Poor people have got a right to be angry | Jonathan Glennie

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Feb 8 2013, 01:59:01

I have detected a worrying lack of empathy towards poor people demanding their rights. But what would you do if your child was growing up stunted or you couldn't pay for your electricity?

On a recent trip to Guatemala, a glance at the local paper revealed a country riven by social conflict. On the front page, indigenous groups and NGOs were blocking the way to a mine in San José del Golfo, one of the many mining operations seen by the government and oligarchy as key to Guatemala's development, but by most indigenous people (who make up 40% of the population) as a threat to their wellbeing, with few apparent benefits.

On another page, a man in a Che Guevara T-shirt was handing in a petition to the government to nationalise the electricity system - private companies are hiking prices and then disconnecting the poor households that are unable to pay. The neighbouring article presented a World Vision report on children forced into dangerous work (such as making fireworks) through poverty. Meanwhile, talks to agree next year's minimum wage have failed - the unions are asking for a 47% increase to cover the rising prices of basic goods, while the private sector prefers 2% (inflation is about 6%).

Finally, the proposed rural development law stipulating gradual reform of land use and titling has led to an unlikely alliance between the former general and now right-of-centre president, Otto Pérez, and the leftwing NGOs. Predictably, the private sector is opposing such "socialism". Malnutrition is chronic in much of Guatemala, at about 50% of the population - higher than in many African countries.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

West Africa:   Call to Boost Use of New Ebola Vaccine (interview)
Ebola Deeply
31 July 2015

As health experts hail the VSV-EBOV vaccine study a turning point, MSF's medical director Bertrand Draguez calls for accelerated use of the vaccine in the affected countries. The vaccine was found to ... [read more]

Egypt:   President Amends Electoral Laws (news)
Aswat Masriya
1 August 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued on Saturday two amended laws to govern the parliamentary elections, which was delayed by court earlier this year, the transitional justice minister said. [read more]

Africa:   African River Study Fills Gap in Carbon Emissions Tally (news)
SciDev.Net
30 July 2015

African rivers emit a vast amount of greenhouse gases, a major paper on this understudied topic reveals. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...