, also known as the Indigenous Fund), and the Andean Community of Nations, which approach them looking for consent on projects and consensus around political operations.17 They also have to deal with corporations who negotiate local investment and resource exploitation projects directly with local indigenous leaders.

Yet, because of the asymmetrical power at work, indigenous peoples find themselves subordinated to new forms of governance. Gains in autonomy are in danger of being quickly lost to the World Bank, IDB, and other multinational institutions that are now able to impose policies and initiatives directly on indigenous communities, organizations, and lands. The legal changes imposed by the trade and investment organizations are coupled with the coercive power that comes along with loans and development aid. Structural adjustment-driven decentralization has opened the door for the direct incorporation and absorption of some indigenous communities into the scenario of dependence, indebtedness, and business associations that are all increasingly threatening indigenous communities. Indigenous peoples’ desire to govern their own territories, combined with their poverty and isolation, render them vulnerable to these programs, which operate on the same policy imperatives that are heavily pushed by the region’s governments, and often with even more socially and economically devastating impacts.

(Juan Houghton is an anthropologist, writer, and organizer from Colombia. Beverly Bell is Director of the Center for Economic Justice (CEJ, online at They are contributors to the IRC Americas Program (online at This report was excerpted with permission from Indigenous Movements in Latin America (CEJ 2004), which can obtained by writing: <>.)


International Organizations and Networks

Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Cuenca Amazonia (COICA)
Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA)
C.C. 17-21-753 Calle Luis de Beethoven No. 47-65 & Capitán Rafael Ramos / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: (593-2) 240-7759, (593-2) 281-2098 / Fax: (593-2) 281-2098
Contacts: Sebastián Hají Manchineri, President; Rodrigo de la Cruz, Advisor

Indian Council of South America (CISA)
Consejo Indio de Sudamérica (CISA)
C.C. 498 Av. del Sol 1407 / Puno / Puno / Perú
Tel: (51-54) 71-11-26

International Maya League
Liga Maya Internacional
C.C. 584-1100 Esquina noreste del Parque de Vargas

Araya 50m al este, casa blanca con verjas negras / San Pedro de Montes de Oca / San José / Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 224-79-74 / Fax: (506) 225-54-24

Indigenous Parliament of America
Parlamento Indígena de América

C.C. 4659 Antiguo Banco de América, Piso 9 / Managua / Managua / Nicaragua
Tel: (505) 222-58-10, (505) 222-23-80 / Fax: (505) 222-58-10

Partial list of Indigenous Organizations


Indigenous Association of the Republic of Argentina (AIRA)
Asociación Indígena de la República de Argentina (AIRA)
Balbastro No. 1790 / Buenos Aires / Buenos Aires / Argentina C.P. 1406-148
Tel: (54-11) 49-82-60-54, (54-11) 49-21-17-89
Contacts: Rogelio Guanuco, President; Francisco Burgos, Secretary; César Currulef, Coordinator in Patagonia

National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Argentina (ONPIA)
Organización Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas de Argentina (ONPIA) (de la Mesa de Trabajo de los Pueblos Originarios)
Tel: (54-11) 4258-2518, (54-11) 4911-9188
Contacts: Cristina Oribe and Roxana Soto


Belize Indigenous Training Institute
49 Main Street / Punta Gorda / Toledo / Belize
Tel: (501-7) 225-51 / Fax: (501-7) 225-51

Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP)
C.C. 229 Belize / Belize City / Belize
Tel: (501-2) 441-00 / Fax: (501-2) 321-36


Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia , also known as Indigenous Confederation of the East, Chaco , and Bolivian Amazon
Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia, also known as Confederación Indígena del Oriente, Chaco y Amazonía Boliviana

C.C. 6135 Villa 1o de Mayo, Barrio San Juan, detrás del Colegio Los Ángeles, Santa Cruz de la Sierra / Santa Cruz / Bolivia
Tel: (591-3) 346-07-14, (591-3) 3 362 707, (591-3) 346 84 37 / Fax: ( 591-3) 349-84-94
Contacts: Robert Cartagena and Egberto Tavo

Sole Union Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia (CSUTCB)
Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia ( CSUTCB )

C.C. 11589 La Paz / La Paz / Bolivia
Tel: (591-2) 236-49-75
Contact: Felipe Quispe Huanca

National Counsel of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyo Conamaq
Consejo Nacional De Ayllus Y Markas Del Qullasuyo Conamaq
Contacts: Faustino Zegarra, Fermín Beltrán, Jaime Apaza, members of the Governing Council

Organization of Aymará Women of Kollasuyo
Organización de Mujeres Aymarás del Kollasuyo
C.C. 13195 el Alto / La Paz / Bolivia
Tel: (591-2) 280-68-90 / Fax: (591-2) 282-33-23


Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB)
Coordinación de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Amazonía Brasileña (COIAB)
C.C. 1081 Av. Ayrao, 235-Presidente Vargas / Manaos / Amazonas / Brazil C.P. 69.025-290
Tel: (55-92) 233-05-48, (55-92) 2330749, (55-92) 2331171 / Fax: (55-92) 233-02-09
Email: ;;
Contacts: Jecinaldo Barbosa Cabral, General Coordinator; Maria Miquelina Barreto Machado, Secretary General

Coordinating Council of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Brazil (CAPOIB)
Conselho de Articulação dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas do Brasil (CAPOIB)
Setor Área Isolada sul (SAIS) - Lote 8 - Galpão 1 - Canteiro Central do Metrô / Brasilia, DF / Brazil C.P.70.610-000
Tel: (55-61) 346-70-48 / Fax: (55-61) 346-70-48

Indianist Missionary Council (CIMI)
Conselho Indigenista Missionáro (CIMI)
SDS Ed. Venâncio III salas 309 a 314 / Brasilia, DF / Brazil C.P. 70.393-900
Tel: (55-61) 322-75-82 / Fax: (55-61) 225-94-01

Indigenous Council of Roraima
Conshelo Indígena de Roraima
Av. Sebastião Diniz, 1672, Bairro São Vicente / Boa Vista / Roraima / Brazil C.P. 69.303-120
Tel: (55-95) 224-57-61 / Fax: (55-95) 224-5761

Union of Indigenous Nations of Acre and South of the Amazon (UNI-AC)
União das Nações Indígenas do Acre e Sul do Amazonas (UNI-AC)
Rua Amazonas 158 / Rio Branco / Acre / Brazil C.P. 69.900-390
Tel: (55-68) 223-19-73 / Fax: (55-68) 223-19-73
Contact: Francisco Avelino Batista, General Coordinator


Council of All the Mapuche Lands (CTLTM)
Consejo de Todas las Tierras Mapuche (CTLTM)
Calle Lautaro 234 - Casilla Postala 448 / Temuco, IX Región / Chile
Tel: (56) 45-235697
Email: ;
Contact: Aucan Huilcamán Paillama

Nehuen-Mapu Mapuche Association
Asociación Mapuche Nehuen-Mapu
Recreo No. 0380 / Temuco, IX Región / Chile
Tel: (56-45) 26-58-77 , (56-45) 22-75-33 / Fax: (56-45) 73-16-07
Email: ;
Contacts: Julio Huenul L., President; Magdalena Rupayan P., Secretary; Sylvia Cheuquelaf H., Director

Ñankuchew Indigenous Association of Nag-Che Territory
Asociación Indígena Ñankuchew del Territorio Nag-Che
Arturo Prat Nº 164, Comuna de Lumaco / Provincia de Malleco, IX Región / Chile
Tel: (56-045) 815021 / Fax: (56-045) 869639
Contacts: Sergio Alberto Alcamán Llanquinao and Galvarino Reimán Huilcamán

Development and Communications Organization, Xeg-Xeg Mapuche
Corporación de Desarrollo y Comunicaciones Mapuche Xeg-Xeg
Bulnes No. 10, Oficinas 2-3-5 / Temuco, IX Región / Chile
Tel: (56-45) 23-55-96 / Fax: (56-45) 23-72-53
Email: ,


National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC)
Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC)
C.C. 32395 Calle 13 No. 4-38 / Santa Fe de Bogotá / Cundinamarca / Colombia
Tel: (57-1) 284-21-68 / Fax: (57-1) 284-34-65
Contacts: Luis Evelis Andrade, Lisardo Domicó, José Domingo Caldón

Movement of Indigenous Authorities of Colombia (AICO)
Movimiento de Autoridades Indígenas de Colombia (AICO)
Calle 23 No. 7-61, of. 501 / Santa Fe de Bogotá / Cundinamarca / Colombia
Tel: (57-1) 341-89-30; Fax: (57-1) 341-89-30
Contacts: Segundo Tarapuésa and Miguel Chindoy

Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC)
Organización de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonía Colombiana (OPIAC)
Carrera 8 No. 19-34, of. 405 / Santa Fe de Bogotá / Cundinamarca / Colombia
Tel: (57-1) 283-23-24 / Fax: (57-1) 283-50-85
Contacts: Julio Estrada and Rosalba Jiménez

Authorities of Traditional U’wa Indigenous of Boyacá
Autoridades Tradicionales Indígenas U’wa de Boyacá Cubará
Boyacá / Colombia
Tel: (57-78) 83-80-37 / Fax: (57-78) 83-80-09

Council of Embera Katio Alto Sinú
Cabildo Mayor Embera Katio Alto Sinú
Calle 5 No. 10-30 / Tierra Alta / Córdoba / Colombia
Tel: (57-47) 77-16-03 / Fax: (57-47) 77-12-18
Contacts: Juan Domicó Nokó; Estefan Baleta, adviser

Regional Indigenous Counsel of Cauca (CRIC)
Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca (CRIC)
C.C. 516 Calle 1 No. 4-50 / Popayán / Cauca / Colombia
Tel: (57-28) 24-21-53 / Fax: (57-28) 24-03-43
Contacts: Alcibíades Escué and Jorge Caballero

Indigenous Oganization of Antioquia
Organización Indígena de Antioquia
C.C. 53433 Carrera 49 No. 63-57 / Medellín / Antioquia / Colombia
Tel: (57-4) 284-48-45 / Fax: (57-4) 291-00-08
Contacts: Abadio Green and Luis Eduardo Agudelo

Costa Rica

National Indigenous Table of Costa Rica
Mesa Nacional Indígena de Costa Rica
C.C. 10913-1000 200 sur de la bomba Monza, mano izquierda / Centro Comercial Guadalupe / San José / Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 222-22-45, (506) 257-55-65 / Fax: (506) 257-57-02

Regional Aboriginal Association of Dikes (ARADIKES)
Asociación Regional Aborigen del Dikes (ARADIKES)
C.C. 24-8100 Buenos Aires / Puntarenas / Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 730-02-89, (506) 730-07-16 / Fax: (506) 730-11-89
Web Site:

Bribrí Cabagra Indigenous Association
Asociación Indígena Bribrí Cabagra
San Miguel de Cabagra, Buenos Aires / Puntarenas / Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 771-07-55


Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador (CONAIE)
Confederación de Naciones Indígenas del Ecuador (CONAIE)
C.C. 17-17-1235 Av. los Granados 2553 y 6 de Diciembre / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: ( 593-2) 24-89-30 / Fax: ( 593-2) 44-22-71
Contacts: Leonidas Iza and Blanca Chancoso

Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadoran Amazon (CONFENIAE)
Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana (CONFENIAE)
C.C. 17-01-4180 / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: (593-2) 54-39-73 / Fax: (593-2) 22-03-95
Web Site:
Contact: José Quenamá, President

Confederation of Peoples of Kichua Nationality of Ecuador (ECUARUNARI)
Confederación de Pueblos de la Nacionalidad Kichua del Ecuador ( ECUARUNARI)
C.C. 17-15-96C Julio Matovelle No. 128 entre Vargas y Pasaje San Luis, Edif. El Conquistador, 1er.piso / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: (593-2) 58-06-99 / Fax: (593-2) 58-07-13
Web Site:
Contacts: Humberto Cholango, President; Salvador Quispe, Gilberto Talahua, and Patricio Zhingri T.

National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous, and Black Organizations (FENOCIN)
Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas Indígenas y Negras (FENOCIN)
Versalles No. 1008 y Carrión N21-326 / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: (593-2) 22-81-91 / Fax: (593-2) 22-81-93
Contact: Pedro de la Cruz, President; Elisa Araujo, Communications Department

Ecuadorian Federation of Evangelical Indigenous (FEINE)
Federación Ecuatoriana de Indígenas Evangélicos (FEINE)
C.C. 17-17-1353 Isla San Cristóbal s/n y Yasuní / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: (593-2) 44-15-91 / Fax: (593-2) 44-15-91

Scientific Institute of Indigenous Cultures
Instituto Científico de Culturas Indígenas
C.C. 17-15-50 B Buenos Aires No. 1028 y EE.UU / Quito / Pichincha / Ecuador
Tel: (593-2) 22-90-93
Web site:
Contact: Ménthor Sánchez, General Coordinator

El Salvador

Coordinating Association of Indigenous Communities of El Salvador
Asociación Coordinadora de Comunidades Indígenas del Salvador
C.C. 23 Sonsonate / Sonsonate / El Salvador
Tel: (503) 451-46-96 / Fax: (503) 451-46-96
Contacts: Fidel Flores Hernández and Marina de Jesús Flores Pérez

National Salvadoran Indigenous Association
Asociación Nacional Indígena Salvadoreña
C/Obispo Marroquín No. 5-1, Antigua Aduana Ferria, Sonsonate/ Sonsonate / El Salvador
Tel: (503) 451-17-21 / Fax: (503) 229-77-52

National Indigenous Coordinating Council of El Salvador
Consejo Coordinador Nacional Indígena del Salvador
Col. Flor Blanca, Reparto Rosedal Pasaje las Rosas No. 7 / San Salvador / San Salvador / El Salvador
Tel: (503) 223-54-65 / Fax: (503) 298-86-76


Coordination of Organizations of the Maya People of Guatemala Saqb’ichil (COPMAGUA)
Coordinación de Organizaciones del Pueblo Maya de Guatemala Saqb'ichil (COPMAGUA)
10a. Calle No. 5-35, Zona 11 / Guatemala City / Guatemala
Tel: (502) 472-48-28 / Fax: (502) 472-48-28

National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala (CONAVIGUA)
Coordinadora Nacional de Viudas de Guatemala (CONAVIGUA)
8a. Avenida 2-29 Zona / Guatemala City / Guatemala
Tel. (502) 232-5642

National Indigenous and Campesino Coordination (CONIC)
Coordinadora Nacional Indígena y Campesina (CONIC)
8a. Calle No. 3-18, Zona 1 / Guatemala City / Guatemala
Tel: (502) 251-02-78

Maya Defenders
Defensoría Maya
14 Avenida 3- 17 Zona 4, colonia Valle del Sol, Mixco / Guatemala City / Guatemala
Tel: (502) 594-65-75

Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation
Fundación Rigoberta Menchú Tum

1a. Calle 7-45, Zona 1 / Guatemala City / Guatemala
Tel: (502) 254-58-26, (502) 254-58-34 / Fax: (502) 254-44-77
Tel: 5639-3091, 5639-1492 / Fax: 5639-3976
Email : ;


Federation of Amerindian Organizations of Guyana (FOAG)
Fédération des Organisations Amérindiennes de Guyane (FOAG)
Village amerindien 97310 Kourou
Tel: (594) 694-42-2776, (594) 32-99-51 / Fax: (594) 33-40-73
Contact: Jean-Aubéric Charles

Amerindian Peoples’ Association of Guyana (APA)
163 Crown Street / Queenstown / Georgetown / Guyana
Tel: (592) 227-0275, (592) 225-9128 / Fax: (592)223-8150
Contact: Tony James, President


Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)
Consejo Civico de Organizaciónes Populares y Indígenas De Honduras (COPINH)
Barrio Lempira, Intibuca / Intibuca / Honduras
Tel: (504) 783-0817, (504) 232-6474 / Fax: 504-239-2927
Email: ;
Contacts: Bertha Cáceres, Vicente González, and Cristóbal González

Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH)
Confederación de Pueblos Autóctonos de Honduras (CONPAH)
C.C. 20585 Barrio La Granja 1a. y 2da. Calle, 2da. Av. No. 3327 / Tegucigalpa / Francisco Morazán / Honduras
Tel: (504) 225-26-12, (504) 225-49-25 / Fax: (504) 225-56-70
Email: ;
Contact: Nathan Pravia


National Pluralistic Indigenous Assembly for Autonomy
Asamblea Nacional Indígena Plural por la Autonomía
Hacienda Xajai No.162, Col. Impulsora, Nezahualcóyotl, Edo. de México / México C.P. 57130
Tel: (52-55) 57-83-80-02
Contact: Marta Sánchez Nestor and Margarito Ruíz Hernández

National Indigenous Congress (CNI)
Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI)

National Coordination of Indigenous Women
Coordinadora Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas
Calle San Simón No. 82, Int. 306, Col. Portales / Benito Juárez, D.F., México C.P. 03660
Tel: (52-55) 55-32-29-23, (52-55) 55-50-25-51

National Confederation of Coffee Grower Organizations (CNOC)
Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Cafetaleras (CNOC)
Tabasco No. 262, Of. 301 Col. Roma / México, D.F. / México, C.P. 06700
Tel: (52-55) 55-14-02-05, (52-55) 52-07-05-08

Organization of Traditional Indigenous Doctors and Midwives of Chiapas (COMPITCH)
Organizacion de Médicos y Parteras Indígenas Tradicionales de Chiapas (COMPITCH)
Pichucalco 17-B, El Cerrillo / San Cristóbal de Las Casas / Chiapas, C.P. 29240 / Mexico
Tel: (52) 967-678-9114, (52)967-678-4562 / Fax: (52) 967-678-5523
Email: ; ;
Contacts: Carlos Guzmán Lopez and Feliciano López Aguilar

Guerreran Counsel 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance
Consejo Guerrerense 500 Años de Resistencia Indígena
Av. Guerrero No. 49, Col. Centro / Chilpancingo / Guerrero / México, C.P. 39000
Tel: (52-747) 478-57-70 / Fax: (52-747) 478-57-70
Contact: Marta Sánchez Néstor

Tepeyac Human Rights Center of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec
C.C. 68 Priv. La Providencia No. 100, Barrio la Soledad / Tehuantepec, Santo Domingo / Tehuantepec / Oaxaca / México, C.P. 70760
Tel: (52-971) 715-14-42
Contact: Javier Balderas

Union of Indigenous Communities in the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI)
Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo (UCIZONI)
Hombres Illustres No. 505, Matias Romero / Oaxaca / Mexico
Tel: (52) 9 722 16-46


Communitarian Miskito Nation
Nación Comunitaria Moskitia
Del parque central 2 cuadras y media al Oeste, Bilwi / Puerto Cabezas / Región Autónoma / Atlántico Norte / Nicaragua
Tel: (505) 268-2868, (505) 266-4719, (505) 266-0718 |
Contact: Carlos Molina Marcia, of the Instituto de Investigaciones sobre Movimientos Sociales y Comunicación

Association of Indigenous Women of the Atlantic Coast (AMICA)
Asociación de Mujeres Indígenas de la Costa Atlántica (AMICA)
Bo. Spanish Town / Puerto Cabezas / Región Autónoma Atlántico Norte / Nicaragua

Indigenous Movement of Jinotega (MIJ)
Movimiento Indígena de Jinotega (MIJ)
Del Arrollito – Bar 80 mts al Norte, Bº Mauricio / Altamirano, Dpto. / Jinotega / Nicaragua
Tel: (505) 632-2739, (505) 632-3111
Contact: Luis Gonzami and Juan Irene González Hernández


National Coordination of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (COONAPIP)
Coordinadora Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas de Panama (COONAPIP)
C.C. 4473 Zona 5 Panamá / Panamá City / Panamá
Tel: (507) 221-80-88, (507) 775-19-84 / Fax: (507) 221-80-88

General Congress of Kuna Culture (CGCK)
Congreso General de la Cultura Kuna (CGCK)
Ave. Justo Arosemena, Calle 39, Panamá / Panamá City / Panamá
Tel: (507) 225-14-90 / Fax: (507) 225-14-93

Institute for the Integral Development of Kuna Yala (IDIKY) (member of Kuna General Congress)
Instituto Para El Desarrollo Integral De Kuna Yala (IDIKY) (adscrito al Congreso General Kuna)
C.C. 6-8299 Calle 27 y Av. México, Edificio Azteca, Piso M, Oficina M5 / Panamá / Panamá City / Panamá
Tel: (507) 225-58-22 / Fax: (507) 225-58-24

Movement of Kuna Youth (of the General Kuna Congress)
Movimiento de la Juventud Kuna (Miembro del Congreso General Kuna)
C.C. 98 Zona 1 Panamá / Panamá City / Panamá
Fax: (507) 227-41-75

Ngobe-Bugle General Congress
Congreso General Ngobe-Bugle
C.C. 4473 Zona 5 Panamá / Panamá City / Panamá
Tel: (507) 262-84-48 / Fax: (507) 262-87-72


Coordination of Indigenous Peoples of the Cuenca of Pilcomayo River
Coordinadora de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cuenca del Río Pilcomayo

C.C. 1380 Asunción / Central / Paraguay
Tel: (595-21) 55-04-51 / Fax: (595-21) 55-04-51

Native League for Autonomy, Justice, and Ethics
Liga Nativa por la Autonomía, Justicia y Ética
Calle José Asunción Flores 2231 Asunción / Central / Paraguay
Tel: (595-21) 22-11-59 / Fax: (595-21) 64-90-79


Permanent Coordination of Indigenous Peoples of Peru (COPPIP)
Coordinadora Permanente de los Pueblos Indígenas del Perú
Av. San Eugenio 981 Urb. Santa Catalina / La Victoria / Lima 13 / Perú
Tel: (511) 293-2643 / Fax: (511) 293-2643
Contact: Miguel Palacín Quispe, President

Interethnic Association of Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP)
Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP)
Av. San Eugenio No. 981 Urb. Santa Catalina / La Victoria / Lima, 13 / Perú
Tel: (511) 472-66-21, (511) 472-46-05, (511) 4717118, (511) 4722683, (511) 4724605
Email: ,,
Contacts: Haroldo Salazar Rossi, Vice President; Beatriz Huertas, Asesora

Native Federation of Madre de Dios River and Streams (FENAMAD)
Federación Nativa del Río Madre de Dios y Afluentes (FENAMAD)
C.C. 42 Av. 26 de Diciembre No. 276, Puerto Maldonado / Madre de Dios / Perú
Tel: (51-84) 57-24-99 / Fax: (51-84) 57-24-99
Contact: Julio Cusuriche


Van Inheemsen Organization of Suriname
Organisative van Inheemsen in Suriname

Johannis Kingstraat 7 Rainville / Paramaribo / Suriname
Tel: (597) 0858930, (597) 0811632, (596) 885891 / Fax: (597) 499139
Contact: Nardo Aloema


National Indian Council of Venezuela (CONIVE)
Consejo Nacional Indio de Venezuela (CONIVE)
Edif. Ministerio de Educación, piso 14, ofic. Junto Dirección de Asuntos Indígenas / Caracas DF / Venezuela
Tel: 582124832670, 098241154 / Fax: 582124849598
Email: ;
Contacts: Nicia Maldonado and Noelí Pocaterra

Regional Organization of Indigenous Amazonian Peoples (ORPIA)
Organización Regional de Pueblos Indígenas de Amazonas (ORPIA)
Av. Orinoco, sector Los Lirios, vía aeropuerto, Pto. Ayacucho / Amazonas / Venezuela
Tel: (58-428) 21-18-34 / Fax: (58-428) 21-15-45

United States

International Indian Treaty Council
2390 Mission St. Suite 301 / San Francisco, CA 94110 / USA
Tel: (415) 641-4482 / Fax: (415) 641-1298

Centers of Information on Indigenous Peoples

Professional Services to Support Integral Indigenous Development – Network of Information for Indigenous Communities
Servicios Profesionales de Apoyo al Desarrollo Integral Indígena Red de Información para Comunidades Indígenas
Email: ;

International Agency of Indigenous Press (AIPIN)
Agencia Internacional de Prensa India (AIPIN)

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

Survival Indigenous International

Chirapaq (Center of Indigenous Cultures)
Chirapaq (Centro De Culturas Indias)

Mapuche Links International
Enlace Mapuche Internacional

Ethnicity Today Periodical
Periódico Actualidad Étnica
Contact: Luis Carlos Osorio

Inchalá Seminar
Semanario Inchalá

Center for Mapuche Liwen Studies and Documentation
Centro de Estudios y Documentación Mapuche Liwen

Toqui Lientur Collective
Kolectivo Toqui Lientur


Center for Economic and Political Research for Community Action (CIEPAC)
Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas de Acción Comunitaria (CIEPAC)


  1. Huenchu án Navarro, Sandra. “Territorial Impacts of Economic Globalization in Latin American and Caribbean Indigenous Territories.” Statement presented in the XXII Latin American Congress of Sociology of the Latin American Sociology Association (ALAS). University of Concepción , Concepción , Chile , 1999.

  2. See the Declaration of the Indigenous Caucus of the UN Indigenous Peoples’ Working Group in Geneva, July 25, 2003.

  3. The “Abya Yala Indigenous Peoples’ Mandate,” from the Continental Congress to prepare the Second Summit of Indigenous Peoples’ of the Americas, Quito, October 30, 2002.

  4. Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and the FTAA,” National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), in Memorias, International Seminar, “The Peoples of South America Building Alternatives to Neoliberalism,” Bogotá, September, 2002.

  5. Declaration of Chilpancingo,” National Encounter of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations, September 12 and 13, 2002, Chilpancingo in ALAI, Latin America in Movement, September 13, 2002. Forty-eight indigenous organizations participated in this gathering, including one of the most representative groups in Mexico (ANIPA) and the most influential regional groups.

  6. The “Abya Yala Indigenous Peoples’ Mandate,” Op. Cit. The summit where the statement was released took place in the context of the Continental Days of Struggle Against the FTAA on the same date. CONAIE of Ecuador, CONAMAC from Bolivia, COICA and CSUTCB from Bolivia, the Kuna Youth Movement of Panamá, ONIC from Colombia , and sectoral and regional organizations from Mexico and Chile were present at the summit.

  7. National Encounter of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations, “Chilpancingo Declaration,” September 12-13, 2002, Chilpancingo, in Latin America in Movement ( ALAI) Sept 9, 2002. Forty-eight indigenous organizations participated in this gathering including the most representative organization in the country (ANIPA) and the most influential regional organizations.

  8. See Boletín ICCI-ARY Rimay, No. 30 - 50.

  9. National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and the FTAA,” in Summary of Events, International Seminar, “ South American Peoples Building Alternatives to Neoliberalism,” Bogotá, September 2002, and “Life and Dignity for Indigenous Peoples and Colombians,” Summary of Events, Congress of the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia, 2001.

  10. A good register of statements from indigenous organizations on this topic can be found on the websites of the Latin American Information Agency, ALAI (, of Adital (, of the International Agency of Indigenous Press, AIPIN (, and of COICA (

  11. Structural adjustment refers to the series of economic reforms which are imposed by the IFIs in exchange for loans and aid.

  12. For more information, see Center for Economic Research and Communitarian Participation and Action, (CIEPAC),

  13. Colombian Oil Company (ECOPETROL) Land Map, Bogota, February 2003.

  14. For example, garimpeiros, the Brazilian term for gold miners who do semi-industrial dredging of the river beds of the Amazon and the Orinoco, were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Yanomami indigenous people in 1993.

  15. Huenchu án Navarro. Op. Cit. ONIC made a similar statement at the U’ wa Por La Vida hearing in Cubará, 1997.

  16. See bulletins of the International Agency of Indigenous Press (AIPIN).

  17. IFIs, which have traditionally focused on lending to national governments, are increasing their involvement with NGOs, as well as with state- and provincial-level governments. The World Bank and IDB, especially, are developing direct relations with indigenous organizations, through such initiatives as the World Bank’s consultations on political operations. Via institutions like the Ibero-American Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, the World Bank and the IDB are also giving grants and training “experts” in indigenous organizations.