Brazil’s new president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, has said Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government has launched a mass attack on the Yanomami in the Amazon amid public outrage over the humanitarian catastrophe in the country’s largest indigenous territory. He was accused of committing a massacre.
Lula traveled to the Amazon state of Roraima on Saturday to blame the plight of the Yanomami tribe, who are believed to be protected.
“What I saw in Roraima was more than a humanitarian crisis, it was a genocide. murmured On Sunday, the day after visiting an overcrowded clinic for Yanomami patients in Boavista, Roraima’s capital.
Lula’s Minister of Justice, Flavio Dino, Said He will order federal police to investigate “strong indications” that the Yanomami have suffered crime, including genocide. Also religious group.
Horrifying photos of emaciated Yanomami children and adults surfaced on the eve of Lula’s trip, revealing the scale of the health crisis facing the region’s estimated 30,000 indigenous people.
“The photos really shocked me because I can’t understand how a country like Brazil can disrespect its indigenous citizens so much.”
Lula, who took office on January 1, said during Bolsonaro’s 2019-2022 government, thousands of wildcat miners who abandoned indigenous communities and flooded the Portuguese-sized Yanomami enclaves. He accused his far-right predecessor of emboldening the people.
These miners pollute rivers, devastate forests, deprive remote Yanomami communities of their primary food sources, animals such as fish and monkeys and wild boars, while also spreading malaria and killing government health workers. thwarted the efforts of
“As well as the neglect and neglect of the previous administration, the main cause of this genocide is the invasion of 20,000 illegal miners whose existence the former president encouraged. It is causing destruction and death,” Lula wrote, promising “no more genocide.”
Before flying to Roraima and speaking with Lula, Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajala, said her absolute priority was to protect Yanomami children from exorbitant levels of malaria, pests, malnutrition and diarrhea. said it was a matter. “According to the information we have, a child dies of one of these diseases every 72 hours,” Guajajara said, calling for the miners to be deported within the next three months. .
On Sunday, another key ally of Lula, former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, said the 570 Yanomami children who had reportedly died from starvation or mercury poisoning since 2019 were called “the Yanomami.” He said it was evidence of a massacre.
“There is a motive. The greed of the miners who encroached on their land. And there is the perpetrator: Jair Bolsonaro, who defended this invasion and denied medical assistance to the indigenous people,” Rusev wrote on Twitter. .
Rusev: “Everyone responsible, including Bolsonaro, must be prosecuted, tried and punished for genocide” Added.
Bolsonaro denied responsibility and called such accusations a “left-wing farce”. The former president, known for his bigoted remarks against blacks and indigenous peoples, has claimed that health care for indigenous peoples is one of his government’s priorities.
But activists dismiss such claims, pointing to a nearly 60% increase in deforestation in the Amazon thanks to Bolsonaro’s dismantling of environmental and indigenous protections.
‘It was a blood government,’ says Yanomami leader Heclali Jr. told the Guardian last month in Boavista.
During a campaign visit to Roraima ahead of the 2018 presidential election, Bolsonaro warned supporters that foreign rivals could encroach on indigenous territory. “Sooner or later other powers may turn these areas into other countries,” Bolsonaro said of the reserves he believed should be opened for commercial development.
But it was illegal miners, including at least one billionaire businessman with ties to Bolsonaro, who laid siege to the Yanomami lands. Garimpeiros [small-scale miners] Under Bolsonaro, it jumped from 5,000 to 20,000.
Critics have accused the Bolsonaro regime of doing nothing to stop the growing Yanomami disaster.
Heckler Said He has sent some 50 petitions to the Bolsonaro government for help as a result of the gold mining invasion and the surge in malnutrition, malaria and deaths. “He ignored our cries for help,” the activist tweeted Saturday.