Some 500 indigenous people began a mammoth march from the Amazon region to the Bolivian capital La Paz to protest government plans to build a highway through their ancestral homeland.
The marchers expect to take six to eight weeks to walk the 600-kilometer (370-mile) route, in a repeat of a similar march last year that saw a few thousand demonstrators make the trek in protest of the use of indigenous land by President Evo Morales's government.
Planners had wanted the controversial Brazil-financed road to run through the TIPNIS indigenous territory, leveling an ancestral homeland inhabited by 50,000 native people from three different native groups.
Amazon natives feared that landless Andean Quechua and Aymara people -- Bolivia's main indigenous groups and Morales supporters -- would flood into the road area and colonize their land.
Morales, the country's first elected indigenous president, has however insisted that the 300-kilometer (190-mile) highway was vital for economic development. A different set of marchers who supported the government project have also made a similar long journey to demand its construction.
Source: AFP Global Edition