Brazil: Rebel Bishop forest defenders need bodyguards

The rebel bishop can not stand having to obey to his two bodyguards
even during the Catholic prayer services. “Having to deal with two
armed men even here?” – he says annoyed and filled with indignation,
in spite of the fact that the two men are there to protect him. The
bishop is D. Erwin Krautler. He is the head of the Xingu bishopric, in
ParĂ¡ state, Brazil, South America. This means that he prays in the
heart of the Amazon. As a matter of fact, Erwin Krautler is one of the
three ParĂ¡ bishops facing death threats for years now.

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These represent a price paid by anybody (social researchers,
biologists and illiterates alike, community leaders, locals as well as
foreigners, journalists, government and natural reservation workers,
indians, politicians, farmers, teachers, fishermen, activists,
businessmen, simple travelers, etc. – a democratic threat, I think you
can say that…) who opposes the devastation of the forest by
international and corporate interests and their profits’ blindness.
The Amazon and Brazil are suffering an international, transcultural
and natural pillage – the subsoil of the Amazon alone has reserves of
gold, diamonds, oil and natural gas, aluminium, iron, tin, niobium,
potassium, limestone, manganese, chromium, lignite and uranium.

Krautler states that Lula’s government “has taken important steps”
forward, but he thinks that the President could have been more firm
and strict in defending the global environmental interests. My belief
is that the national authorities need not only courage, but also a
very strong and definitive international support/incentive in order to
take the most extreme and firm natural defense measures. Not only
that: Brazil needs to be acknowledged as the 190 million people
country that it is, and its social problems need to be addressed very
directly too. If the interest of defending the Amazon is global, the
naked truth is that the responsibility for its destruction couldn’t be
more global than it is/has been.

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