This week Hollywood celebrities lead by Q’orianka Kilcher gathered
in front of the Consulate General of Peru in Los Angeles to protest an urgent
environmental and human rights situation in the Peruvian Amazon. They marched, they danced, and they urged the media to break its silence because
what happens in Peru
So just what is happening in Peru? The Peruvian government under President Alan
Garcia is auctioning off the indigenous peoples’ lands to oil, mining
and logging corporations without their consent. Peru
The protests are on. Over 50,000 local
people are conducting peaceful demonstrations in Peru
President Garcia's decrees make it easier to transfer indigenous peoples' land rights to international corporations. They also set the stage for the privatization of water. We all know what will happen if this is allowed. The corporations will exploit the natural resources, destroy the rainforest and the community, and then move on.
The celebrities supporting this cause include Q’orianka Kilcher, Alex Meraz, Colin Farrell, Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera), Woody Harrelson, and Esai Morales.
The Peruvian people are fighting for a cleaner world and for their home in the Amazon - the lungs of the planet - for future generations. We all know that 20% of greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation. The rainforest is essential to life on Earth. However, the Peruvian government seems to be taking a big step backwards by selling out to the oil and logging companies and even resorting to violence to do so. This will lead to the irreversible destruction of virgin rainforest and increase global warming. This shows the true cost of oil. This is going backwards at a time when the world is moving forwards to a clean energy future.
The indigenous peoples in Peru are heroes of the planet. Their courage to fight for their homeland and for the rainforest is awe-inspiring and needs our support.
Read the excellent blog of Q’orianka Kilcher about the situation. Watch the YouTube video of the Hollywood protest this week. Sign the petition. Take part and spread the word. Let’s stand up for our people and our planet.
Update: The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues released a statement on June 2 calling on the Peruvian Government to:
- Immediately suspend the state of siege against indigenous communities and organizations,
- To avoid any action, such as military intervention, that could increase the conflict,
- To abide by its national and international obligations regarding the protection of all human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples and human rights defenders.
Read the full statement here and please let them know you support it. To save the indigenous people and the Amazon forests in Peru from takeover, it is going to take a united global village.
Update: The news has gone viral, and the public is outraged. Today June 8, 2009, there are two Emergency Demonstrations of Solidarity and Protest - one at the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, D.C. at 12:30 pm EST and another at the Consulate General of Peru in Los Angeles at 3:30 pm PST. Join one if you can. We are rooting for you, Peru.
Q'orianka Kilcher is preparing to go to Peru this week. Heart of Green wishes her a safe, successful and did we mention safe journey. May good green karma be with you. Thank you for being so courageous on behalf of all of us and the planet!
Ecorazzi article with Heart of Green