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233 Notes Introduction 1. Centro Amazónico de Investigación y Control de Enfermedades Tropicales. 2. This approach is close to the spirit of Latour’s (1991) symmetrical anthropology. 3. See the volumes edited by Buchillet (1991); Santos and Coimbra Jr. (1994); Chiappino and Alès (1997); Langdon and Garnello (2004); Freire and Tillett (2007a; 2007b). 4. Names in parentheses correspond to different ethnonyms and spellings used in the recent anthropological literature on each subgroup. Additionally, different subgroups have been referred to as Guaharibos, Guaharibos blancos, Waika, Guaica, Kirishana, Chori, and Chirichano, among other designations, in the accounts of early travelers and ethnographers, as well as in historical and contemporary parlance in Amazonas and Bolívar states in Venezuela. Chapter 1. The Upper Orinoco Yanomami and Their Context 1. Data from, based on FUNASA (Brazilian Ministry of Health) 2005 census. 2. Different classifications for the Yanomami language have been suggested by numerous authors, who have seen it as isolated, independent, carib, macro-chibcha, chibcha, and proto-pano (Albert, 1985:43). More recently, Ramírez (1994:27–30) has examined the proximity of the Yanomami language to several other linguistic groups. He concludes, nonetheless, that Yanomami language “does not appear to have structural affinity with the diverse arawak, tupi and carib languages” (29–30, my translation). 3. Cocco (1972) and Ferguson (1995) focus on Yanomami history from first contacts to the establishment of permanent missions. Caballero-Arias (2003) and Alès (2007) concentrate on more recent developments, in particular Yanomami engagement in 234 • Notes indigenous and national party politics. In a different line of analysis, Lizot (1984) reconstructs the migratory history of the Upper Orinoco Yanomami and the sequence of successive community fissions. 4. All Yanomami communities are given a name followed by the term th eri, which can be translated in this use simply as “people.” 5. Shaponos Unidos Yanomami del Alto Orinoco. 6. Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente. 7. For an account of the controversial figure of Jaime Turón and the politics of the Upper Orinoco municipality, yet with a focus on the Yekuana Indians, see Lauer (2006). An in-depth exploration of Yanomami involvement in politics can be found in Caballero-Arias (2003). 8. Data taken from accessed in November 2008. 9. Organización Regional de los Pueblos Indígenas de Amazonas. 10. Pueblo Unido Multiétnico de Amazonas. 11. Comisión para el Desarrollo del Sur. 12. For accounts of this history, see, among others, Taylor (1979), Ramos (1979), and Albert (2000). 13. For this history, see Colchester and Fuentes (1983), Colchester (1995), and Caballero-Arias (2003). 14. The discussion of indigenous rights during the drafting of the 1999 national constitution stirred heated debate. In particular, the terms “territory” and “people” were troubling, for they could presumably be invoked by indigenous peoples to plea for secession from the nation. A negotiated final wording of the constitution substitutes “land and habitat” for “territory.” The term “people” remains but with a specific clarification as to the non-applicability of the term in its international legal sense. 15. Plan Nacional para la Defensa, Desarrollo y Consolidación del Sur. Chapter 2. Particularizing the Upper Orinoco Health System 1. This was the situation for several years until approximately 2006. The microscopist stopped working for the health system, and José, the nurse, retired. David underwent formal training in 2006. 2. As of 2003, there were new actors on the medical scene in the Upper Orinoco. First, the capital, La Esmeralda, began to include in its staff one to three Cuban doctors . As of late 2005, several Venezuelan and Latin American graduate doctors trained in Cuba began to share the work in rural clinics tending Yanomami communities together with the Venezuelan graduates. New graduate and postgraduate courses, ostensibly designed to more adequately respond to Venezuela’s impoverished and rural population, have also been put in place by the MoH (see PAHO, 2006:82–87). 3. This is part of a long-lived program called Proyecto Amazonas, established by the Amazonas regional government and the Central University of Venezuela. Among other things, it brings students from primarily the medical sciences to Amazonas as part of their training. The program worked until about 2003–4 when policy changes reduced the flow of students to Amazonas. For some time, another agreement between the National Guard and the Central University brought medical students to the Amazonas. In early 2006 Proyecto Amazonas was revitalized, and the...


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