Indians in Argentina are taking a stand against the abuse of their rights with the support of the local Anglican Church.
The Wichi and Chotote Indians of the North Argentine Chaco are camping out for 20 days on the site of a bridge built on their land and without their permission. The 1000 Indians at the camp fear that the bridge is just the beginning of a project to build a dual carriageway across the land they have occupied for hundreds of years.
The proposed road crossing the River Pilcomayo would link North Argentina with Paraguay and Brazil. A frontier town would then replace the existing Indian village, with the road going through the middle of the site now occupied by the Anglican Church.
The Indians hope to attract the attention of the Provincial Governor by their peaceful protest and remind him of two decrees which were passed in their favour, but which have not been honoured. They have elected Anglican Bishop Maurice Sinclair to act as their representative after a fruitful meeting between the Bishop, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Salta and the Governor earlier in September.
Despite local hostility to the Indians and the Church for supporting them, Bishop Maurice reported that "morale remains high".
"Members of the Wichi and Chotote tribes are firmly united and Christian services are held by the bridge morning and evening," he said.