Saturday, February 21
The New Year was supposed to mark a new era. After more than a decade of advocating for environmental responsibility on the part of a lead smelter in the town of La Oroya, where 99 percent of children suffer from lead poisoning, stricter emissions standards were to take effect. But they did not.
Why? An $800 million lawsuit against the State of Peru filed in an international court by the US owner of the lead smelter argued that the regulations would cost him profits, thus violating his rights as a foreign investor provided by a US-Peru free trade agreement.
But the lawsuit would not be the final word. On a sunny day in Lima, our partner Joining Hands Network Peru, together with courageous community leaders from La Oroya, stood before news reporters to launch a global campaign, “No Greater Rights for Foreign Investors,” challenging the extraordinary rights provided to foreign investors through free trade agreements.
Today, in support of citizens’ rights to breathe clean air and determine their own laws, our Peruvian partners, in prayerful partnership with Presbyterians in the United States, have gained the support of a growing number of congressional representatives in the United States and Peru to ensure that free trade agreements protect democracy of, by, and for the people.
—Jed Koball, PC(USA) mission coworker, Lima
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Evangelical Presbyterian and Reformed Church in Peru: Rev. Sara Armstrong and Russell Edmondson, delegations and partnership coordinators • Joining Hands Network Peru: Rev. Jed Koball, companionship facilitator
Evangelical Presbyterian and Reformed Church in Peru: Rev. Adrian Fernandez, president, Luis Pastor Leonardo Ventura, secretary • Peruvian Evangelical Church: Rev. Ricardo Alcarraz, president, Rev. Enrique Augusto Alva Callup, secretary • Joining Hands Network Peru: Conrado Olivera, executive director • Theological Faculty of the Evangelical Theological Education Association: Rev. Efrain Barrera, executive director
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, with Joining Hands Network Peru; Presbytery of San Gabriel, with the Evangelical Presbyterian and Reformed Church in Peru
Young Adult Volunteers
Kyle Coombs, Rachel Heideman, Sara LaLone, and Andrew Newcombe
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of all peoples and places, we thank you for the spirit of courage that you grant to our partners and share with us so that we might join our voices in pursuit of a world where people come before profits. Amen.