Bolivia: Indigenous opposition stops Amazon road project, Morales backs down

Morales abandons Amazon jungle highway

On the march: Thousands of indigenous Amazonians made a 63-day trek from their villages to protest a proposed road through the heart of the Bolivian jungle.

LA PAZ, Bolivia — President Evo Morales said Friday that he was scrapping plans to build a highway through a nature reserve in Bolivia’s jungle lowlands, bowing to public pressure after a two-month protest march by Amazon Indians.

Morales did not abandon the idea of a highway through Bolivia linking Brazil with the Pacific coast, but said it would no longer cut through the pristine Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory National Park, or TIPNIS.

“And so the matter is resolved,” Morales told reporters. “For me, this is called governing by obeying the people.”

More than 100 protesters remained camped in front of the presidential palace Friday, two days after activists ended their trek from the Amazon reserve to La Paz, the world’s highest capital.

The march galvanized opposition to the Brazilian-funded highway and Continue reading

Delhi’s Common-poverty games

In preparation for the upcoming 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi is bursting with expensive construction and renovation projects. But these measures may further cripple the already struggling Indian economy, says Michael Arthur

Sticker from a protest site near the Commonwealth Games Village site. The largest environmental impact of the preparations, which may cause a permanent and irreversible damage to the Delhi ecosystem is the construction of the Games Village complex on the floodplains of river Yamuna.

Michael Arthur

14 June 2010

Few would describe Delhi as a calm and peaceful city. But the noise pollution has reached a crescendo recently as construction workers toil day and night. This October, once the baking north Indian summer has eased, Delhi will stage the 2010 Commonwealth Games. In a city where millions live in utter destitution, vast stadiums are being constructed at immense cost.

Developers keen to cash in on the anticipated influx of visitors are building a rash of new hotels. Construction workers can be seen on building sites throughout the city without hardhats or even shoes, their small children beside them as they break stones.

No city as poor as this has ever attempted to stage such a tournament. The promise is that the Games will herald a new chapter in Delhi’s history, enhancing its international reputation and providing a major and lasting economic boost. Continue reading