It all started, the ranchers said, when they surprised a group of indians rustling their cattle, and were only defending their stock when they fired on the trespassers, killing one.
Then, they said, the indians came back to take revenge with their bows and arrows, killing three settlers.
This conflict wasn’t the mythic Old West of 1850 — but southwestern Venezuela, today, in the conflicted Apure savanna region.
And the indigenous Pumé people implicated in the killings have their own story to tell.
Yes, they say, they exacted blood revenge for the killing of one of their own — and they claim to have been foraging on land that they consider to be theirs.
Less than 10,000 Pumé remain, after 500 years of marginalization that began when the first Spanish colonizers introduced the first cattle to these rich grasslands.
The Pumé’s defenders call their situation an ongoing “ethnocide” — an existence so precarious that they can’t even show themselves safely in public.
This is exacerbated, they say, by irresponsible media pushing the sensationalist ranchers’ narrative of fearing “naked savages.”
Source: El Pitazo