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The Rights Of Humans

The previous question is what individuals protest for and what large organizations are focused on. But does the term human rights make sense? What is it exactly? Is it the end result of the gathering of the most powerful men in the world? Or is it the conclusion of most protestor’s cries for equality within their country? Human rights is the most important gift given at birth. It allows us to speak and commit legal and constitutional acts freely. But when a strong term such as this is protested for, we must ask ourselves if all humans are allowed to practice it in every country.

If so, to what extent? The main focus of human rights writers and activists is in concern to the extent of unlawful treatment such as conquering of land from indigenous people in most if not all third world countries. We have learned that most problems in the world are blamed on one word, globalization, but it takes several words to fix the ongoing problem of globalization and its affects. The capital and injustice in Latin America has shown to be one of the reasons for such concern of the extent globalization has taken with the lack of correspondence of human rights.

Urbanization has expanded to this extent at the exploitation of the indigenous peoples human rights. The affect of modernizing countries (globalization) is thought to be a main contributor to the lack of human rights in most third world countries. Richard L. Harris in his article on Capital, inequality and injustice in Latin America, believes that “ The ‘globalization’ or increasing integration of the region into the global capitalist system has not propelled the Latin American peoples into a new era of post-modernity”(3).

In his essay Harris attempts to provide a global perspective on the major structures that have shaped and are currently shaping the political, economic and culture in Latin America. He feels that the “ The contemporary effects of globalizing have aggravated the most chronic problems of the Latin American region”(1). Harris then explains that these problems are also included in economic exploitation, social and economic inequality, and social and political injustice that has taken place since the indigenous people were forced to adapt the culture of the “west” in the sixteenth century.

The origination of westernization began from Columbus’s voyage to the Americas. With the settling of slaves, animals and western ideas, Latin America would soon become a fulfilled dream of Europe, but now it has affected indigenous groups such as the Zapatistas of southern Mexico. Their land, culture and society has been practically erased by the settlers. The affects of the settling provided Mexico and other southern countries with close to nothing in royalties and little to nothing in cultural awareness.

Considered as one of Harris’s most “disturbing realities”, inequality in Latin America is thought to be best revealed as the “inequality of income between the upper and lower income-earners”(5). While only 20 percent of people own that large amount of land, the rest of the population is considered the lower class that receives low wages, little to no health care affordability and the lack of basic fundamentals such as sewage systems or running water. The rates of illiteracy and infant mortality are unacceptably high (particularly in rural areas).

In a general study, it was found that the rural population exhibits rates of illiteracy that was found 50-75 percent greater than that in urban areas. Harris then explains the reasons for the extent of poverty that has increased in the largest cities “ as a result of recent wage declines, downsizing in the private sector, the reduction of the public sector work force, and the decline of public services and subsides”(8). The inaccuracy in the global market has placed a downfall on the working class’ economic standing and the introduction of the extinction of human rights in these countries.

Due to Latin America’s strong involvement in the global arena, the 80 percent of the lower class people must be the punishing end of the deal. Clearly, Globalization has expanded as a negative influence to the working class. Another example of the effect of industrializing on human rights is the rare existence of indigenous people in Latin America. The indigenous people have been forced to give up their land, most are unwanted by their countries government and feel their rights have literally been taken away. They have been placed in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As shown in article 17 “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. The Zapatistas of Chiapas Mexico experience loss of land and hatred from the Mexican Government. The land that they once called theirs is no longer that. They are forced to form such projects as haciendas (the main house in farming used for the good of it’s surrounding people) in order to survive. They are not given the opportunity to live as they once did due to the overpowering of large corporations such as Coca-Cola, American based companies in the maquilladoras, and in their countries.

Not being able to be heard, stripped of culture and language and forced to keep to themselves unless they accept the new ways of their former country is unconstitutional. Human rights do not only play a role in the relationship between company owners and their employees, but also the most and first affected by globalization, the indigenous people. The author makes plenty of strong points such as the unlawful effect urbanization has over Latin Americans throughout the essay, but also states that he does not know what the future holds for Latin America.

I believe that the reason why he admits to not knowing the future is because of the unbelievable influence industrialization holds over Latin America. Globalization is profitable to some, at the expense of most. Though there may be inhumane categorizations between social classes, the reality is that it exists in every country. To some it may be worse, to most, the treatment of these lower class citizens is the same as the upper class in other countries. We may never know how to deal with this subject which means that the inequality and social injustice in Latin America may never be resolved.

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