Justiça Social e Saúde

19 de setembro, 2022

Bolsonaro threatens survival of Brazil’s Indigenous population, 2019

Deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest has accelerated at an alarming pace, imperilling the country’s Indigenous people, who depend entirely on the land for survival, and also weakening the rainforest’s crucial role in stabilising the global climate. According to the most recent satellite data, from July 1 to 25, 2019, 1864 km2 of Amazon forest were destroyed, more than triple that for all of July, 2018.

Brazil is home to almost 1 million Indigenous people spread among 300 tribes, about 100 of which are uncontacted. Emboldened by right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro’s pledge to abolish Indigenous reserves and open the land to commercial exploitation, illegal loggers, miners, and land-grabbers, often heavily armed, have infiltrated protected Indigenous territories. In the north of the country, for example, an estimated 20 000 illegal gold prospectors have entered the Yanomami reserve, one of Brazil’s largest Indigenous areas. Mining pollutes rivers with mercury and silt, erodes river banks, clears trees, and creates large pools of stagnant water—a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Furthermore, infiltrators can transmit diseases to which Indigenous people have little to no immunity.

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