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Story Publication logo August 14, 2023

Interview: “I Feel a Higher Power Guiding Me and Telling Me To Keep Fighting.” (Spanish)


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In the Bolivian Amazon jungle, Indigenous guardians fight against deforestation, fires, drug...

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This story excerpt was translated from Spanish. To read the original story in full, visit Revista Nómadas. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in EnglishSpanishbahasa IndonesiaFrench, and Portuguese.

Image courtesy of Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Facing threats and limitations, he fights powerful political and economic interests in a titanic struggle to defend the environment. Overnight, a blog appeared on the Internet to discredit him and his family members. But no attack against him stops Alex Villca Limaco.

Q: How much does it cost to fight for the environment?

-It involves a lot of effort, dedication, and exposing my physical integrity, exposing my family, also limiting some aspirations that a people, a territory, a region may have, because many times the role that we defenders play comes with certain contrary ideas, we are stigmatized, and we are pointed out as opponents to development, to the healthy aspirations that a territory, a people or a country may have.

It is a permanent, titanic struggle to confront great powers such as politicians and economic interests. It is an unequal struggle, but one that we cannot set aside. It would be sadder if there were no people who dare to challenge and defend their rights, those rights that are recognized in the Constitution or international treaties or conventions. So, it costs a lot, because one exposes oneself too much.

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The ancestral world gives strength to Alex Villca Limaco. Image courtesy of Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.