October 7, 2008

Devious Injuns

Quico says: In today's NYTimes, Simón Romero goes to the Amazon and finds the stereotype of the lazy, devious indian alive and well at the heart of chavista officialdom.

Faced with Yanomami anger at the shoddy health care program - think of it as Selva Adentro - they've been forced to rely on since gringo missionaries were kicked out three years ago, a senior official with the government research institute that focuses on tropical diseases tut-tuts him...
"One cannot forget that the Yanomami and other indigenous groups have learned how to exert pressure on the government in order to receive food or other benefits,” he said. “This does not mean there aren’t challenges in providing them with health care, but caution is necessary with claims like these.”
For their part, Yanomami leaders point to what they consider to be a broad pattern of neglect and condescension from public officials. “They put pictures of Yanomami everywhere, on tourist brochures, in airport lobbies, even on ambulances here in Puerto Ayacucho,” said Andrés González, 38, a Yanomami leader.

“That’s where they want us, in pictures, not positions of power,” he said.

As they say, read the whole thing.