Rain Forest Flowers

A nice little rainforest flower in a time of darkness

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Invitation to Expedition in the Napo-Ucayali Corridor: June/July 2008

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It is still early days of planning, but a small group of people are planning to travel, for the second time, down the Napo river – doing workshops relevant for indigenous peoples’ struggles, such as shamanic civil rights, and healing sessions in communities along the 1000km long and very exciting route from the beginning of the River Napo in Tena, Ecuador to Iquitos (where it meets the Amazon and the Ucayali rivers). The journey goes through one of the most biodiverse regions in the world – right past the Yasuni National Park, before crossing the border into Peru. After visiting The 4th International Amazonian Shamanism Conference: Magic, Myths and Miracles, which will be held in Iquitos, Peru – July 19th – 26th, 2008, we might continue to Pucallpa….

Sunrise on the River Napo

Contemporary developments in the global economy are very significant for the Amazon rain forest. While this might be said to be true for anywhere at any point in time there are nevertheless good reasons for paying special attention to what maybe the last battle for the survival of the largest rain forest in the world, the loss of which it should need no further justification to lament – and that is the basis upon which this invitation is written….

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Home Sweet Home: Reflections on the Amazon – Part One of ?

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Seeking refuge in Europe, to breathe and to reflect, the long, light evenings and the friendliness of the forest (that is the absence of the eternal threat of creatures out to get you) have besieged our imaginations.

The loved ones, the long-time friendships and the new friends are the medium of reflection – telling stories, observing reactions and thinking about it all at a distance ….we get high on our own anecdotal supply with a little help from our friends.

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Social movements oppose Correa: can he sit on the fence?

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The environmentally insensitive actions of Rafael Correa —that has been a blog subject for a while— opposed by social movements in the constituent assembly:

NO PERMITIRAN INGRESO DE PETROBRAS AL YASUNI

Cuestionan posición ambiental del Presidente Correa en Brasil

Los movimientos sociales, pueblos indígenas, organizaciones campesinas y poderes locales de la amazonía ecuatoriana no permitirán la explotación petrolera del ITT y bloque 31 y la entrada de Petrobrás al Yasuní, porque es una compañía transnacional acusada de violar las leyes del Ecuador, provocar graves perjuicios económicos en la explotación del campo Palo Azul e impactos ambientales, por lo cual enfrenta una solicitud de caducidad contractual en el Ministerio de Energía y Minas, informó Fernando Villavicencio, vocero del Frente “Somos Poder Constituyente”.

 

Los movimientos sociales cuestionan la afirmación del Presidente Correa realizada en Brasil de que “la pobreza es el principal peligro para el medio ambiente”, eso es desconocer una realidad inobjetable de la historia, de que la principal causa de la contaminación y del propio empobrecimiento es la voracidad extractivista de las transnacionales que privilegian la acumulación de capital sobre los intereses del ser humano y la naturaleza.

 

More information on Ecuador Indymedia

UNASUR: the new-ided South America – divided already?

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A new era in South America has formally commenced in the form of the “Union of South American Nations” (UNASUR). Agreed April 17, 2007, at the First South American Energy Summit being held on the Island of Margarita, Eastern Venezuela, UNASUR is a manifestation of a renewed attempt at South American integration.

The South American presidents did agree to name their diplomatic mechanism Union of South American Nations (Unasur). The organization’s Executive Secretariat will be based in Quito, President Chávez said. He added that proposals would be disclosed later to designate the Permanent Secretary of Unasur -which is replacing the South American Community of Nations (CSN). This project is aimed at integrating the South American countries … This is what we decided by consensus today (Monday). We also addressed other issues such as the Bank of the South, and agreed to enter into a sort of energy accord guaranteeing energy supplies for 100 years. These meetings have been quite important,” the Venezuelan ruler added.”

But there are already some complex, political problems…..

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Defence Woman come in Peace?

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Rafael Correa has promised what it is reasonable to call a revolution of the Ecuadorian society – along the lines of Morales and Chavez. He won the election in November and will officially begin as president on January 15. Four years to change it all – quite a challenge. substantial parts of the education section are already privatised off in the first, as seen to by the leaving parties.

Yesterday Correa announced his cabinet, best described as “socialists and women”, if you judge the tone set by the media. (Really there are 17 members of the cabinet, 10 men, 7 women and all more or less socialists.) Amongst them a female defence minister – have you ever heard anything like it?!?!

Today Guadalupe Larriva was all over the radio telling how she was a woman and that women do not do war, they do care; and so she would do her defence job in that way. (As an aside, without wanting to deny anyone’s good intentions, let’s lament here the existence of Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi -amongst others- and celebrate the existence of Harriet Tubman and Phoolan Devi -amongst others- to dispel the myth of the caring woman.)

Later in the day, this afternoon, approaching el oriente in the bus, I wondered what impact Larriva could have on a society so heavily securitised and militarised, as we came to the military police check point, the usual scene:

PC250916

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