In human History, genocides are such an ordinary phenomenon, that it looks like as if humans are direct descendants of the ants.
From the close genocides (with regard to time and distance), such as the ones of the Armenians and the Pontians or the Holocaust of the Jews, to the most distant ones, like the total annihilation of the Tasmanians, a lust for killing second to no other mammal, is evident.
The reasons behind each genocide, if we read between the lines, are always the same: Domination and Profit.
Religion, Nation, Race are ideologies that definitely were used (and still are) as a smokescreen or as flag, to convince the assassins that they are doing the right thing.
Whatever is sacred, each dogma, results inevitably to the Extermination of the Other.
If we exclude the latest genocide, the world-wide and neoliberal one, there is another one (not so widely known or spotlighted) that leads the race of the atrocity championship. It is the genocide of the Indians of the America, the indigenous inhabitants of the American continent, who were annihilated by Europeans’ ”superior civilization”.
Its magnitude is stunning and the genocide still goes on to this day.
In the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica) lived 1.5 million aborigines in 1492 when they were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus.
By 1550 no Indian was left alive on these islands.
Sixty years. One and a half million dead and the extinction of a civilization.
When the Portuguese found Brazil, around 1500, about three million Indians were estimated to live there.
By 1950 there were left no more than 150,000.
As the genocide goes on, currently there are no more than 100,000.
Nearly three million dead.
Every “progress” of the industrial civilization invariably displaces the Indians to more inhospitable terrains, when it doesn’t exterminate them flagrantly.
In 1968 the authorities admitted that employees of the supposed Indian Protection Agency were bribed by companies into selling them the lands where the Indians lived.
Or to turn a blind eye when they were massacred by the most horrible practices: Mass murders by machine guns, destruction of villages using dynamite, poisoning with arsenic or pesticides.
The Brazil’s jurisprudence with regard to the Indians sets “their inclusion in the national community” as a primary goal.
What’s the approach for this?
Chapter two of the Institutional Framework reads: “Indians who are not acculturated, are under state’s custody and are not protected by the Constitution of Brazil”.
The “acculturated” Indian is not an Indian anymore since they disown their culture. They are classified at society’s lowest rank. Acculturation means penury, beggary, alcoholism, prostitution.
This Indian has no legal status, neither with regard to his relations with the others, nor can they proceed to legal transactions.
The Institutional Framework does not recognize the right to the Indians of land property (which is owned, controlled and managed by the Federation).
The articles 34, 35 and 36 of the Third Section grant permission for the displacement of entire indigenous populations merely by a President’s decree, for “national security” reasons or “the growth of the region for commonwealth reasons”.
The article 60 of Institutional Framework speaks about the “mental evolution” of the Indians!
According to studies of the University of Berkeley, 112,000,000 Indians inhabited Mexico before Cortés arrived on the scene in 1512.
120 years later, there were no more than 1,200,000!
That’s right. We are talking about the extermination of 110 million of people (who were mentally immature).
The empires of the Mayas and the Incas whose took them many centuries to be developed, were destroyed in twenty years (by Alvarado’s and Pizarro’s bloodlust).
In the land of the empire of Aztecs where the population amounted to 25 million in 1519, thirty years later it was reduced to 6 million and by the end of the 16th century to one million.
Add up 24 million dead Indians.
The extermination of the Indians is far from over. Slaughters at the state of Chiapas, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile.
The Indians are the victims of multinational companies, the state army and the drug dealers.
The majority of the historians agree that the Indians that inhabited North America amounted from ten to twelve million people.
By 1900, a fraction of 250,000 was left.
Thanks Giving Day is the celebration of the extermination of ten million people.
Aside from the long-lasting and tragic successive slaughters, treaties violations, and diseases-to which the Indians are not immune- the Europeans stole the lands of the American Indians and eliminated their primitive civilizations.
The “specific areas for the Indians” are the elementary concentration camps, since they were founded in 1851.
The poor life conditions (to this day) in these areas result in the death of one out of three children within the first six months of their birth.
There are “special zones” where the median life expectancy is less than 46 years whereas in the rest of the country (I remind you that we’re talking about the glorious USA) is up to the 76 years.
The suicides rate of the Indians is double than Caucasians’. The 75% of the population is underfed.
One out of four is alcoholic and the drugs, the affordable crack in particular, are much sought-after in these “special zones”.
Western’s civilization’s most featured tenet is its supposed superiority. The slaughters are justified because the slaughtered are inferior – culturally, morally or mentally.
The pluralistic Levi Strauss termed the west societies as “hot”. These are the ones that produce “culture”, using humans as combustible material, counting on these very economical and other inequalities.
That’s how the Pyramids and Parthenon were built, that’s how Hollywood and Bollywood were built-up.
Treading on dead bodies (of lesser people).
1492 shouldn’t be viewed as the year when Columbus found America, but the inauguration of the biggest slaughter in Human History.
I drew information from Robert’s Pac article “The genocide of Indians” which is included in the “Black Book of Capitalism”
It’s a bulky book, more than 750 pages and yet it doesn’t include all of the crimes committed on this planet in the name of greed, profit, power, nation, race, God.
Photo: Sebastião Salgado
Cartoon: Ron Cobb
Appendix: Because a lot of people make a stink that the Empires of Mayas and Incas didn’t number 112.000.000 people and ask for the source, here is Robert Pac’s bibliography, in case someone wants to dig a little bit more (and knows French, too).
Rapport des dominicains de l’Isle Espagnole à M. De Chièvres (1519) en Las Casas et la défense des Indiens, Julliard, París, 1971
Felix Reichlem, Les Amerindiens et leur extermination deliberee, Ed. Pierre-Marcel Fabre, Lausanne, 1987
I can’t tell with certainty how many millions of people were slaughtered. But what really matters, if it was one hundred ten million, or fifty million, or one.
And never believe dogmatically what Wikipedia says. Infallibility is the Pope’s privilege only – and the Bible’s.