Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, long-standing Human Rights leader in Argentina and Latin America, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has just joined the Global Divestment Campaign. Together with more than 58 thousand people and 700 institutions in 76 countries, the activist urges the whole of Latin America to also commit to withdrawing investments in projects related to fossil fuels.

“I want to make an appeal for this Global Divestment Campaign from Argentina, in order to put a stop to the most destructive industry to the planet, which puts the homes and lives of thousands of people at risk. The people we refer to as climate refugees are those who most need our support. This is also an appeal for the whole of Latin America: we are a continent that the great liberators always called the “Patria Grande” [Great Fatherland], so let’s make it a true Patria Grande, starting with rights and equality for everyone”, said Esquivel.

When receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980, Esquivel stated in his speech that he was not accepting it for himself, but rather “on behalf of the people of Latin America, and especially in the name of the poorest and smallest of my brothers and sisters, who are the most beloved children of God. I receive it in the name of my indigenous brothers and sisters, the peasants, workers, and young people, in the name of the thousands of members of religious orders and of men and women of goodwill, who renounce privileges to share the life and way of the poor, and who struggle to build a new society.”

Now, in his statement of support for the Global Divestment Movement he declares: “I believe there is one fundamental question: what kind of a world do we want to build and why? What are we going to leave to our children and our children’s children? Know where we are going and how we are going to develop. Because this situation is getting worse every day. We are seeing progress, science and technology have opened many doors for us, but there are also complications behind many of these doors as a result of their legacy: the irrational exploitation of the goods and resources of humanity. We do not own nature, we are a part of it, we are the children of Mother Earth, but we will never own it. And there are major economic, political and military interests which are destroying the world; this is the beginning of the apocalypse.”

He ends by urging the industry to change, calling for major economic and political interests to serve the needs of humanity rather than exploiting them. “I wish you much strength and hope and let us together support this campaign for Life.”

See full statement (in Spanish):

The original blog post in Spanish can be found here.