Pope Francis warns of threat to Amazon peoples on Peru visit
Saturday 20/January/2018 - 10:50 AM
Pope Francis has used a visit to Peru to sound a stark warning about the pressure on the Amazon and its peoples posed by business interests، according to "BBC". He told indigenous people in the small town of Puerto Maldonado that the region had never been so threatened. Tribal elders called on him to help protect them، saying they were being driven from their lands. The pontiff arrived in Peru from Chile، where he became embroiled in a row over clerical sex abuse. He drew anger by accusing victims of a paedophile priest of slandering a bishop they accuse of trying to cover up the priest's crimes. The Argentine Pope، 81، is on the second and final leg of a week-long tour of Latin America.Bare-chested tribesmen، their bodies painted and their heads crowned with colourful feathers، danced and sang for the pontiff in Puerto Maldonado، an AFP news agency correspondent reports. People from across the Amazon basin region of Peru، Brazil and Bolivia had travelled in their thousands to meet him. "The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present،" Francis said، his speech punctuated by applause and the beating of drums. "The Amazon is a territory that is being disputed on many fronts. On the one hand، pressure being exerted by great business interests seeking petroleum، gas، lumber، and gold and on the other، the threat against the territories also comes from the perversion of several policies that promote conservation without considering humans. "Yes، for some، you are considered an obstacle or a disturbance but all of you are the cry to the conscience."