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A few weeks ago I had the privilege of knowing a little more about Amazonian Peru on the banks of the Huallaga River in the San Martín region. Hopeful people who love, cultivate and defend life, their own and that of nature, like that of the base Catholic church that I met in Yurimaguas. Or the magical, peaceful and simple wisdom of the inhabitants of Chazuta, who by dint of memory, creativity and responsibility, fight to preserve their ancestral ceramics and the wonderful Azul and Escalera mountain ranges, not only for themselves and their children, but for us and ours, all of humanity.
I owe the opportunity of this experience to friends who are working hard in the process towards the VIII Pan-Amazon Social Forum (FOSPA), a space for convergence and debates for the preservation and promotion of the Andean Pan-Amazon and its peoples.
An objective that could not be more urgent, when we learn that capitalist predation has already destroyed a third of the almost 7 million square kilometers of the Amazon forest, which gives away half of the rains of Andean areas such as Apurímac and other areas even more distant in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay; even in Europe, the United States and Indonesia. At the current rate of destruction, the generous forest will go into irreversible loss no later than 2050.
That is why the slogan with which we move towards this International Forum is so timely: "Let's go to the call of the forest!" The great meeting, which expects to receive around 1500 people from all over the Amazon and the world, will be held in Tarapoto next April. But it is already building a whole process of convergence of agendas and social and indigenous organizations that are the main protagonists.
Something that is logical if it is known that it is precisely the Amazonian indigenous peoples and social movements that have preserved the treasure of life of the Amazon for humanity until today, paying a high price in sacrifices, criminalization and bloody repression, such as in the sadly remembered "Baguazo".
It is the first time, after seven previous versions, that this People's Forum has been held in Peru. Without a doubt, a great responsibility and at the same time a great opportunity for all Peruvians. Therefore, I invite you to learn about this process through its website: www.forosocialpanamazonico.com
Spaces like the Pan-Amazon Forum are the only antidote that will be able to overcome the fatal and hopeless fate of irrational greed that happily drags us to suicide as a species. But also, as I learned in my recent tour, it allows us to remember and understand that a development model only deserves that name if it provides us and guarantees social happiness.