Sunday, June 11, 2006

Edilberto Sena and Jose Boeing, SVD Receive Death Threats

The two gentlemen are actively involved in the protection of the environment and biodiversity in the Diocese of Santarem of the Amazon Region in Brazil. Edilberto Sena, founder and present director of Radio Rural, uses the air to educate the locals on the vital importance of ecological balance. Jose Boeing, a missionary of the Society of the Divine Word is the zonal coordinator for its office responsible of promoting justice, peace and integrity of creation.

They are being accused of conspiring with Greenpeace activists who are currently waging war against Cargill, the leading exporter of Soya. Soya expansion has been blamed as one of the leading causes of the deforestation in the Amazon.

The website of Associazione Macamondo reports that a certain "community" in Orkut under the name "Fora Greenpeace" (Greenpeace Out) wrote: "We want to kill Edilberto Sena and Fr. Boeing for the good of Santarem."

These and other more threats have prompted members of Society of the Divine Word where J. Boeing belongs to write this open letter authored by A. Pernia, the current Superior General.

Please take time to read and forward this letter to others (pls. click to forward).

Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven (Mt 5:10)
As missionaries of the Society Divine Word (SVD), gathered together in Rome for the General Chapter, an international assembly of SVD brothers and priests, we are pained by the recent events occurring in the Amazon Region of Brazil. We refer to the death threats received by Fathers Edilberto Sena and Jose Boeing SVD. Likewise we are deeply affected by the pressure exerted upon the two bishops and all the organized social movements of the Diocese of Santarem. The work they are doing is in line with the global mission and vision of the SVD.. As a gesture of solidarity with them and with all the people who fight for justice, ecology and the integrity of creation, we ask:
  1. for the possibility of an open dialogue with Cargill regarding problems related to agri-business. In this dialogue all concerned parties should be represented, as should other representatives of civil society.
  2. or the immediate investigation of the recent events by the Ministry of Justice, the Public Ministry and the Federal Police.
  3. for the protection of the concerned individuals threatened by death.
  4. that Cargill present the studies on the environmental impact of its establishment in Santarem and legalize its status as demanded by national and international laws on human rights.
  5. for respect towards the indigenous peoples in the Amazon region, and for the preservation of the integrity of the forest.
Rome, June 10, 2006

Fr. Antonio Pernia SVD
Superior General and President of the General Chapter
On behalf of the 149 participants who represent the 6102 Divine Word Missionaries working in 70 countries worldwide

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