Brother Paul McAuley from England has the support of the Institute as he faces expulsion from Peru. Earlier this month, he won the right to stay in Peru while fighting a government order expelling him from the country.
Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría is quoted in The News, a United Kingdom newspaper, expressing support for Brother Paul: “We express our solidarity with Brother Paul and resolutely support all efforts aimed at guaranteeing unrestricted respect for as much of the rights of Brother Paul as for our own congregation as an integral part of the Catholic Church in Peru.”
Brother Paul also has the backing of the Catholic Church and indigenous and human rights groups, including Amnesty International.
Peru’s government has accused Brother Paul of inciting unrest among indigenous people protesting against environmental destruction. He has lived in Peru for 20 years and most recently worked with people in Peru’s Amazon region-an area where the government has eased access for oil and gas companies. Brother Paul says he teaches Peruvians their environmental and human rights, while the government accuses him of political agitation.
Brother Paul denies breaking any law and told the BBC, “Education is often accused of inciting people to understand their rights, to be capable or organizing themselves to ensure their human rights.” He is also quoted as saying, “If that’s a crime, then yes I’m guilty.” “As a member of a Catholic order, my life’s been dedicated to human and Christian education,” he added.