BOGOTA COLOMBIA.- The indigenous knower Antonio Bolívar, one of the protagonists of the acclaimed Latin American film “The embrace of the serpent“passed away this Friday due to the new coronavirus in the Colombian Amazon, various sources reported.
Bolívar, 75, died from covid-19 in a hospital in Leticia, capital of the Amazonas department, a person in charge of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC).
The abandoned Colombian Amazon suffers an outbreak of the disease, which so far leaves four dead and 104 infected in the area adjacent to Peru and Brazil, the Latin American nation hardest hit by the pandemic.
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The indigenous man was admitted on Thursday for “coronavirus symptoms” at the medical center where he finally died, explained Nelly Kuiru, coordinator of the Ca Jana Uai School of Indigenous Communication, of which Bolívar was a part, to the RCN radio station.
“He was a person who was quite abandoned as most of the grandparents are in the territory today,” added Kuiru.
Bolívar “was one of the last and greatest traditional experts of the Ocaina and Huitoto peoples”, who live in the Colombian Amazon, Lunar City, producer of the film “The Embrace of the Serpent”, wrote on his Facebook page. .
The indigenous leader played the role of the shaman Karamakate in the critically acclaimed film, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Oscar Awards and winner of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Art Cinema Award, among other awards.
Bolívar also stood out by parading on the red carpet for the biggest award in Hollywood wearing a crocodile tooth necklace and a sparrowhawk feather wreath in homage to Aboriginal identity.
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Directed by the Colombian Ciro Guerra, the feature film in black and white and spoken in indigenous languages was the first Oscar nomination for a Colombian film, although its production was made jointly with Argentina and Venezuela.
The film is inspired by the diaries of the German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg and the American biologist Richard Evans Schultes, who explored the Amazon River basin during the first half of the 20th century.