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Bolivian Bishops Express Concern about Amazon Fires

‘Our common home is on fire; we must exercise the prophetic mission’

With the evocative title “Our common home is on fire” the Bolivian Amazon Church has issued a statement that highlights concern and clamor for the catastrophe of fires and the consequences of this ongoing ecological disaster, Fides News Agency reported August 27, 2019.

The Bishops’ statement also openly denounces the national government, “the logic of nature’s predatory capitalism” and they call for solidarity, effective and legal actions in order to face the catastrophe.

The statement was presented by the General Secretary of the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference (CEB), Mgr. Aurelio Pesoa, accompanied by Mgr. Ricardo Centellas, President of the CEB, Mgr. Eugenio Coter, Coordinator of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network in Bolivia, Mgr. Robert Flock, Bishop of the Diocese of San Ignacio de Velasco, Herland Dominguez, of the Defense Committee of Rio Madera Willy Llanque.

The message notes: “One million hectares of our Amazon forest is on fire. The consequences of this ecological disaster are many. When we perceive that this catastrophe is the result of human action, we must exercise our prophetic mission to openly seek and denounce its causes. We consider the supreme decree n. 3973 of the national government, of last July irresponsible and reckless, which authorizes to burn land in a “controlled” manner, but no measures are offered on the conditions and mechanisms to do so”. “Even in our country – continues the note – there is technocratic and aggressive capitalism towards our sister mother earth, which promotes hydroelectric projects and hydrocarbon extraction”.

The Bishops add: “Therefore, as Church, we join in solidarity with the pain and the clamor of the land and the inhabitants of these territories, in particular, the indigenous peoples, custodians of the Common Home, offering material help and donations.

We appreciate the effort of the people and institutions that commit themselves with responsibility and sacrifice to what is happening in the Amazon in flames. We ask the government to declare these lands, as areas in ecological pause in order to promote reforestation”.

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