The Kalahari Bushmen have called on Leonardo DiCaprio for help in their battle with the Botswanan government over land rights.
DiCaprio‘s upcoming movie Blood Diamond focuses on how diamond mining in Africa has financed civil wars, and the Bushmen are currently fighting their government’s decision to evict them from their land in the Central Kalahari Desert while diamond companies prospect for the precious stones.
Bushman Roy Sesana writes to the Titanic star in Variety magazine, “Friends have told us that you are in a film, Blood Diamond, which shows how badly diamonds can hurt. We know this. When we were chased off our land, officials told us it was because of the diamond finds.
“Please help us, Sir. We know you are a famous and respected man, and that if you speak up for us many people will listen. We just want to go home, and hunt and gather and live in peace like we have always done.”
Actress Julie Christie has already offered her support to the Bushmen, saying, “Diamonds as the cause of misery and suffering are not a thing of the past. The Bushman evictions in Botswana are a clear demonstration that local people are still suffering because of these stones.”
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