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Treatment Of Indigenous People In Latin American

937 words - 4 pages

According to Shah, indigenous people are those who have historical belonging to a particular region or country before its colonization or transformation into a nation state. Indigenous people may have different cultural, linguistic, traditional and other characteristics to those of the dominant culture of that region or state. There are approximately 40,000,000 people in Latin America that belong to almost 600 different indigenous groups. According to World Bank figures, 12.76% of the entire American population and approximately 40% of the rural population is indigenous. However, “Indigenous peoples around the world have sought recognition of their identities, their ways of life and their ...view middle of the document...

However, in 1484 a Spanish colonist Bartolome de las Casas was born in Seville, Spain. He was the founder of a Utopian community, the first bishop of Chiapas, a scholar and a historian. Also, he became a priest and was known to many as the father of anti- imperialism and anti-racism. Later, in the 16th century he advocated for human rights of the native people or the Indians. Significantly, he was the editor of the Admiral’s journal which gave him the ability to meet Christopher Columbus. Due to the adventure he had with Columbus to different parts of the world, he became a priest because of the ill treatment of Columbus and the Spaniards towards the indigenous people. However, Casas developed the Econmienda system. A system that was put in place to repeal the laws which allowed the Indians to be used in slave labor gangs. He later died in the year 1566 in Madrid and was buried in the convent chapel of Our Lady of Atocha.
Furthermore, Casas published a short piece “In Defense of the Indians”. This literacy piece is a ‘passionate response to court theologian Juan Gines de Sepulvedas’s assertion of Indian inferiority which gives a flavor of his forthright criticism of Spain’s role in the New World’ (119). However, Casas believes that the indigenous people where people of “harmless, ignorant, gentle, temperate, unarmed, and destitute of every human defense”(Casas). “In Defense of the Indians” is a literary piece that gives readers the reason why Christopher Columbus and the Spaniards treated the Indians as slaves or animals. However, Casas expresses his intake of the discrimination and victimization by the Spaniards to the Indian’s religion. On page 120, Casas reveals to his readers about the Spaniards war against the Indians. He believe that the Spanish conquistas is evil and essentially anti-Christian. Casas said, “See that you do not do to another...

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