Oblate Voices is a JPIC blog that follows stories of hope and is about how Oblates and associates live and experience mission work in the spirit of the Oblate founder, St Eugene De Mazenod of responding to the needs of poor and most abandoned around the world.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Catholic and Indigenous Leaders Unite to Save the Amazon Rainforest

A delegation of Pan-Amazonian Church Network, or REPAM led by Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes (Brazil) and Archbishop Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru and a delegation of Indigenous leaders from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil were recently in Washington DC to share stories, opportunities and challenges facing the people living in the Amazon forest. The delegation provided testimony before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and also presented to diverse public audiences around Washington DC, sharing their encounter of discriminations and human rights abuses from some companies operating in the Amazon forest and lack of respect for indigenous rights by some national governments. 

Speaking a public forum at Catholic University on March 23, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes described the Amazon as the “lungs of the planet” and interconnectedness of the environment, “water care for the forests, the forests care for the water.”  Pope Francis encyclical Laudato Si’ has energized many communities and given hope to leaders to speak about environmental justice in the Amazon. Staff from the Oblate JPIC participated in meetings organized by REPAM and indigenous leadership. The Oblate residence in DC offered hospitality to REPLAM leadership. 

Pictures courtesy: JCooke. 

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