Statement on Monitoring Illegal Mining Activities Along Our Baunilha Stream: “We Are Not Standing Idly by!” | Amazon Watch
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Statement on Monitoring Illegal Mining Activities Along Our Baunilha Stream: “We Are Not Standing Idly by!”

March 5, 2021 | Statement


Munduruku Movement Ipereg Ayu

For more information, contact:

+1.510.281.9020 or presslist@amazonwatch.org

This is the second stage of monitoring illegal mining activities in our territory in 2021. We set up three camps on our 15-day journey through the forest, inspecting the Baunilha stream, in the Munduruku Indigenous Land. This stream runs along the path of destruction by the invading prospectors. Our monitoring draws on the alliance between chiefs, women, leaders, and our resistance organizations. We know we are on the right path because we are fulfilling our role and obligation of protecting the territory; this is the way we learn and so will our future generations.

We haven’t found any invaders, and we have returned in good health. We believe that we can only stay healthy by fighting for our territory. We will not be healthy if we fail to safeguard and protect it. We will not allow heavy machinery to dig up this stream – this, for us, is a disease.

We are still able to defend our territory. We have already requested the presence of relevant agencies to monitor the illegal mining in our territory, and we’ve had no response. However, we continue to DEMAND that the Prosecutor’s Office, FUNAI, IBAMA, and the Federal Police support our land monitoring and remove the invaders from our lands. We will not stand by witnessing invasions increase on our territory. There are still big government projects that have their own vested interest in destroying our territory – therefore we must resist.

Our resistance chiefs are deeply outraged – they can no longer sleep properly as they slept before, worried about what will happen to their village, their children, and the future of us all. Even with the pandemic, we have to go out to survey the territory in order to prevent the invaders from entering. This is the chief’s role. Our entire territory is in our memory, we know very well where to walk, we are the ones who are familiar with the territory.

We will remain independent in protecting our territory. Even if we have no answer, we will remain warriors – men and women – chiefs and shamans. We continue our struggle with the help of our guiding spirits, our shamans and the organizations of the Munduruku people, who are united in the defense of our territory.

We defend our territory because our spirits are one with the land, river, forest, animals, and fish; in addition, there is a huge pharmacy open for the treatment of various diseases. Protected land is also a Great Teacher – we can learn everything there is out there.

We are fighting as our ancestors fought for the demarcation of our land – they walked without tiring, and so we will fight tirelessly. This stream belongs to us. This territory belongs to us. The pariwat say that the Munduruku have no spirits any longer – they only have traders. Only we do have the spirits of our ancestors with us, and we are resisting because our ancestors also resisted – this is how we will preserve our future generations.

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