Costa Rican indigenous leaders hope the long-delayed Indigenous Autonomy Bill might finally get a hearing in the Legislative Assembly as result of April’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruling ordering the government to take precautionary measures to protect indigenous groups in the Salitre Indigenous Reserve in southwestern Costa Rica.
“We want many people to be able to support the Cabécares, not only those who live in Costa Rica," student Carlos Soto told The Tico Times. "It’s a platform that allows an extensive audience to help us."
Whitewater rafters, indigenous people and other advocates of the world-famous Pacuare River say it would be a disaster to dam this national treasure to produce electricity. They're currently in talks with the Solís administration to produce a presidential decree preventing the damming of this river for the foreseeable future. But with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute having promised in 2009 to build nothing on the Pacuare for 20 years, how real is the threat?
Visiting the San José Cabecar indigenous community, located in the mountains of Talamanca, Limón, is not something many people have the chance to do. This community is one of the few in Costa Rica that has maintained a significant part of its identity; they still use natural medicine, hunting and fishing techniques, traditional cultural activities and language.