Portrait of Dr. Martin von Hildebrand who has a PhD in Ethnology and is the Director and Founder of Gaia Amazon Foundation. Hildebrand has dedicated his life since 1970 to the defense and promotion of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and to the conservation of the rain forest in the Colombian Amazon.
Journalist Roberta Staley and I met with Hildebrand in his sunny apartment in Bogota before we travelled down to Leticia, a small town located in the Amazon, only accessible by air or the Amazon river.
In the 1970’s the Indigenous People were still being exploited in rubber camps, and had no rights at all. These days with legislation spearheaded by Hildebrand now have the land rights to 26 million hectares of Amazon Forest and have in half of this territory their own governmental system officially recognized by the State and are managing their social and environmental programs.