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Hollywood cited along with US military and economy for domination

Citing Hollywood, an Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has told a gathering of global church leaders in Brazil that the United States’ cultural influence over Latin America is just as damaging as its military and economic domination.

"When the Berlin Wall fell, we thought there would be a world of cooperation, but instead we have domination by the empire," said human rights activist Adolfo Perez Esquivel, referring to the United States. "And the empire abuses the name of God by naming him to impose conditions and make wars."

Perez Esquivel said he was so incensed with the US influence in Latin America as being a destructive force, that he recently wrote two letters to President George W. Bush. In one he wrote, "When Bush prays, God closes his ears."

Speaking at a media conference during the World Council of Churches’ assembly in Porto Alegre the Argentinian laureate noted that the US president had not answered his letter and he joined other Latin American church leaders in denouncing the current administration in Washington.

"All people in Latin America need their own voice, but all the movies come from the US," rued Perez Esquivel, just before a presentation to assembly delegates on the situation in Latin America. "All mechanisms of domination come from the US. The United States is not good for us."

Another Argentinian, Nora Cortinas noted the recent election of US-resistant leaders in Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile and Brazil.

"Transformation is happening because the world is asking for a change," said Cortinas, founder and president of the Plaza de Mayo mothers and grandmothers, a women’s movement created to put pressure on the Argentine government to account for thousands of "disappearances" that marked the country’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

She described the United States as "too violent, only thinking about wars and profits and indifferent to suffering".

Costa Rican theologian Elsa Tamez went further, describing violence as "a structural and social sin". She said she hoped the theme of the WCC assembly – "God, in your grace, transform the world" – would "really become the cry of all the churches".

(c) Ecumenical News International