Statement on Monitoring Illegal Mining Activities in Our Baunilha Stream | Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch

Statement on Monitoring Illegal Mining Activities in Our Baunilha Stream

March 21, 2021 | Statement

Munduruku Movement Ipereg Ayu

For more information, contact:

+1.510.281.9020 or

This is the third stage of monitoring illegal mining activities in our territory in 2021. Since March 14, we have been facing armed groups of prospectors recruited by the pariwat, or white men. Today, March 21, we know who these pariwat are, and all of their plans.

We urgently demand that government agencies comply with their constitutional duties. If something happens to our people, we blame the Brazilian government. Even after receiving numerous reports of invasions and destruction of our territory in the middle of a pandemic, it fails to act and allows our people to be killed at the hands of a heavily armed criminal gang, associated with a few Indigenous individuals involved in mining activities.

On March 20, leaders from the Restinga village met with prospectors to present our decision against the prospectors’ invasion in this region with mining equipment. The chiefs decided: “The backhoe machine is to be removed urgently.”

They went to talk to other relatives at Santo Antônio village, who were being recruited to be involved in mining activities. They were some of the few who supported the presence of the machine in the region. Witnessing the heavy weaponry the prospectors wielded and the constant use of narcotics, the relatives gave up and asked them to leave.

A miner said they had already removed the machine, and it was now in the Colares community, and that they were now going to Prainha village, in the same region. They would already begin prospecting in our Baunilha stream. We also discovered that two more machines are coming, one from Marrom to Samaúma village, and another from Torrão to Missão Velha village, on the Cururu River.

We know that the small group of known Munduruku, who have been recruiting other chiefs, are all armed, take drugs, and even use grenades to attack our warriors. They want to harm anyone who is against the prospectors’ invasion. They are against our associations that fight for the people and they tell lies about the leaders of our struggle; they are acting unlawfully, with intimidation, physical aggression, and through other forms of violence, just like the pariwat.

We know that there are many pariwat behind this team of recruiters. The owner of the machine was identified as “Polaquinho”—he is distributing these weapons to attack us, and he resides in Itaituba. He owns three rafts to transport machines into our region and two helicopters that land in the municipality of Jacareacanga, in front of Barraca Chipaya.

We are against the presence of backhoe machines. The pariwat are using our people to kill us, while our children are losing the possibility of having a future, as everything is being polluted and deforested. That is their tactic—they want to have us killed and destroy our territory.

We will not accept this. We will fight until the end.

So we chiefs, leaders, teachers, and organizations:

  • Vivaldo Kirixi – chief of the Missão Cururu village
  • Venâncio Kirixi – chief of the Nova Tapajós village
  • Raimundo Waro – chief of Warobaxewatpu village
  • Gilson Karo – chief of the Karobaxebu village
  • Lamberto Paigõ – chief of the Restinga village
  • Miguel Borõ – deputy –chief of the Caroçal Cururu village
  • Francisco Borõ – chief of the Espírito Santo village
  • Geraldo Dace chief of the Saw Muybu village; the other chiefs
  • leaders of the organizations: Movimento Munduruku Ipereg Ayu
  • Conselho Indígena Munduruku do Alto Tapajós (CIMAT)
  • Associação das Mulheres Munduruku Wakoborũn
  • Associação Da’uk
  • Associação dos Professores Arikico.

We demand that authorities arrest the entire group of miners involved, especially those who are leading this invasion, that they be held accountable immediately, and that their machines be removed from our territory and seized.

We urge the Federal Police in our Mundurukânia territory to definitively address the issue with the invading prospectors. They are criminals who are shattering our peace and undermining the health of our families.

Short URL


Amazon Watch is celebrating 25 years of radical and effective solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Amazon Basin!


Stay Informed

Receive the Eye on the Amazon in your Inbox! We'll never share your info with anyone else, and you can unsubscribe at any time.



Defend Amazonian Earth Defenders!