To the west of the country, the Sierra de Perijá, a stretch of both mountains and plains, traces the conflictive border zone between Colombia and Venezuela. The region's inhabitants are, today, a mixture of indigenous groups, cattle farmers, both rich and humble, and the inevitable generational pool of all three.
This Friday is 12 October, a date formerly known as "The Discovery of South America". Today in Venezuela, the date has been renamed to "Day of Indigenous Resistance". It is a huge shift in perspectives and redraws American history with protagonists who, up until recently, were either impotent or inexistent before the spin on Christopher Columbus and the watershed moment when he stumbled upon Caribbean soil.
Globally, although the indigenous peoples represent only about 5 per cent of the world's population, they occupy one-fifth of entire earth's territory from the Arctic to the South Pacific. Despite their hold over vast swathes of land, indigenous peoples make up 15 per cent of the world's poor and one-third of the world's 900 million extremely poor rural people.