At its peak, the Maya civilization had one of the richest cultures in the Americas. Today, ethnic Mayas in central America and Mexico suffer from discrimination, exploitation and poverty.
In Guatemala, where nearly half of the population is indigenous, descendants of the once-mighty ancient civilization have even fallen victims to genocide.
The rich Mayan culture will be in the global spotlight Friday when revelers — and doomsday watchers — will mark the end of a 5,200-year era as sketched out in the elaborate Mayan calendar.
But the plight of indigenous Mayas in the region will likely go undiscussed.
“The indigenous population was always seen as cheap labor and this persists to this day,” said Guatemalan anthropologist Alvaro Pop, a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
“They are seen as a tool and are not the focus of public policies.”
The Maya civilization reached its peak between the years 250 and 900, but then slipped into decline around 1200.
Three centuries later, during Spanish colonization, the Mayas were dispossessed of their lands and reduced to poverty as well as servitude.
Today, there are currently an estimated 20 to 30 million direct descendants of the ancient civilization living in southern Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where the indigenous group is most prevalent.
In Guatemala, ethnic Mayas often find themselves on the margins of society, with limited access to education, health care and other basic services. Their native languages are not officially recognized.
Within the indigenous community, which accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala’s 14.3-million-strong population, the poverty rate is 80 percent.
Nearly six in 10 indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition, and the infant mortality rate has hit an alarming rate of 40 per 1,000 live births, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
In Mexico, social misery and exploitation led to the creation in 1994 in Chiapas state of the media-savvy but later weakened Zapatista National Liberation Army, which drew attention to the community’s plight.
But ethnic Mayas paid perhaps the heaviest price during Guatemala’s civil war that pitted the army against leftist guerrillas from 1960 to 1996.
“There were external reasons which exacerbated the population’s poverty and led to a stigmatization of indigenous people,” according to Pop.
More than 600 massacres of indigenous communities were recorded during that period and tens of thousands of Indians sought refuge in southern Mexico from the brutal counter-insurgency by the military, according to a 1999 UN report.
WHO NEEDS EXTREME SPORTS WHEN MAKING GROWNUP PHONE CALLS GIVES ME MORE ADRENALINE THAN I WILL EVER NEED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE
The federal government conducted more than 200,000 deportations of parents who said their children are U.S. citizens in a timespan of just over two years, according to new data obtained by Colorlines.com. The figures represent the longest view to date of the scale of parental deportation.
Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, nearly 23 percent of all deportations—or, 204,810 deportations—were issued for parents with citizen children, according to federal data unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request. [See the full data set here.]
This is seriously shit for not mentioning the race of these women (mostly Indigenous).
Snow melts and flash freezes into an icy downhill river. A bunch of snowbanks in Russia began to melt, then it got cold again quickly, flash-freezing into the icy river you see here.
1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”
2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.
3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.
4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.
5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.
6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.
7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.
8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.
9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.
10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.
The list of children Obama has killed with drones and cruise missiles, about half of it, can be pieced together from news reports:
- date: name, age, nationality
- 2009-01-23: Azaz-ur-Rehman, 14, Pakistani
- 2009-02-14: Noor Syed, 8, Pakistani
- 2009-08-11: Ibad Ullah, teenager, Pakistani
- 2009-08-11: Mohammad Arif, teenager, Pakistani
- 2009-08-11: Abdul Qadeer, teenager, Pakistani
- 2009-08-11: Hazrat Ali, teenager, Pakistani
- 2009-08-21: Syed Wali Shah, 7, Pakistani
- 2009-08-21: Naeemullah,?, Pakistani
- 2009-08-21: Faizullah,?, Pakistani
- 2009-08-21: Rahima,?, Pakistani
- 2009-08-21: Shaista,?, Pakistani
- 2009-11-20: Sakeenullah, 15, Pakistani
- 2009-12-31: Zaenullah Khan, 17, Pakistani
- 2009-12-17: Nasser Mohammed Nasser, 6, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Arwa Mohammed Nasser, 4, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Fatima Mohammed Nasser, 2, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Afrah Ali Mohammed Nasser, 9, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Zayda Ali Mohammed Nasser, 7, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Hoda Ali Mohammed Nasser, 5, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Sheikha Ali Mohammed Nasser, 4, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Asmaa Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye, 9, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Salma Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye, 4, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Fatima Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye, 3, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Khadije Ali Mokbel Louqye, 1, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Hanaa Ali Mokbel Louqye, 6, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Mohammed Ali Mokbel Salem Louqye, 4, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Jawass Mokbel Salem Louqye, 15, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Sheikha Nasser Mahdi Ahmad Bouh, 3, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Soumaya Mohammed Saleh Mohammed, 9, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Shafika Mohammed Saleh Mohammed, 4, Yemeni
- 2009-12-17: Shafiq Mohammed Saleh Mohammed, 2, Yemeni
- 2010-01-03: Wajid Noor, 9, Pakistani
- 2010-01-08: Ayeesha, 3, Pakistani
- 2010-02-24: Naila, 10, Pakistani
- 2010-05-21: Fatima, ?, Pakistani
- 2010-05-21: Nisar, ?, Pakistani
- 2010-05-21: Naeem Khan, ?, Pakistani
- 2010-10-18: Naeem Ullah, 10, Pakistani
- 2011-06-15: Shahzada, ?, Pakistani
- 2011-10-14: Abdel-Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki, 16, American
- 2011-10-14: Ahmed Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki, 17, Yemeni
- 2011-10-31: Tariq Aziz, 16, Pakistani
- 2011-10-31: Waheed, ?, Pakistani
- 2012-08-21: Osama Haqqani, 13, Pakistani
- 2012-09-02: Mabrook Mouqbal Al Qadari, 13, Yemeni
- 2012-09-02: Daolah Nasser, 10, Yemeni
- 2012-09-02: AbedalGhani Mohammed Mabkhout, 12, Yemeni