Pope takes strong stand on protection of Amazon


The day before Pope Francis arrived in this Amazonian city in southeast Peru, indigenous people from three countries that share the rainforest region told Catholic Church leaders what they hoped his visit would bring. Angelton Arara, an Arara man from Mato Grosso, Brazil, hoped the pope would support his people’s ongoing struggle for territorial rights. Oscar Chigkun, an Awajún leader from northern Peru, wanted the pontiff to speak out about extractive industries, such as the mining company operating on his community’s lands. Amalia Cacique Coronado, a 24-year-old Ashéninka student from Peru’s Ucayali region, said simply: “I want the pope to know that indigenous peoples exist and that we are here.” The pope arrived in Puerto Maldonado on Jan. 19 under searing criticism for... [Log in to read more]

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