Rally in Brazil’s Capital to Defend Indigenous Land Rights

By Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – In Brazil, hundreds of Indigenous leaders arrived in the capital Brasília Monday to begin a 10-day protest camp, demanding lawmakers reject a bill that would allow more mining and oil extraction on Indigenous lands. This is an Indigenous Pataxó leader.

Albiranan: “We are here together with other Indigenous people to fight to defend our people and for equality among our nations, to make it known that we, the Indigenous people, were the first inhabitants of Brazil. And we are here to show Brazil and the world that we are not dead and that we are living history. We are a living book.”

This comes as Brazilian health researchers say malaria cases among Yanomami Indigenous people have skyrocketed over the past decade due to a surge in illegal gold mining in the Amazon. The destructive practice contaminates the soil and rivers with mercury, destroys plants and disrupts the ecosystem, triggering ideal conditions for the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. Despite this, far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continues to encourage mining in protected areas of the Amazon rainforest.