Ricardo Lopes Dias, an anthropologist and Christian Evangelical pastor, appointed to head Brazil’s isolated indigenous tribes department, has been removed due to a “conflict of interest”
Articles by Sam Cowie
38 indigenous groups in Brazil are reporting 537 COVID-19 cases. In Mato Grosso state, a new map tracks the virus, while officials push measures that put indigenous land rights at risk.
Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA has stepped up efforts to fight environmental crimes during the COVID-19 crisis. But the fate of these operations is now uncertain, following the firing of IBAMA’s enforcement director.
Invasions of indigenous reserves continue to escalate in the Brazilian Amazon amid the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the country, exposing how indigenous people are vulnerable to increased violence and infection amid a reduction in environmental oversight.
Zezico Rodrigues Guajarara, a teacher from the Arariboia indigenous reserve in Maranhão state, was found shot dead on March 31. He is the fifth Guajarara leader to be killed since November in the lawless frontier region dominated by powerful landowners and logging mafias.
Christian fundamentalist Andrew Tonkin is allegedly planning to contact and convert isolated Brazilian Amazon indigenous people, according to Marubo and Mayoruna indigenous leaders.
Indigenous activists have blasted Jair Bolsonaro’s ineffectual coronavirus response, as leaders cancel annual mass indigenous protest in Brasília; fear grows of virus spread to reserves.
The murder of Sister Dorothy in 2005, and resulting international outrage, helped curb violence in Brazil for a time, but crimes against landless peasants and activists are on the rise.
Three indigenous men in Amazonas state, and two peasant farmers in Maranhão, have been killed so far this month in violence experts say is spurred by Pres. Bolsonaro’s policies.
Once used for leisure, navigation and fishing, almost all of the 150 small waterways, or igarapés, in the Amazonian city of Manaus are totally polluted. Experts say it could take up 30 years for them to recover, while others are considered “dead.”
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