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As Tensions Flare in Peruvian Amazon, Award-Winning Actor Qorianka Kilcher Heads to Peru to Support Indigenous Rights
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 :Peruvian indigenous leader Alberto Pizango has been granted asylum in Nicaragua after leading protests against oil and mining projects in the northern Peruvian Amazonian province of Bagua. Over the weekend, an estimated sixty people died after police tried to break up a blockade. We speak to actor Qorianka Kilcher, of part Indigenous Quechua descent, who is heading to Peru to support the Amazonian protest.
Peruvian indigenous leader Alberto Pizango has been granted asylum in Nicaragua after an arrest warrant was issued in his name on charges of sedition, conspiracy, and rebellion following clashes between Amazonian Indians and Peruvian riot police this weekend. He had sought refuge in the Nicaraguan embassy in the Peruvian capital of Lima Tuesday.
Pizango’s organization, AIDESEP or the Inter-Ethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Amazon, brings together Amazonian Indian interests from across the country and has fought peacefully to preserve the forests for several years. New laws pushed through by Peruvian president Alan Garcia would parcel up the Amazon rainforest into blocks for commercial exploitation by oil, logging, and mining interests.
My next guest is an outspoken advocate for indigenous rights around the world. She is also an award-winning young actor in Hollywood and played Pocohontas in the 2005 film “The New World” for which she was shortlisted for an Academy award.
Qorianka Kilcher won the Young Hollywood Green Award this weekend and dedicated her award to Alberto Pizango and his organization AIDESP.
Qorianka Kilcher joins me now from Los Angeles, shortly before she flies out to the Peru, where her father comes from.
Qorianka Kilcher, Hollywood actor and outspoken activist on indigenous Peruvian issues. She was shortlisted for an Academy Award for her role as Pocohantas in the 2005 film, “The New World.”