In an interview published by the Pan-Amazon Church Network, Fr. Manuel Jesus Romero of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado conveyed that the Amazon’s indigenous people have an urgent need to make their rights known as their rights known as they are increasingly pushed from their ancestral Islands. Holy Father Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the Peruvian city of Puerto Maldonado will surely give visibility and voice to the indigenous people of the Amazon.

As reported by Vatican Radio, Fr. Manuel remarked that “Their territory (indigenous people) is increasingly being invaded, their space is becoming smaller and smaller; the livelihoods with which they have survived for so many centuries are being destroyed: fishing, hunting, trees and rivers are more and more in danger. Therefore their lives are in danger.”

The Amazon rainforest comprises as much as 60% of Peru’s territory and offers a major reserve of fresh water. His Holiness Pope Francis’s upcoming visit, which also takes him to Chile, will be the third papal journey to Peru after John Paul II visited the nation twice before.