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Brazilian govt censured for not protecting natives

The massacre involved members of an "uncontacted" indigenous tribe who were allegedly killed by illegal gold miners in a distant part of the country's Amazon.

Brazilian govt censured for not protecting natives

The massacre involved members of an "uncontacted" indigenous tribe who were allegedly killed by illegal gold miners in a distant part of the country's Amazon.

15 September 2017 Friday 09:49
Brazilian govt censured for not protecting natives

By Azania Post Reporter

BRAZIALIAN government has been held responsible for not protecting indigenous people and their land as they were killed by illegal gold miners in Amazon region.

Already prosecutors have launched an investigation to find the truth of the matter which has been widely condemned.

The massacre involved members of an "uncontacted" indigenous tribe who were allegedly killed by illegal gold miners in a distant part of the country's Amazon.

The news has been widely condemned by advocacy groups that say Brazil is backsliding on its obligation to protect indigenous peoples and their land.

"The government doesn't see protecting indigenous people as a priority," said Gilderlan Rodrigues, a missionary working with uncontacted peoples for Brazil's Indigenous Missionary Council, an organisation that monitors violence against indigenous people.

"They want to open up indigenous lands for exploration," he added.

The killings reportedly happened around the Jandiatuba River, in the Vale do Javari, in Amazonas state, near the border with Peru, an area known as the "uncontacted frontier" that concentrates the highest number of uncontacted tribes - indigenous groups that have no contact with modern society - in the world.

Pablo Luz de Beltrand, the federal prosecutor in charge of the case, confirmed to Al Jazeera an investigation was under way and said a complaint was registered by Brazil's National Indigenous Foundation (Funai) at the beginning of August. The prosecutor could not comment on any details of the case.

A document obtained by Al Jazeera, said to be a copy of the original complaint made by Funai, said about 10 indigenous people - known as "flecheiros" or "archers", including women and children - hunting for turtle eggs by the edge of the river were killed by illegal gold miners searching for food.

Funai confirmed the incident was reported after gold miners were overheard in a nearby town talking about the killings and were arrested and taken in for questioning.

The deaths were yet to be confirmed and "to date, no material evidence has been found to substantiate the alleged massacre, so it is not possible to confirm the veracity of the deaths".

"In this kind of situation, when indigenous massacres occur in the Amazon, given the time that passes and the size of the area, bodies are rarely found," said Felipe Milanez, a professor of Decolonization of Knowledge, Society and Environment at Brazil's Federal University of Reconcavo da Bahia and researcher of indigenous conflicts.

The 85,445-square-kilometre indigenous territory is roughly the size of Austria and was officially demarcated - the process by which indigenous people have the legal protections to their land - in 2001, in theory, giving them greater protection.

Aljazeera

Aljazeera

Updated: 15.09.2017 13:03
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