Environment, Outstanding Theme of Pope Francis Visit to Peru

Environment, Outstanding Theme of Pope Francis Visit to Peru
Lima, Nov 13 (Prensa Latina) Pope Francis'' words on the drama of the devastation of the environment by business interests are awaited with great interest in Peru by Andean and Amazonian communities and other defenders of the environment.
The problem is the main reason for the social conflicts that have recurrently resulted in violence and death and is expressed with particular seriousness in Madre de Dios, a Southern Amazonian region whose capital, Puerto Maldonado, will be visited by the pontiff, who will hold a meeting there with the native communities.

In that territory, illegal mining dedicated to the exploitation of gold pollutes rivers and poisons forests and animal species, without having resulted in various attempts to solve the problem, which generates increasing crime, labor slavery, and sexual exploitation.

A panorama of the serious situation was exposed to Pope Francis in a letter sent by the environmentalist Red Muqui and the Latin American Network of Churches and Mining, who praised the papal call to support the Common House.

The letter reviews the environmental and social problems that peasant communities experience because of the political decisions of the Peruvian government, such as the reduction of environmental demands and controls, which allege the need to accelerate investments.

The Red Muqui noted that it hopes that the papal message includes concern for respect for peasant and native communities, and the protection of the planet, in line with the encyclical Laudato Si, 2014, against the consumption and abuse of nature.

In that pronouncement, it says, the Pope talks about environmental problems, affirms that the main cause of global warming is the action of the human being, and calls for profound changes in lifestyles, models of production and excessive consumption.

It adds that the government of politician and businessman and politician Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in contradiction with the aforementioned encyclical, establishes 'permissive policies in the face of environmental and social damage.'

It points out that between October 2016 and March 2017 the government issued 112 legislative decrees, 65 of them to reactivate the economy, which has led to a climate of social conflict because most of them violate 'fundamental rights of communities and the population in general.'

For the aforementioned networks, 'the government has acted irresponsibly with the environment by making flexible environmental quality standards to facilitate investments to the detriment of people's lives and health.'

'We hope in our hearts that the presence and messages of his holiness Pope Francis in Peru, help to show that the responsibility of what happens in Peru with mining pollution, is a shared responsibility of mining companies and the Peruvian government,', adds the letter.

In addition, on the eve of the arrival of Pope Francis, the Red Muqui will disseminate the letter at an event in the northern city of Trujillo, which the pontiff will also visit, and will present testimonies of communities affected especially by mining.

On January 20, two days after the arrival of the Pope in Lima, various environmental organizations will hold a vigil for the land and the rights of citizens, in front of the Apostolic Nunciature in which Francisco will be housed.

On the other hand, the president of the Supreme Court, Duberlí Rodríguez, will deliver to the pontiff the Pact of Madre de Dios for Environmental Justice, which contains ten commitments to improve it in favor of those who, like the people of Madre de Dios, are affected by the illegal mining, deforestation, smuggling and human trafficking.

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