Q COSTA RICA – From the top of the great Talamaca mountain range in southern Costa Rica, you can see the Caribbean Sea and the houses of the Bribri and Cabécar Indigenous groups.
According to their cosmology, their ancestors are in every tree, in every river and in every living being found in this reserve close to the border with Panama: The place is sacred.
But to the Costa Rican government and the United States Southern Command, its value lies in its mineral deposits and oil.
Costa Rica hasn’t had an official army for the last 68 years. However, in 2013, people in the Talamaca region were surprised by the arrival of a helicopter full of uniformed military personnel, whom they immediately identified as being part of the United States Southern Command. The military personnel were playing the role of missionaries, giving Bibles away. However, simultaneously, they were carrying out various military training activities in the area around Alto Cuen, a Bribri community.
“They said they were missionaries, but no one believed them,” Bribri tribe member Leonardo Buitrago Morales told Truthout. “We knew they were looking for something more. The truth is that they want our lands and our forests to make money.”
In addition to the locals, (…)