Speaking at the inauguration of conference on climate change held near the Andean city of Cochabama, Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales appeared to link homosexuality, baldness among Europeans, and genetically modified foods. The conference was billed as the First Worldwide Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth and organized by the South American nation’s government as defense of environmentalism. The conference assailed capitalism as an assault on Mother Earth, which many Andean peoples refer to as “Pacha Mama.” According to Morales, genetically altered foods and Coca-Cola are “symbols of capitalism.”
According to Morales, “Mankind is facing the choice of either continuing along the path of capitalism and death or to take the path of harmony with nature and respect for life so as to save mankind.” The Bolivian president, an ally of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, declared that humanity is face with a stark choice between Pacha Mama and “death.”
Morales maintained that the wealthy countries of the world have a debt with the rest of the planet because the “atmospheric space” is “filled with the emission of winter-effect gases.” He called for the founding of an international tribunal that would judge cases of environmental crimes at the UN conference on the environment that is planned for later this year in Mexico.
Morales also advocates the creation of a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth even while he is demanding that international borders be lifted so as to allow refugees from climate change to freely migrate. The number of environmental migrants may reach as many as 1 billion, according to Bolivia’s official press.
“Quinoa (a high-protein native American grain) should be eaten,” said Morales, who advocates the consumption of “ecological foods” that origínate in the Americas. “In the last few weeks, we have heard the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) say that quinoa is the best food in the world,” said the Bolivian president to a crowd of about 20,000 – many of them native-speakers of Aymara and Quechua languages – assembled at Tiquipaya.
Morales lauded the putative curative powers of traditional Andean products, which he considers to be more effective than Western medicine. He critiqued a potato produced in Europe, which he said one “can eat and eat yet not be nourished.”
Morales also claimed that “Baldness that appears to be normal is a disease in Europe, almost all of them are bald, and that is because of the things they eat; while among the indigenous peoples there are no bald people, because we eat other things,” said the 50 year old leader. He also claimed that the presence of homosexual men around the world is a consequence of inadequate nutrition. According to Morales, this is due to eating chicken saturated with feminizing hormones “The chicken that we eat is chock-full of feminine hormones. So, when men eat these chickens, they deviate from themselves as men.” Laughter emerged from the audience.
More than a dozen working groups are hammering out a series of resolutions that will emerge when the conference concludes on April 22. It is expected that the so-called Bolivarian bloc of nations friendly to Bolivia’s government - Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and others- will concur. Numerous environmentalist groups and organizations representing the region’s indigenous peoples are attending the April 19-22 conference.