Brazil: Opening of an investigation for “genocide” of the Yanomami

Spread the love

: opening of an investigation for “genocide” of the Yanomami” />

Members of the Yanomami nation in Roraima, Brazil, during the pandemic in 2020

Brazilian police have opened a 'genocide' investigation after official data released showing the death, in 2022, of a hundred children under the age of five in the Yanomami indigenous territory, announced Tuesday the Minister of Justice.

Separately, the government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sacked 43 soldiers from the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), who had been appointed under the previous administration of Jair Bolsonaro and who are suspected of failing to protect indigenous peoples. Indigenous rights.

“I decided yesterday to open a new police investigation into a possible genocide in this Yanomami territory. We consider that there are very strong indications of a denial of food and health assistance to these indigenous populations.

— Flavio Dino, Minister of Justice

The investigation, which targets public officials and health sector officials in this indigenous territory, will focus also on allegations of environmental crimes and misappropriation of public resources.

The Ministry of Health announced last week the death, in this isolated territory in the middle of the virgin forest, of 99 children under the age of five in 2022.

Among the causes of death, pneumonia, diarrhea and gastroenteritis, probably of infectious origin, as well as haemorrhage or severe malnutrition.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, invested on January 1, went to Boa Vista, in the state of Roraima, in the north of the country, where part of the Yanomami territory is located, on Saturday.

What I saw shook me, he said, referring to inhuman scenes when reporting on his visit.

Some 30,400 Aboriginal people live in the Yanomami lands, straddling not only Roraima and Amazonas states but also part of neighboring Venezuela.

The populations of these lands, supposed to be inviolable and where all mining is prohibited, are struggling to feed themselves due to the destruction of the rainforest, where they normally find their means of subsistence.

According to Yanomami chiefs, some 20,000 illegal gold diggers have invaded their territory, killing Aboriginal people, sexually abusing women and teenage girls, and contaminating their rivers with the mercury that separates the gold. gold from sediments.

The authorities have also found a very precarious health care structure on Yanomami land, said the Minister of Justice.

The announcement of the dismissal of 43 FUNAI soldiers was published in the official gazette late Monday. Indigenous Peoples Minister Sonia Guajajara, a portfolio created by the leftist government, welcomed it.

These men, appointed by Marcelo Xavier, an official in the federal police who chaired FUNAI in 2019-2020 and who was himself appointed by Bolsonaro, had an orientation totally opposed to the protection of indigenous rights, she accused.

Previous Article
Next Article