The Brazilian government is planning to open up the land of uncontacted tribes to deadly exploitation, by scrapping the emergency orders that currently protect their territories.
This article originally appeared on Survival International’s website.
Featured image: Tamandua and Baita, two Piripkura men who are among the last survivors of their people. Their territory is shielded by the Land Protection Orders, but at imminent risk of being overrun by loggers and landgrabbers.
© Bruno Jorge
Experts say the plan could drive several uncontacted tribes to extinction, and destroy around 1 million hectares of rainforest – an area twice the size of Delaware.
These tribes are especially vulnerable as their territories are not officially mapped out and protected. Currently the only thing standing between them and well-funded and heavily-armed loggers, ranchers and land-grabbers are the orders (known in Brazil as “Restrições de uso” injunctions).
Seven territories are currently protected by these orders, most of which have to be renewed every few years. Three of them are due to expire between September and December 2021, and are particularly vulnerable.
The Kawahiva are one of the tribes whose territories are covered by the Land Protection Orders. Still from unique footage taken by government agents during a chance encounter. © FUNAI
One of these protects the forest home of the last of the Piripkura tribe – after a series of massacres only three members of this tribe are known to exist, though some studies indicate others may still survive in the depths of the forest. A recent study by Brazilian NGO ISA showed that 962 hectares of forest in the Piripkura territory were razed last year, the equivalent of more than 1,000 football pitches.
President Bolsonaro and allies are targeting these tribes’ territories, which remain vulnerable until they are fully demarcated as indigenous lands. A Senator close to Bolsonaro, for example, is demanding that the Ituna Itatá territory be dramatically reduced in size, while state and federal politicians allied to powerful logging, ranching and agribusiness interests target other territories. President Bolsonaro is highly sympathetic to these deadly land-grabbing efforts, and has explicitly said he wants to open up all indigenous territories for exploitation.
COIAB (the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon), OPI (Human Rights Watch of Isolated and Initial Contact Indigenous Peoples) and Survival – today launched a new video to expose Bolsonaro’s plan. They’re calling for the Brazilian government to renew the Land Protection Orders; evict all invaders; fully protect the territories; and #StopBrazilsGenocide.
Angela Kaxuyana, one of COIAB’s Coordinators, said today: “No more massacres! We won’t allow any more invasions! It’s vital that indigenous peoples and the organizations of the Amazon, and all civil society, mobilize to prevent the territories where the isolated indigenous peoples live from being handed over to loggers, land grabbers, gold miners and other forest predators to destroy. If the Bolsonaro government ends the Land Protection Orders, it will be yet another disaster and attack against the lives of these peoples, which is part of the grand plan to dismantle the indigenous policy in our country.
“We need to prevent more lives from being lost in this (un)government, we’ll carry on defending our rights to life, and those of our relatives who live autonomously in their territories.”
Fabrício Amorim of OPI said: “Land Protection Orders are a cutting-edge tool of public policy in Brazil, which can be deployed quickly to safeguard the lives and land rights of uncontacted indigenous peoples. They’re the highest expression of the precautionary principle, provided for in national and international laws. Doing away with them will mean the extermination of indigenous peoples, or some groups of them, without there even being time to recognize their existence in order to guarantee their rights. It will silence little-known lives and impoverish humanity. Therefore, it’s vital to strengthen these instruments, start demarcating these areas and remove all invaders.”
Elias Bígio, former head of the Uncontacted Tribes unit at Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Agency FUNAI, said today: “The Piripkura’s land has been occupied by aggressive and violent people who are destroying the environment and threatening everyone.
“The uncontacted Piripkura have shown that they don’t want contact. They don’t have the security of contact with ‘our’ society, given the traumatic relationship they’ve had with the invaders. They’re there in the forest, and they’ve devised strategies to protect themselves and survive. They’ve managed to survive and are there, hidden, restricted to a small territory, and claiming this territory for themselves.”
Sarah Shenker, Coordinator of Survival’s Uncontacted Tribes campaign, said today: “The future of several uncontacted tribes living in territories shielded by emergency Land Protection Orders will be decided this year. They have already experienced land theft and appalling violence and killings at the hands of outsiders. The orders are currently the only thing standing between them and certain death.
“The ranchers’ and politicians’ plot to rip up the orders, steal these lands, and wipe out the uncontacted tribes who live there, is one branch of many in the Bolsonaro government’s genocidal attack on Brazil’s indigenous peoples, and it must be blocked. Over the coming months, uncontacted tribes’ allies in Brazil and around the world will be campaigning non-stop for the orders to be renewed, all invaders evicted, and the forests to be fully protected. Only then can the uncontacted tribes survive and thrive.”
Notes to Editors
– Representatives from COIAB, OPAN, OPI and Survival are available for interview.
– The uncontacted tribal territories currently shielded by the Land Protection Orders are:
Territory | Expiration date | Area in Hectares
Piripkura (Mato Grosso) | 18 Sep 2021 | 243,000
Jacareúba/Katawixi (Amazonas) | 08 Dec 2021 | 647,000
Pirititi (Roraima) | 05 Dec 2021 | 43,000
Ituna Itatá (Pará) | 09 Jan 2022 | 142,000
Tanaru (Rondonia) | 26 Oct 2025 | 8,000
Igarapé Taboca do Alto Tarauacá (Acre) | Until the demarcation process is complete | 287
Kawahiva do Rio Pardo (Mato Grosso) | Until the demarcation process is complete | 412,000
In this article Survival International draw attention to the impact of the corona virus on indigenous people, compounded further by persecution from President Bolsonaro. Survival International seek to amplify the voices of indigenous people, protecting their land and heritage.
Featured image: Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil
© Agencia Brasil CC-BY-3.0-BR
Brazil’s indigenous people are being decimated by a crippling second wave of Covid-19, at the same time as President Bolsonaro ramps up his campaign of persecution against them.
Indigenous organization APIB has confirmed that 962 indigenous people have died of the virus in Brazil, while 48,405 people have tested positive. Ten children died in January in just two Yanomami communities.
According to figures from COIAB, the Coordinating Body for Indigenous Organizations in the Brazilian Amazon, the mortality rate among indigenous people in the Amazon region is a staggering 58% higher than that of the general population, while the infection rate is 68% higher.
The Amazonian city of Manaus – home to around 30,000 indigenous people – has been seriously hit, and urgent assistance for areas further away from hospitals remains particularly precarious. Once the virus reaches indigenous communities in the forest, particularly recently contacted and uncontacted tribes’ territories, the results can be devastating, and many uncontacted tribes’ territories have already been invaded by loggers, miners and settlers.
Manaus is the only city in Amazonas state with an intensive care ward – and oxygen is already in short supply.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic in Brazil has drawn national and international condemnation, and his government has been accused of carrying out an “institutional strategy for the spread of coronavirus.”
Bolsonaro’s list of anti-indigenous policies is well documented and amounts to a genocide against Brazil’s first peoples. Having recently won control of both houses of Brazil’s Congress, Bolsonaro has laid out his priorities by attempting to push through a controversial mining bill, which would further the elimination of indigenous rights in Brazil.
While vaccination programmes have started to roll out across the country, as of December 2020, Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Agency FUNAI had only spent 52% of its budget to tackle the pandemic, according to APIB.
Meanwhile, indigenous communities continue to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves from Covid-19. Antonio Guajajara, the leader of Maçaranduba community in Maranhão state, said:
“It’s no coincidence that many indigenous lands are being invaded, and this means the disease is spreading more and more. The last thing that should happen at a time like this is for the Brazilian government to give more support to these large-scale invasions… but they are, and this is making things worse… We’ve been taking measures around our territory… Thanks to our work to protect our village and our land, the disease has not entered our territory.”
This article was published on February 15, 2021 in Survival International, a campaign group that supports and resists alongside indigenous people all over the world.
Editor’s note: DGR is not affiliated with the Secret Forest Society (Sociedade Secreta Silvestre) and does not endorse their statements or actions. This article is only for informational purposes. Some content in this article was sourced from the Rio Times Online.
by Liam Campbell
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s openly fascist President, is loathed by groups who care about preventing climate collapse and protecting the Earth’s last healthy ecosystems. According to the Guardian, Bolsonaro’s policies are now resulting in 3 football fields per minute of rainforest destruction, and scientists fear that the Amazon is reaching a critical tipping point, beyond which it will be impossible to save. If that “point of no return” is breached it will result in massive forest fires, which will release an immense amount of sequested CO2 into the atmosphere, accelerating climate collapse and annihilating one of the Earth’s sources of oxygen. Violence is also increasing and loggers have begun killing indigenous leaders and resistors from the over 400 tribes who call the forest home. Bolsonaro has overseen major funding cuts and firings at the Brazilian indigenous affair agency, which has gutted the few remaining governmental protections for these people.
Presumably this is why the Secret Forest Society (Sociedade Secreta Silvestre) have now targeted Bolsonaro for assassination. Two weeks ago, Veja Magazine interviewed one of the leaders of the Secret Forest Society (SSS), a branch of an international organization called the Individuals Tending Toward the Wild (ITS). The leader, identified as Anhangá, claimed that Bolsonaro was supposed to be executed on the day of his inauguration, but they were temporarily foiled by an unexpected security presence. Since then Bolsonaro has cancelled several key events, including an open car parade. Anhangá stated “We could easily blend in and carry out this attack, but the risk was enormous (…), so it would be suicidal. We didn’t want that.”
It is unclear how or when the Secret Forest Society plans to assassinate Jair Bolsonaro, but their affiliates in the ITS have been linked to letter bombs, University explosions, and the successful assassination of a biotechnology researcher. Their organization claims to stand up against people and systems that lead to environmental destruction, and they advocate for using extreme measures against nature’s enemies.
An excerpt from the book Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet, Chapter 13: “Tactics and Targets.”
This leads us to the last major underground tactic: assassination.
In talking about assassination (or any attack on humans) in the context of resistance, two key questions must be asked. First, is the act strategically beneficial, that is, would assassination further the strategy of the group? Second, is the act morally just, given the person in question? (The issue of justice is necessarily particular to the target; it’s assumed that the broader strategy incorporates aims to increase justice.)
As is shown on my two-by-two grid of all combinations (see Figure 13-3), an assassination may be strategic and just, it may be strategic and unjust, it may be unstrategic but just, or it may be both unstrategic and unjust. Obviously, any action in the last category would be out of the question. Any action in the strategic and just category could be a good bet for an armed resistance movement. The other two categories are where things get complex.
Hitler exemplified a number of different strategy vs. justice combinations at different points in time. It’s a common moral quandary to ask whether it would be a good idea to go back in time and kill Hitler as a child, provided time travel were possible. There’s a good bet that this would have averted World War II and the Holocaust, which would have been a good thing, so put a check mark in the “strategic” column. The problem is that most people would consider it unjust to murder an innocent child who had yet to commit any crimes, so it would be difficult to call that action just in the immediate sense.
Once Hitler had risen to power in the late 1930s, though, his aim was clear, as he had already been whipping up hate and expanding his control of Nazi Germany. At that point, it would have been both strategic and just to assassinate him. Indeed, elements in the Wehrmacht (army) and the Abwehr (intelligence) considered it, because they knew what Hitler was planning to do. Unfortunately, they were indecisive, and did not commit to the plan. Hitler soon began invading Germany’s neighbors, and as his popularity soared, the assassination plan was shelved. It was years before inside elements would actually stage an assassination attempt.
That famous attempt took place—and failed—on July 20, 1944.
What’s interesting is that the Allies were also considering an attempt on Hitler’s life, which they called Operation Foxley. They knew that Hitler routinely went on walks alone in a remote area, and devised a plan to parachute in two operatives dressed as German officers, one of them a sniper, who would lay in wait and assassinate Hitler when he walked by. The plan was never enacted because of internal controversy. Many in the SOE and British government believed that Hitler was a poor strategist, a maniac whose overreach would be his downfall. If he were assassinated, they believed, his replacement (likely Himmler) would be a more competent leader, and this would draw out the war and increase Allied losses. In the opinion of the Allies it was unquestionably just to kill Hitler, but no longer strategically beneficial (Figure 13-4).
There is no shortage of situations where assassination would have been just, but of questionable strategic value. Resistance groups pondering assassination have many questions to ask themselves in deciding whether they are being strategic or not. What is the value of this potential target to the enemy? Is this an exceptional person or does his or her influence come from his or her role in the organization? Who would replace this person, and would that person be better or worse for the struggle? Will it make any difference on an organizational scale or is the potential target simply an interchangeable cog? Uniquely valuable individuals make uniquely valuable targets for assassination by resistance groups.
Of course, in a military context (and this overlaps with attacks on troops), snipers routinely target officers over enlisted soldiers. In theory, officers or enlisted soldiers are standardized and replaceable, but, in practice, officers constitute more valuable targets. There’s a difference between theoretical and practical equivalence; there might be other officers to replace an assassinated one, but the replacement might not arrive in a timely manner nor would he have the experience of his predecessor (experience being a key reason that Michael Collins assassinated intelligence officers). That said, snipers don’t just target officers. Snipers target any enemy soldiers available, because war is essentially about destroying the other side’s ability to wage war.
The benefits must also outweigh costs or side effects. Resistance members may be captured or killed in the attempt. Assassination also provokes a major response—and major reprisals—because it is a direct attack on those in power. When SS boss Reinhard Heydrich (“the butcher of Prague”) was assassinated in 1942, the Nazis massacred more than 1,000 Czech people in response. In Canada, martial law (via the War Measures Act) has only ever been declared three times—during WWI and WWII, and again after the assassination of the Quebec Vice Premier of Quebec by the Front de Libération du Québec. Remember, aboveground allies may bear the brunt of reprisals for assassinations, and those reprisals can range from martial law and police crackdowns to mass arrests or even executions.
There’s an important distinction to be made between assassination as an ideological tactic versus as a military tactic. As a military tactic, employed by countless snipers in the history of war, assassination decisively weakens the adversary by killing people with important experience or talents, weakening the entire organization. Assassination as an ideological tactic—attacking or killing prominent figures because of ideological disagreements—almost always goes sour, and quickly. There are few more effective ways to create martyrs and trigger cycles of violence without actually accomplishing anything decisive. The assassination of Michael Collins, for example, by his former allies led only to bloody civil war.
Editor’s note: Land defenders, especially indigenous land defenders, are at risk across the world, more so in some places than others. In their fight to protect their communities and their land, they directly confront structures of power, challenging the powerful’s sense of entitlement. In order to maintain the status quo, the powerful employ any means necessary to silence the resistors. In some places, this may take the form of political and legal attack, in others, this may lead to murder. Either way, the objective of such repression is not merely to silence one voice, but to set an example, to shut down those hundreds of voices which may have been raised in resistance. This strategy has been used through history.
Even so, resistance lives on. Where the repression becomes strong, defenders find new ways to adapt to their political situation and to continue fighting the powerful. Statistics say that one land defender is killed every two days. While it is necessary to hold the states accountable for these unlawful killings, it is also important for defenders to take measures to protect themselves. This may include being familiar with the laws of one’s region, or to learn self-defense, or whatever is appropriate for one’s situation. Following rules of security culture may help in increasing security for defenders.
“I could tell you that, around the world, three people are killed every week while trying to protect their land, their environment, from extractive forces. I could tell you that this has been going on for decades, with the numbers killed in recent years hitting over 200 each year. And I could tell you, as this report does, that a further 200 defenders were murdered in the last year alone. But these numbers are not made real until you hear some of the names of those who died.” – Dr. Vandana Shiva
“This story was originally published by Grist. You can subscribe to its weekly newsletter here.”
By Joseph Lee/Grist
In Brazil, two Yanomami children drowned after getting sucked into a dredging machine used by illegal gold miners. A 14 year old Pataxó child was shot in the head during a conflict over land in the northeastern Bahia state. A Guarani Kaiowá person was killed by military police during a clash over a farm the Guarani had reclaimed from settlers. “There has been an increase in the amount of conflict – socio and environmental conflict – in our lands,” said Dinamam Tuxá, of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Brazil’s largest coalition of Indigenous groups. ”It’s destroying communities and it’s destroying our forests.”
Between 2011 and 2021, at least 342 land defenders were killed in Brazil – more than any other country – and roughly a third of those murdered were Indigenous or Afro-descendant. That’s according to a new report by Global Witness, an international human rights group, that documents over 1,700 killings of land and environment defenders globally during the same time period. The report says that on average, a land defender is killed every other day, but suggests that those numbers are likely an undercount and paints a grim picture of violence directed at communities fighting resource extraction, land grabs, and climate change.
“We will continue to protest, we will continue to show up.” -Dinamam Tuxá, APIB
“All over the world, Indigenous peoples, environmental activists, and other land and environmental defenders risk their lives for the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss,” reads the report. “They play a crucial role as a first line of defense against ecological collapse, yet are under attack themselves facing violence, criminalisation and harassment perpetuated by repressive governments and companies prioritizing profit over human and environmental harm.”
After Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia recorded the most killings: 270 and 322, respectively. Together all three countries make up more than half of the attacks recorded in the global report.
In the Philippines, Indigenous and local environmental activists have been fighting huge infrastructure projects like the Kaliwa Dam and the Oceana Gold Mine, both of which Indigenous leaders say threaten their land and the environment. According to Global Witness, over 40% of the defenders killed in the Philippines were Indigenous peoples.
“It’s clear that the government has not taken this crisis seriously,” said Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator at Palikasan People’s Network for the Environment. “This statistic has not been recognized in any way by the Philippine government, despite the crucial role environmental defenders play in the fight against climate change.”
According to Global Witness, those statistics are uncertain due to a lack of free press and other independent monitoring systems around the world and other types of violence are also not counted in the report. “We know that beyond killings, many defenders and communities also experience attempts to silence them, with tactics like death threats, surveillance, sexual violence, or criminalization – and that these kinds of attacks are even less well reported,” Global Witness said.
An April report from the nonprofit Business and Human Rights Resource Centre documented some of those other tactics, tracking 3,800 attacks, including killings, beatings, and death threats, against land defenders since January 2015. But even those numbers aren’t the complete picture. “We know the problem is much more severe than these figures indicate,” Christen Dobson, senior program manager for the BHRRC and an author of the report said at the time.
The Global Witness report’s authors say governments should enforce laws that already protect land defenders, pass new laws if necessary, and hold companies to international human rights standards. Global Witness also says companies should respect international human rights like free, prior, and informed consent, implement zero-tolerance policies for attacks on land defenders, and adopt a rights-based approach to combating climate change. The report specifically calls on the European Union to strengthen its proposed corporate sustainability due diligence law by adding a climate framework and more accountability measures for financial institutions.
While international advocacy offers some hope for Indigenous leaders on the front lines, those leaders also know that they have to keep fighting to protect their land, lives, and environment. In Brazil, resistance to Indigenous land demarcation and advocacy for resource extraction in the Amazon pushed by President Jair Bolsonaro, has led to record deforestation in the Amazon since he took office in 2019. Dinamam Tuxá and other Indigenous leaders in Brazil are hopeful that the upcoming presidential election may lead to change, but remain skeptical. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president and current leading candidate, has promised better treatment for Indigenous peoples in Brazil but Tuxá says that Indigenous peoples cannot rest all their hopes on politicians.
“President Lula would not solve the problems of Indigenous peoples,” Tuxá said. “Regardless of who gets elected we will continue to protest, we will continue to show up.”
Names of environmentalists murdered in 2021, by country
By Elisabeth Schneiter / Facebook
“Joannah Stutchbury loved trees, practiced permaculture, was an environmentalist, and bravely advocated for the environment, with a fiery and unwavering passion.” And she was wonderfully crazy and full of life and joy to be alive. She was shot dead on her way home in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2021. “
- Elías Garay
- Lino Peña Vaca
- Aldenir dos Santos Macedo
- Alex Barros Santos da Silva
- Amaral José Stoco Rodrigues
- Amarildo Aparecido Rodrigues
- Ângelo Venicius Henrique Mozer
- Antônio Gonçalves Diniz
- Eliseu Pedroso
- Fernando dos Santos Araújo
- Getúlio Coutinho dos Santos
- Isac Tembé
- João de Deus Moreira Rodrigues
- José do Carmo Corrêa Júnior
- José Francisco de Souza Araújo
- José Vane Guajajara
- Kevin Fernando Holanda de Souza
- Marcelo Chaves Ferreira
- Maria da Luz Benício de Sousa
- Maria José Rodrigues
- Rafael Gasparini Tedesco
- Reginaldo Alves Barros
- Roberto Muniz Campista
- Roberto Pereira da Silva Pandolfe
- Sidinei Floriano Da Silva
- Wagner Romão da Silva
- Jordan Liempi Machacan
- Ángel Miro Cartagena
- Argenis Yatacué
- Aura Esther García Peñalver
- Cristian Torres Cifuentes
- Danilo Torres
- Dilio Bailarín
- Edwin Antonio Indaburo
- Efrén España
- Fermiliano Meneses Hoyos
- Fredy Pestana Herrera
- Gonzalo Cardona Molina
- Ilia Pilcué Yule
- Jaime Enrique Basilio Basilio
- Jair Adán Roldán Morales
- Jhon Alberto Pascal
- Jhon Edward Martinez
- John Albeiro Paí Pascal
- José Riascos
- José Santos López
- Juana Panesso Dumasá
- Luis Alfonso Narváez Escobar
- Marcelino Yatacué Ipia
- Marcos Fidel Camayo Guetio
- Nazaria Calambás Tunubalá
- Noel Corsini Zúñiga
- Rafael Domicó Carupia
- Remberto Arrieta Bohórquez
- Rogelio López Figueroa
- Sandra Liliana Peña Chocué
- Víctor Orlando Mosquera
- Wilson de Jesús López
- Yarley Margarito Salas
- Yordan Eduardo Guetio
Democratic Republic of Congo
- Alexis Kamate Mundunaenda
- Emery Bizimana Karabaranga
- Eric Kibanja Bashekere
- Etienne Mutazimiza Kanyaruchinya
- Innocent Paluku Budoyi
- Prince Nzabonimpa Ntamakiriro
- Reagan Maneno Kataghalirwa
- Surumwe Burhani Abdou
- Andrés Durazno
- Nange Yeti
- Víctor Enrique Guaillas Gutama
- Jean François Ndong Abaume
- Alberto Tec Caal
- Emilio Aguilar Jiménez
- Ramón Jiménez
- Regilson Choc Cac
- Celenia Bonilla
- David Fernando Padilla
- Juan Carlos Cerros Escalante
- Juan Manuel Moncada
- Martín Abad Pandy
- Nelson García
- Óscar Javier Pérez
- Víctor Martínez
- Kawasi Waga
- Daljeet Singh
- Gurvinder Singh
- Lavepreet Singh
- Maynal Haque
- Nakshatra Singh
- Saddam Husaain
- Sheikh Farid
- Stan Swamy
- T Shridhar
- Uika Pandu
- Ursa Bhima
- Venkatesh S
- Vipin Agarwal
- Joannah Stutchbury
- Alejandro García Zagal
- Artemio Arballo Canizalez
- Benjamín Pórtela Peralta
- Braulio Pérez Sol
- Carlos Marqués Oyorzábal
- David Díaz Valdez
- Donato Bautista Avendaño
- Fabián Sombra Miranda
- Fabián Valencia Romero
- Federico de Jesús Gutiérrez
- Fidel Heras Cruz
- Flor de Jesús Hernández
- Gerardo Mendoza Reyes
- Gustavo Acosta Hurtado
- Heladio Molina Zavala
- Irma Galindo Barrios
- Isaías Elacio Palma
- Isidoro Hernández
- Jacinto Hernández Quiroz
- Jaime Jiménez Ruiz
- Jesús Solórzano Díaz
- Jordán Terjiño Luna
- José Ascensión Carrillo Vázquez
- José de Jesús Robledo Cruz
- José de Jesús Sánchez García
- José Santos Isaac Chávez
- Juan Justino Galaviz Cruz
- Lea Juárez Valenzuela
- Leobardo Hernández Regino
- Leocadio Galaviz Cruz
- Luis Urbano Domínguez Mendoza
- Manuel Cartas Pérez
- Manuel Hidalgo Vázquez
- Marcelino Álvarez González
- Marco Antonio Arcos Fuentes
- Marco Antonio Jiménez de la Torre
- Marcos Quiroz Riaño
- María de Jesús Gómez Vega
- Martín Hurtado Flores
- Mayolo Quiroz Barrios
- Miguel Bautista Avendaño
- Narciso López Vasquez
- Noé Robles Cruz
- Oliverio Martínez Merino
- Pedro Lunez Pérez
- Ramiro Rodríguez Santiz
- Ramiro Ventura Apolonio
- Raymundo Robles Riaño
- Rodrigo Morales Vázquez
- Rolando Pérez González
- Simón Pedro Pérez López
- Tomás Rojo Valencia
- Vicente Suástegui Muñoz
- Víctor Manuel Vázquez de la Torre
- Albert Jairo Hernández Palacio
- Armando Pérez Medina
- Armando Suarez Matamoros
- Bonifacio Dixon Francis
- Borlan Gutiérrez Empra
- Dolvin Acosta
- J.L.P. or J.R.B
- Jaoska Jarquín Gutiérrez
- Kedelin Jarquín Gutiérrez
- Martiniano Julián Macario Samuel
- Morgan Pantin
- Ody James Waldan Salgado
- Romel Simon Kely
- Sixto Gutiérrez Empra
- Víctor Manuel Matamoros Morales
- Peru Estela Casanto Mauricio
- Herasmo García Grau
- Lucio Pascual Yumanga
- Luis Tapia Meza
- Mario Marco López Huanca
- Santiago Meléndez Dávila
- Yenes Ríos Bonsano
- Abner Esto
- Ana Marie Lemita-Evangelista
- Angel Rivas
- Antonio “Cano” Arellano
- Ariel Evangelista
- Edward Esto
- Emanuel Asuncion
- John Heredia
- Joseph Canlas
- Juan Macababbad
- Julie Catamin
- Lenie Rivas
- Mark Lee Bacasno
- Melvin Dasigao
- Puroy Dela Cruz
- Randy Dela Cruz
- Romeo Loyola Torres
- Steve Abua
- Willy Rodriguez
- Carmen Lusdary Rondón
- Miguel Antonio Rivas Morales
- Nelson Martín Pérez Rodríguez
- Wilmer José Castro
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Want to learn more? This report by Global Witness discusses the issue elaborately outlining the situation in different countries, including with stories of the defenders who have been killed.
Featured Image Brazilian land defenders memorial by Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images on Grist
This article originally appeared in Survival International.
Featured image: Piripkura men Baita and Tamandua, photographed during an encounter with a FUNAI unit. The two men, who are uncle and nephew, have had sporadic interactions with the local FUNAI team, but returned to live in the forest.
© Bruno Jorge
New overflight photos have revealed that the land of one of the world’s most vulnerable uncontacted tribes is being illegally invaded and destroyed for beef production.
The land invasion now underway is in flagrant violation of a 6-month Land Protection Order issued in September which bans all outsiders from the Piripkura Indigenous Territory.
Only two members of Brazil’s Piripkura tribe are known to live in the territory, though others are also believed to live there, having retreated to the depths of the forest. Many Piripkura have been killed in past massacres.
The overflight was conducted last month for the “Uncontacted or Destroyed” campaign and petition organized by COIAB (the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon) and OPI (the Observatory for the Human Rights of Uncontacted and Recently Contacted Indigenous Peoples), with the support of APIB (Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil), ISA (Instituto Socioambiental) and Survival International.
The campaign has just released a dossier “Piripkura: an indigenous territory being destroyed for beef production.“ It’s revealed:
– Land clearances for cattle ranching have now reached an area where the uncontacted Piripkura are known to live.
– Roads, fencing and even an airstrip have been constructed, and hundreds of cattle brought in.
– The rate of deforestation in the territory has “exploded” – by more than 27,000% in the last two years.
OPI has also released a report on the invasion of the Piripkura lands. Their research has revealed that the Piripkura’s is now the most deforested uncontacted indigenous territory in Brazil. More than 12,000 hectares has already been destroyed.
The Uncontacted or Destroyed campaign highlights several uncontacted territories currently shielded by Land Protection Orders which are due to expire soon.
The only contacted Piripkura, a woman known as Rita, recently told Survival in a unique video appeal that outsiders operating illegally inside her people’s territory could soon kill her relatives, and described how nine of her relatives were massacred in one attack.
Sarah Shenker, head of Survival’s Uncontacted Tribes campaign, said today: “There could be no greater proof of the total impunity – indeed, active support – that land invaders enjoy under President Bolsonaro than this: commercial ranching operations in a vitally important indigenous territory that’s supposed to be protected by law. The invaders are fast approaching the uncontacted Piripkura. They’re resisting with all their might, and so must we. Only a major public outcry can prevent the genocide of the Piripkura and other uncontacted tribes. And an added bonus? A far cheaper and more effective way to protect Amazon rainforest than the fatal ‘solutions’ pushed by governments at COP.”
Elias Bigio of OPAN said today: “That area we flew over has been newly-cleared for beef production. They’ve already logged it, now they’re turning it into pasture for cattle.”
OPI said: “The Indigenous Territory and the Piripkura are extremely threatened. It’s the same thing that’s happened in other uncontacted tribes’ territories – the destruction is the ‘Bolsonaro Effect’, as it’s accelerated since 2019.”