Last week, together with the initiative “Enlázate por la Justicia”, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), of which several Jesuit organizations form part of, released its most recent report on the current human rights situation in the Amazon.

Over 300 pages, the report documents abuses and violations of the rights of women and children. Over the last few years, the extractive industries and illicit crops have been responsible for a number of multi-million dollar activities," the report says, “based on the intense exploitation of natural resources that uproot the earth's wealth at the cost of devastating impacts on the Amazonian environment and on the health and social peace of its inhabitants”.

The publication was presented by activist Lily Calderón, who at the time was the lawyer for “Pastoral de la Tierra” from the Apostolic Vicariate of Yurimaguas, in Peru, and by Sonia Olea, an expert from Caritas Spain who collaborated in the edition and compilation of the project.

On the eve of the Synod focused on the Amazon

This document is the result of the work promoted by REPAM in the Schools for the Promotion, Advocacy and Enforceability of Human Rights held in 2016 and 2018 in Ecuador and Peru, where 13 cases of human rights violations have been followed up on in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. This is an effort that involves the celebration of the Synod of Bishops in Rome next October, for the Special Assembly focused on the Amazon.

Pope Francis’ call to care for Creation through the encyclical Laudato Sí is present throughout the report, recalling that “indigenous communities are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed…Nevertheless, in various parts of the world, pressure is being put on them to abandon their homelands to make room for agricultural or mining projects which are undertaken without regard for the degradation of nature and culture” (LS 146).

Read the full story (in Spanish) here.