Brazil has launched a military campaign to evict illegal loggers working from the fringes of an indigenous reserve home to the Awá people, reports Survival International. Inhabiting the Amazon rainforest in northeastern Brazil, only around 450 Awá, also known as Guajá, survive today, and around a quarter of these have chosen voluntary isolation.
The Brazilian army has sent in hundreds of soldiers, in addition to tanks and helicopters, to break up the illegal logging camps. According to Survival International, eight sawmills in the region have been closed. The current campaign comes after 50,000 people called on Brazil’s Minister of Justice to take action. In addition, last year a Brazilian judge, Jirair Aram Meguerian, ordered that all outsiders leave Awá territory by March of this year.
The current troubles for the Awá began in the 1960s when a railway was built near their territory to exploit iron ore from the Carajas Mine. The mine and railway brought settlers, which devastated the indigenous people through disease and conflict. Despite the establishment of an indigenous reserve in 2003, the Awá have continued to face endless encroachment by illegal loggers, including violence and murder. Survival International, which has long campaigned for government action to help the Awá, has dubbed the tribe “the world’s most threatened.” Over 50,000 people have signed a petition to Brazil’s Minister of Justice
Still Survival International says that the army must also enter the indigenous reserve itself and evict all loggers and ranchers from the park.
Brazilian soldiers encounter illegal logging in the Amazon. Photo by: Exército Brasileiro.
(07/06/2013) Data released by the Brazilian government Friday confirms an increase in Amazon forest loss.
(07/01/2013) The Brazilian state of Pará has launched a new compensation scheme to incentivize further cuts in deforestation.
(06/09/2013) In coming weeks Brazil will vote on a bill that would lift a ban on sugar cane mills across a large extent of the Amazon region, sparking fears that ethanol production could drive new deforestation and tarnish the country’s image as an attractive source biofuels for environmentally-conscious markets,
(06/06/2013) Brazil’s greenhouse-gas emissions dropped 39 percent between 2005 and 2010, largely due to a reduction in deforestation, reports an inventory released yesterday by the Brazilian government.
(06/05/2013) Today in a press release for the U.N.’s World Environment Day, the Brazilian government highlighted a sharp drop in deforestation since 2012. The trouble is, the South American superpower failed to acknowledge what appears to be a sharp rise in Amazon forest loss since last year, reports Greenpeace.