According to the bishops, the Amazon continues to be negotiated as if it were private capital protected and fostered by the government. If 40 years ago it was the military dictatorship that left its mark, “today we live in an economic dictatorship,” they say. The description came from Bishop Leonardo Ulrich, secretary general of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), at the conclusion of the 10th Gathering of the Church in the Amazon, held here July 2-6. At the gathering, the Document of Santarém prepared by the bishops 40 years ago was reviewed and an evaluation done of the presence of the church in the Amazon region during the period since then. “A lot of water has flowed in the thousands of rivers and streams of the Amazon over those 40 years. Even so, there exist great similarities between the two periods, both marked by development, the accelerated economic miracles,” said the representative of the Missionary Indigenous Council (CIMI), Egon Heck, who also participated in the Santarém gathering.  “We are neither a colony nor a periphery of Brazil,” affirmed the bishop emeritus of Porto Velho, Moacyr Grecchi, when expressing his indignation because of the politics of neo-colonialism in the Amazon, promoted by the government.  Moacyr recalled the 1972 Document of Santarém, which he labeled “the identification card of the Church in the Amazon.” At that time four priorities for the work of the Catholic Church in the region were defined: