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Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Aslatakanka (YATAMA) -or Sons of Mother Earth- is an indigenous party from Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast. YATAMA has its roots in the MISURASATA (Miskito, Sumo and Rama Sandinista Alliance) and the MISURA/KISAN (Nicaraguan Coast Indian Unity) organisations. In 1988, in response to the Central American peace accords, the remnants of MISURASATA and MISURA/KISAN in Honduras, Costa Rica and Miami reorganized as YATAMA, united the traditional Miskitu leaders Steadman Fagoth and Brooklyn Rivera.

YATAMA has participated in several regional elections since 1990. Its best electoral result was in the autonomous elections on the Caribbean Coast in 1990 where they won 26 Regional Council member seat (out of 90).


The eastern part of Nicaragua along the Caribbean,
which is commonly known as the Atlantic Coast, is inhabited
by various native peoples and other populations of the
country. The Miskito, Sumo and Rama are the three indigenous
peoples found on the Atlantic Coast. Others in the region
include the creoles, garifunas and ladinos. The peoples of
the Atlantic coast, each of which has its own culture,
language and traditions, live in harmony. Their traditional
territory is Yapti Tasba (Mother Earth), which was passed to
them over millennia from their ancestors.

Yapti Tasba makes up approximately 38% of Nicaragua’s
territory and is inhabited by around 10% of the country’s
population. The indigenous peoples of the region comprise a
population of some 145,000 people who live primarily in
their traditional communities along the rivers, lagoons and
coastal areas of the region. The creole population is around
40,000 Caribbean-English speaking people who live primarily
in the urban centers in the southern part of the region.

The Garifuna (caribe) live in four communities located
near Pearl Lagoon and are estimated at around 1,500 people.
The ladino population totals some 80,000 inhabitants, is
part of the Nicaraguan Mestizo majority and is concentrated
primarily in the mining areas and in Bluefields.

Yapti Tasba has had an historical development entirely
different from that of the rest of Nicaragua, a factor which
today is manifest by its own cultural, social, economic and
ideological reality. The territory and the indigenous
peoples were not submitted to European colonization during
the 16th through 19th centuries. Instead, the indigenous
peoples enjoyed their self-determination until 1860, when
external forces arbitrarily reduced their territory to a
reserve with political and economic autonomous status. But
even that status was abolished entirely as a result of
military intervention on the part of forces from Managua in

From that time on, the indigenous peoples and the
creoles have been subjected to a long period of
marginalization, ethnocide and internal colonization by the
liberal-conservative governments and the Somocista
dictatorship. Furthermore, the natural resources of the
Yapti Tasba were pillaged during the irrational exploitation
by North American transnational companies acting in concert
with Managua governments.

Nonetheless, our peoples always have resisted all
colonial or neocolonial domination or submission, thus
preserving their survival and historical continuity as the
original peoples of the region. In 1973, ALPROMISU was
founded as the first ethno-political movement for the
defense and the promotion of the indigenous rights of the
Miskito and Sumo to their lands and resources.

With the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution in 1979,
the peoples of the Yapti Tasba enthusiastically and with
great expectation participated in the new national process,
promoting their collective aspirations. In November of the
same year, ALPROMISU became MISURASATA with the inclusion of
the Rama and the Sandinista term within the name of the
organization. Although at the beginning it appeared to
tolerate MISURASATA, the Sandinista Front from the start was
in fact intent on substituting itself through mass

Similarly, Sandinistas were not sensitive to the
aspirations of our people nor to the nature of our society.
Instead, they reacted violently against the just claims of
the indigenous peoples in Yapti Tasba. Nonetheless, during
the first eighteen months the Sandinista government was in
power the native peoples participated in various aspects of
the revolutionary process of the country.

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