Colombian MMA fighter shows up to weigh-in covered in Amazon deforestation protests

Jack Baer
Fire consumes the jungle near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Brazilian state experts have reported a record of nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year, up 85% over the same period in 2018. Brazil contains about 60% of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
The Amazon rainforest is experiencing an 85 percent spike in wildfires this year. Most of them have been man-made. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

With man-made wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest, a Bellator fighter took her protests against deforestation to her own weigh-in.

Flyweight Alejandra Lara revealed a number of pro-Amazon messages as she weighed in for her upcoming fight against Taylor Turner on Saturday at Bellator 225.

In addition to messages like “Our Lungs Are on Fire!” and “Stop Deforestation,” Lara sported some war paint on her face. She’s actually done that before, telling the Cageside Press in 2018 that it comes from Amazonian tribes:

“It’s more about the indigenous culture. The warrior, indigenous culture that we have in Amazonia, and in some tribes from Colombia. It’s that.”

Lara went on to post her message in full on Instagram after the weigh-in.

Roughly translated, the caption reads:

It is not only because of what is happening, it is not only for Brazil ... I bring attention to the jungle because it needs it, because it is really time to do something for our future, to think that we only have one earth that is gravely ill and we have a government that doesn't want to do anything about it. We have to become aware of how serious our situation is and change on a personal level to have a future for the children. I'm ready to fight with everything, to represent my country, my continent ... my planet.

Lara is one of a legion of activists speaking out as the Amazon rainforest, which holds the largest collection of biodiversity in the world and creates 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen, has experienced an 85 percent spike in wildfires this year.

Lara’s native Colombia contains 10 percent of the Amazon rainforest.

While wildfires can be a natural phenomenon, the majority of Amazon fires are believed to be man-made as farmers and loggers attempt to clear out land for commercial purposes. The government of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has described the rainforest as an obstacle to economic development, has been a target for many critics.

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