Indígena Xakriabá de São João das Missões (Minas Gerais). Foto: Edgar Kanaykõ
Indigenous and traditional communities have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus. The pandemic is compounded by ecocide, fires, hydroelectric power and mining. Beyond the Brazilian government’s negligence, the State has failed to adopt special measures for the communities, nor has it suspended the consultation processes, as established by the IACHR. The Indigenous Peoples are trying to resist subjugation with their own protocols, their fight within the justice sector and their refusal to adhere to virtual consultations.
Emyra Waiãpi, a 68-year-old indigenous leader, was stabbed to death last week as around 50 gold miners, a dozen of whom were heavily armed, entered the remote Waiãpi indigenous reserve in the northern Brazilian state of Amapá, which borders French Guiana, reported multiple Brazilian and international news outlets.
María Lourdes Alcántara, anthropologist and coordinator of the Guaraní Youth Support Group of Mato Grosso del Sur (GAPK / AJI) and Professor of medical anthropology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of São Paulo, reflects on the main threats to indigenous communities in Brazil after Jair Bolsonaro, a former right-wing government representative and retired military captain, assumed power.