Lula promises to definitively expel illegal mining from indigenous territories

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Lula commits to definitively expel illegal mining from indigenous territories

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva obtained almost 100% of the votes in many indigenous communities in the elections that ended the era of Jair Bolsonaro. “It was not fraud, but a request for help,” explained Mr. the geographer and activist Aiala Colares. Lula has just participated in the 52ª General Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazonian state of Roraima. there listened to again desperate calls for help. “We are going to definitively expel the (illegal) miners from these lands,” guaranteed the president. the Brazilian president. Never before had a head of state made such a commitment in this type of meeting, let alone in front of 2,500 representatives of nine ethnic groups, including the Yanomami, Macuxi and Wapichana. “Even though there is gold in Roraima, that gold does not belong to anyone. It is there because nature put it there. No one has the right to touch it without permission from the indigenous people,” he said.

“Keep your word,” he begged. Maria Betània Mota, from the Macuxi ethnic group, and demanded the On behalf of the indigenous women of Roraima, compensation for the towns that suffered from the mining invasions. “The Yanomami never starved to death. I'm here, I'm 66 years old and when I was little, nobody went through those situations. Now mining is killing my people and it's also killing my people.” “My relatives Munduruku and Kayapo. When the indigenous people get sick, they can't work (in the fields) or hunt,” the Indian lamented. Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesperson for that community. His lands have been invaded by more than 20,000 'garimpeiros' , as these miners are known. The Government has launched an Operation Liberation that may take a year to have the expected results. “They are still hiding there,” Ward warned. Kopenawa. In fact, the same day that Lula landed in Raposa Serra do Sol, the presence of garimpeiros had been verified on their way to the mines in the border region with Guyana.


Raposa Serra do Sol is a Yanomami land demarcated in 2005, during Lula's first term. That community, he acknowledged. the president, has been “massacred”. On January 20, the Government declared the The state of public health emergency was imposed on Yanomami land as a consequence of the explosion of lethal cases of malaria and diseases associated with hunger, such as severe malnutrition, acute diarrhea, pneumonia and respiratory infections. These diseases especially affected minors. The suffering is partly derived from the fragility that the communities have faced. The president promised to build field hospitals and improve the health situation in all regions. Kopenawa: “We have to save the remaining children. There is still a lot of malnutrition in the areas where there are 'garimpos' and where planes that are not theirs do not land,” insisted Kopenawa. the shaman.

Specialists consider that the original communities were sacrificed with the expansion of the mining economic frontier, a task of destruction that could only be done in collusion between the State and the 'garimpeiros'. Rivers have been contaminated by mercury. The reduction of biodiversity has impacted on artisanal fishing, vital for the survival of these peoples. Colares talks about a new phenomenon, “narcoecoglogy”, which he links to gold extraction, smuggling of felled wood, manganese and biopiracy. “Everything got worse with Bolsonaro”.

Urgent demarcations

The lack of delimitation of indigenous territories and illegal mining have been two sides of the coin that circulated in the country. with brutality the four years that he governed the far right. A demarcated and protected territory is the first step to protect the rights of indigenous women, assured the president. Sonia Guajajara,the Minister of Indigenous Peoples. She received the presidential instruction to speed up the pending processes that affect other ethnic groups. “We need to demarcate soon, before people seize them, inventing false documents,” said Joenia Wapichana, president of Funai (National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples).

< p> The native communities want the government not only persecute the garimperios. They demand that it stop the invasions of their territories by farmers, especially those interested in soybean plantations. Lula assured that she is aware of the “need to take care of the climate ” because, otherwise, “humanity will disappear due to irresponsibility.” Then she had to listen again to the rejection of the hydroelectric plants in Amazonian territory, promoted by him and his failed heiress Dilma Rousseff in the middle Xingu river, in the state of Pará. á á ;. The “old” Lula and his current version do not seem to have the same environmental values.