Pro-Indian bishop wins ‘alternative Nobel prize’

By agency reporter
October 1, 2010

A leading supporter of Indian rights in Brazil has won the Right Livelihood Award, known as the ‘alternative Nobel prize’, reports Survival International.

Dom Erwin Krautler, the Bishop of the Xingu in Brazil’s Amazon region, won the award for "a lifetime of work for the human and environmental rights of indigenous peoples and for his tireless efforts to save the Amazon forest from destruction."

Krautler grew up in Austria, but has lived in Brazil for more than forty years. During this time he has taken part in countless protests with Indian groups from across the country, and been an outspoken advocate for their rights.

Bishop Krautler spoke out earlier this year during the large-scale protests against the Belo Monte dam, which will flood the territories of several Xingu Indian communities. Such activism has brought numerous death threats, and he now receives round-the-clock police protection.

In March this year he visited Guarani communities in southern Brazil whose lands have been taken from them by ranchers and farmers. He told them, ‘We bring you our solidarity, and we re-affirm our commitment to support you in your struggle.’

He is also president of CIMI, a leading pro-Indian support group in Brazil.

More about the Right Livelihood Award here:


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