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Pope Francis meets with leaders of indigenous communities

2013-06-25

-How are you? It has been so long. It's a pleasure. 
-A pleasure. 
-How are you?
-Very well, thank you

The group, which included Nobel Prize Winner, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, met with the Pope for about 40 minutes, to discuss human right violations faced by indigenous communities in Argentina and other Latin American countries. It's something they talked more in depth, during a press conference. 

Félix Diaz
Qom Ethnic Tribe, leader
"They think of us as an enemy of the State. But how is it, that we're considered the enemy, if we're barely surviving?” 

They say their problems include everything from a loss of cultural identity to land. But above all else, they say they're looking for respect and accountability from the government. They claim their house was burned down. They're often denied treatment in hospitals and they say their ID's were destroyed, so they wouldn't vote. Dialogue they say, has been denied for years by Argentina's president. 
 
Felix Diaz
Qom Ethnic Tribe, leader
"We've been requesting an audience with the president for more than three years.  But our community has always been denied this.”

Adolfo Perez Esquivel
Noble Prize Winner, Argentina 1980 
"This has already cost lives, whether by it be killings, or illnesses, lack of resources. That's why we are here. To highlight this issue on an international scale. So people know what's really happening.” 

They're hoping that after meeting with the Pope, the Vatican can somehow intervene, so that Argentina's government will openly discuss the concerns and rights of indigenous communities directly with them. 


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