Amazonia: New Paths for the Church
Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology October 6th to 27th 2019
On the afternoon of the 24th February from 3.30 pm-6pm a small group of us reflected upon the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si in preparation for the Synod on the Amazons to be held in Rome this October. As part of that process we looked at the lives of Chico Mendes, Sister Dorothy Stang, and Adelinho Ramos as just 3 people, who gave their lives to protect the forests, and help those who live there care for our common home. As well as videos, we were privileged to speak live on Skype with some important people in Brazil- Archbishop Roque of Porto Velho, and Acre, President of the Indigenous Missionary Council, member of REPAM, and our own Fr Leo Dolan late of St. Alphege’s, Bath. Our contact in St. Johns Bath with the poor in Brazil goes back some 50 years.
Archbishop Roque appeared with an anthropologist and a leader of the indigenous people. They told us about the difficulties they face from illegal loggers, miners and big landowners. Our attention was drawn to the note from CIMI https://goo.gl/SUQ4x1 (The Catholic Indigenous Missionary Council) ‘In a statement, CIMI repudiates measures published on the first day of Jair Bolsonaro's administration that seek to develop the country from purposes that aim to disqualify the individual and collective rights of traditional communities and peoples, attack leaders who fight for rights, threaten and criminalize defenders and defenders of the environment, indigenists, entities and civil society organizations.
In Provisional Measure 870/2019, which establishes the structure of government, is the transfer of the National Indian Foundation (Funai), which until then was in the Ministry of Justice (MJ), to the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights . At the same time, it removed from FUNAI its main attributions, to carry out studies on the identification and delimitation of lands, to promote the supervision and protection of the demarcated areas.
The Government transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, commanded by farmers who oppose the rights of the peoples, the assignment to carry out the studies of identification, delimitation, demarcation and registration of areas required by indigenous peoples. "In short, the government decreed, in its first act in power, the annihilation of the rights guaranteed in Articles 231 and 232 of the Federal Constitution, a letter of the law of the country."
"The Missionary Indian Council is publicly repudiating such measures and denouncing them as part of a collusion articulated by the ruralist group, mining and logging entrepreneurs with the objective of triggering an intense process of looting the demarcated areas, delivering them to enterprises of the private initiative of the country and abroad and, in addition, make unfeasible new demarcations of traditional lands, "states the entity.