“When Two Worlds Collide”: The Documentary that Exposes the Destruction of the Peruvian Amazon

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There is never money to investigate crimes. There is only money to destroy”- Late Amazonian leader Edwin Chota

Multiple Peruvian communities still languish in an invisible state. Different beliefs, customs, and language have made them vulnerable against local authorities. Their destinies are now at risk, threatened by policies set on destroying their means of survival. Such is the sad fate of Amazonian Natives. “When Two Worlds Collide”, a documentary by Heidi Brandenburg, exposed the destruction caused by a Peruvian government driven by “economic development”

Peruvian Neoliberalism: A Legacy of Destruction

When two worlds collideImage Source: Emaze

After Fujimori’s neoliberal regime, Peru became a haven for foreign investors. Global demand for our natural resources boomed. The government rushed to sign deals with multinational oil companies. Unfortunately, such abundant profits were gained at the expense of Amazonians. More than 70% of their land was leased to multinationals. The government didn’t bother to consult with them. One day, out of the blue, the government decreed they had to leave.

Despite their complaints, the tribes complied. Since 2006, these abusive evictions continued. Simultaneously, dozens of activists claiming for justice were imprisoned or murdered. The Amazonian leader Alberto Pizango had enough.

June 5, 2009: “El Baguazo”

When two worlds collideImage Source: When two world collides

On June 5, 2009, police troops were to forcefully evict 5000 natives from the Bagua region. This time, Amazonians stood up for their rights. Aguarunas, Huambishas and other tribes opposed the tyrannical measures, enmeshing in a battle that caused 33 deaths and over a hundred injured.

The film “When Two Worlds Collide” revolves around this event. The story explores the clash between indigenous values and modernization. A conflict causing bloodshed and the ruthless destruction of the ecosystem, the fauna, the forests and rivers. The indigenous leader Alberto Pizango said: “I love the jungle, I love the Amazon, this is where I was raised. This is where I’m from.” Boasting their beliefs, Pizango reaffirms the sacred connection between communities and their land. A relationship now tarnished and destroyed in the altar of capitalism.

Our land is sacred. Our land is not to be sold, or to be negotiated.” – Alberto Pizango

“When Two Worlds Collide” also presents the testimonies of officials at the time. These were the cabinet members of former Peruvian president Alan Garcia, who infamously labeled Amazonians as “Second Class Citizens”. One of those members is now a minister of president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. This film may compel you to analyze the inner workings of Peruvian democracy. A supposed system of “justice and equality”, that only applies to those with the deepest pockets.

Most Peruvians claim to live in a democracy. But our Amazonians and other oppressed communities can grasp the truth. So far, they have only seen one prevalent fact: Hypocrisy.

Here is a link with the dates and cities this documentary will be exhibited: When Two Worlds Collide

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