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Ilzamar Mendes lectures at Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - November 5, 1999

Ilzamar, widower of late environmentalist Chico Mendes, gives first lecture in the United States, special guest of weeklong celebration

(New Orleans)—Ilzamar Gadelha Mendes, widow of Francisco "Chico" Alves Mendes, will lecture at Loyola University New Orleans Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1999, in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Mendes will discuss "The Legacy of Chico Mendes."

Chico was a land conservationist and a rubber tapper in the Amazon forest. He was assassinated in 1988 for his work in defense of the rainforest and his people’s ecologically sustainable way of life. Not long after the killing, which took place in front of Ilzamar and her two children, Ilzamar became president of the Chico Mendes Foundation. She has carried on her husband’s work and is known globally for her work on behalf of ecological sustainability and social justice. Although, the Mendes’ story often has been told in films, magazine articles and books, Ilzamar has never been interviewed. This is not only her first trip to America, but it is her first opportunity to discuss her husband’s life and work in her own words.

In addition to Ilzamar’s lecture, there are weeklong activities planned in recognition of her visit. Scheduled events include:

Friday, December 3—"Voice of the Rainforest," a documentary on the life and work of Chico Mendes, leader of the Brazilian rubber tappers. Loyola University, Bobet Hall, Room 332, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 4—Art exhibit opening: Jacqueline Bishop, author of Em Memória Chico Mendes will show an installation of "Terra’ and new paintings from the Orchid Series. Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St., 6–8 p.m.

Monday, December 6—Presentation by Jake Kreilick of the National Forest Protection Alliance. He will speak on the preservation of national forests and show a short video on ending logging of national forests. Loyola University, Danna Center, Octavia I, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 6—Lecture by Professor Antonio Torres Montenegro titled "Where the World is the Land and the Land is the Village: The Struggle of the Pernambuco Indians for their Culture and for the Rainforest." Montenegro is from northwestern Brazil and has worked with the indigenous peoples. Loyola University, Danna Center, Audubon Room, 7:30 p.m.