In Bolivia, environmentalists and community leaders have launched emergency protests against the government’s move to resurrect plans to build a controversial highway through indigenous territories and a national park in the Amazon. Opponents of the highway say it will further the deforestation of the Amazon and destroy the land and livelihoods of indigenous communities. Widespread protests defeated the plan in 2011, but the Bolivian Congress has voted to revoke the protections won in 2011. This is indigenous leader Fernando Vargas.
Fernando Vargas: “With the approval, the destruction of the habitat of the indigenous people—the Moxeños, Yuracaré and Tsimané—has begun. Secondly, this is the start of the destruction not only of the TIPNIS national park, but also of the 22 protected areas nationally and of indigenous territories. Therefore, the indigenous people, we’re going to make our territory and our habitat be respected.”