Read in Catalan

The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, has caused surprise by singing a song in Catalan - to make an eloquent point about saving the Amazon.

The occasion was a summit meeting on the Amazon, held on Friday in the Colombian city of Leticia. Leaders or senior government figures from six South American countries were present: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Surinam and Guyana. Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro took part via videoconference.

The Ecuadorean leader performed the tune Pare, by Catalan singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat, to the other officials at the summit table. Accompanied by keyboards, Moreno sang the Catalan lyrics, which have a clear ecological message.

Joan Manuel Serrat's lyrics are a lament from a son to his father, as he describes the environmental destruction he sees all around him. Here is the part that the Ecuadorean president is shown singing in the video, with translation:

Pare, ja són aquí
Monstres de carn amb cucs de ferro
Pare, no, no tingeu por
Digueu que no, que jo us espero
Pare, que estan matant la terra
Pare, deixeu de plorar 
Que ens han declarat la guerra

Father, they are here
Monsters of meat with worms of steel 
Father, no, don't be afraid
Say no, I'm waiting for you
Father, they are killing the earth
Father, stop crying
They've declared war on us

Visibly emotional after singing the song in Catalan, Lenin Moreno also told the summit meeting: "It is time to stop acting as victims. We must all take responsibility for what is happening."

Joan Manuel Serrat released the song Pare on his 1973 album Per al meu amic. Below, a live performance of the entire song from 1994.