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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsThe Oaxaca Incident: A geographer’s efforts to map a Mexican village reveal the risks of military entanglement – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Paul Voosen 2016)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Oaxaca Incident: A geographer’s efforts to map a Mexican village reveal the risks of military entanglement – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Paul Voosen 2016)

 


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An American scholar. A Mexican village. The U.S. military. What could go wrong?

On most maps, Tiltepec doesn’t look like much. A Zapotec village of several hundred indigenous people, Tiltepec clings to the steep slopes of the Sierra Juárez, a formidable range in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Its people have lived there for generations in relative isolation under the shadow of Cerro Negro, where once their ancestors forced conquistadors off a cliff to the Rio Vera below. The valley teems with ancient earthen terraces, platforms, and sacred caves. Yet find Tiltepec on government maps and all you’ll see is bare topography and a name. Viewed on Google Earth, it’s even less — a few patches of white rectangles drowned in forest. For most of the world, Tiltepec might as well not exist.

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