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South American Leaders Join Anti-Davos Gathering

The presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador are calling for an overhaul of capitalism as they join thousands of anti-globalization activists at this year's World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Ecuador's Rafael Correa made their comments Thursday at the conference, which is intended to provide a counterweight to this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The two presidents are among five Latin American leaders scheduled to join an estimated 100,000 activists in Belem. Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo and Evo Morales of Bolivia are also taking part.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is to attend this year instead of traveling to the Davos forum.

The six-day World Social Forum, in its ninth year, is aimed at analyzing alternatives to capitalism, and comes this year in the midst of the global economic crisis.

An estimated 100,000 activists from 150 countries worldwide are participating in the forum, which opened Tuesday and ends on Sunday.

On Wednesday, delegates analyzed the plight of indigenous communities in the Amazon. They highlighted environmental concerns, such as deforestation and excessive farming.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.