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  July/August 2000 Articles:
Where the Caribou Roam
The New Gold Rush
Two Worlds, One Whale
Defending the Forest, and Other Crimes
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Sierra Magazine
Defending the Forest and Other Crimes

Stand Up for Those Who Give the Earth a Voice

The Sierra Club and Amnesty International are speaking out on behalf of environmental defenders like Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera whose human rights have been violated. Their joint campaign, "Defending those who give the earth a voice," aims to generate international awareness and action wherever abuses against environmentalists are taking place, and to promote a U.S. foreign policy that consistently addresses human rights and environmental concerns.

In April, representatives from the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, and the Goldman Environmental Foundation discussed Montiel's case with Jorge Madrazo Cuellar, Mexico's attorney general, and Julia Carabias Lillo, Secretary of the Environment. The organizations urged that these "prisoners of conscience" be immediately and unconditionally released, and that the allegations of torture be investigated by the appropriate civil authorities.

Madrazo agreed to review the case, promising to get personally involved if necessary. Carabias admitted that her office had no hard data about the damage caused by the current clearcutting practices in the state of Guerrero. She committed to investigate the allegations of illegal logging and to reassess the logging permits issued to landowners.

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