In the dense Amazon rainforest of Peru, there are five reserves inhabited by indigenous groups who have chosen to remain totally or partially isolated from the rest of society. But these areas are not officially demarcated as indigenous lands, and only one is protected with a control post.
“When someone in Peru sneezes, someone in Brazil catches a cold. When a barrel of oil is produced in Ecuador, a neighbouring country ends up buying it,” says prominent environmentalist Yolanda Kakabadse.
For half a century cardiovascular disease has been the largest killer in Western countries, but recently it has started to dominate the health statistics in the South as well. In India coronary heart disease is already the biggest killer, and strokes are about to rise to second place. Globally, cardiovascular disease now kills about 17 million people a year, and a growing number of people are having heart attacks or strokes as early as their 40s or 50s.
After a 62-day march from Bolivia’s tropical lowlands, over 1,000 indigenous protesters opposed to the construction of a road through a pristine rainforest reserve reached the seat of government Wednesday, just a few hours after the police called off a six-day national strike.