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Pope Francis spoke with Guarani-Kaiowá leader Eliseu Lopes, during his stay in Bolivia.
Unlike during his stay in Brazil for the 2013 WYD (World Youth Day), Pope Francis did not only meet evangelized natives while he was in Bolivia recently. Eliseu Lopes, who secretly came to meet him and has already spoken about his people’s fate before the European Parliament and the United Nations at the end of 2014, was able to talk with the Holy Father, to the great displeasure of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. The meeting took place on Thursday, July 9th, in Santa Cruz, during the World Meeting of Popular Movements.
Eliseu Lopes testifies: “I asked him to intercede in our favor before the Brazilian government so that the latter fulfills its constitutional obligations regarding our territories’ demarcation, which is paralyzed by the executive power itself. I explained to him that because of this situation, the whole of Brazil, and especially Mato Grosso do Sul, was in a situation of war. We are dying, being slaughtered by armed men and agro-industry politicians, and what we endure is a real genocide. I made this demand for the future of our children and for our elders, so that they can continue to exist.”
This surprise-meeting gives hope that the international community may at last seize the Guarani-Kaiowá people’s tragedy, of which the persecutors are no others than the agro-industry giants, whether they be Brazilian or foreigners. They butcher their land to produce soy, and above all ethanol derived from sugarcane. And all that in the name of a so-called green energetic transition, for which vast areas of priceless primary forest have been sacrificed. Will French politicians and the United Nations follow in the Pope’s footsteps, the latter having been quicker than them? We shall see from July 20th to 26th, when two other Guarani-Kaiowá emblematic representatives come to deliver an uncompromising testimony.
© Planète Amazone 2015 - translated by Mahault Thillaye
Date : 12/07/2015