26 Aug 2010

Rainforest priest Paul McAuley under new threat

Many oil and gas projects in the Amazon have met fierce resistance from indigenous groups.

Residents accuse the government of abusing their land rights and failing to consult them about big investment projects, the BBC's Peru correspondent Dan Collyns says.

Brother Paul has repeatedly said that oil exploration and logging are threatening to the indigenous population of the Amazon.

He admits that his work might lead to people asking for their rights.

"Education is often accused of inciting people to understand their rights, to be capable or organising themselves to ensure their human rights," Mr McAuley told the BBC.

"If that's a crime, then yes I'm guilty," he added. "As a member of a Catholic order, my life's been dedicated to human and Christian education."

Had a message yesterday from Fr Paul McAuley, he is based in the Peruvian Amazon and works with local people to preserve their environment and human rights.

The Peruvian government sought to expell him from the country, there was an international outcry and he won his case to stay in the country.
as reported here.

Now a couple of weeks later, his victory has been annulled on a technicality.

Please keep the pressure up on the Peruvian authorities.

Paul's environment website is here, has lots of interesting material in English and Spanish.

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