Amazon Watch Statement Denouncing Latest Attacks on the Yanomami by Illegal Miners

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Camila Rossi at crossi@amazonwatch.org or +55.11.98152.8476


On Sunday, May 16, 2021, the Yanomami from the Palimiú village, in Roraima state, faced a new attack on their territory. A group of illegal wildcat miners in 15 boats fired shots at the same community that had already been the target of another attack on May 10. In addition to the gunshots, there was a lot of smoke, indicating that tear gas was being fired at the Indigenous community. "The Yanomami were very distressed and were shouting in concern over the phone. In the background, the sound of the shots could be heard. The situation was serious," said the note signed by leader Dário Kopenawa Yanomami, president of the Hutukara Yanomami Association.

On Friday, the Hutukura reported that two Yanomami children drowned amid the panic throughout the village from the gunshots during the first attack. Another five people were injured, including an Indigenous man and four miners, according to the Yanomami. "We reiterate our request that the authorities act urgently within their legal duty to prevent the continuing spiral of violence and ensure safety for the Yanomami community of Palimiú, before more serious conflicts occur," said the Hutukara Yanomami Association.

Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch's Executive Director, made the following statement about the escalating state of violence against the Yanomami in their territories:

"The escalation of violence within the Yanomami Territory without any concrete action by the Brazilian government is unconscionable. For eight days, illegal miners have attacked the Palimiú village with gunshots and are using tear gas to disperse the people. Women and children are being targeted and killed. As a result of the first attack, two Yanomami children drowned from panic."

"We are witnessing systemic violence towards the Yanomami people in broad daylight. Yet, the Brazilian government remains silent. Is this the government that Biden and Kerry intend to negotiate with? If so, at the cost of how many Indigenous lives? The Yanomami demand an urgent response from the Brazilian government agencies to ensure the safety of their communities. We stand in solidarity with the Yanomami, denouncing these attacks and calling for urgent attention and action from Brazilian and international authorities."

English translation of the note from the Hutukara Yanomami Association

Boa Vista, May 17, 2021

Mrs. Elaine Maciel
Yanomami Ethno-Environmental Protection Front – FUNAI

Mr. Marcos Ronki
Federal Police Superintendence in Roraima – PF/RR

Mr. Gal. Frutuoso CC.
1st Army Jungle Infantry Brigade – 1ª BIS

Mr. Alisson Marugal
Federal Public Ministry in Roraima – 7º Ofício

URGENT

Subject: Reiteration of our request for logistical support and installation of an emergency post in the community of Palimiú to maintain security in the region.

At 9:40 pm on May 16, we received a call from the community of Palimiú communicating a new attack by illegal miners on the community. According to the Yanomami, 15 boats of miners approached the community. The Yanomami said that in addition to shots, there was a lot of smoke that made their eyes burn, indicating that tear gas was being fired at them. The Yanomami were distressed and shouting in concern over the phone. In the background, the sound of the shots could be heard. The situation was serious.

We reiterate our request that the authorities act urgently within their legal duty to prevent the continuing spiral of violence and ensure safety for the Yanomami community of Palimiú before more serious conflicts occur. In particular, we urgently request that:

(i) Authorities proceed with the installation of an emergency outpost in the community of Palimiu, with the aim of maintaining security on the site and on the Uraricoera River,

(ii) The Brazilian Army, through the 1st Jungle Infantry Brigade, provides immediate logistical support for the actions of relevant public agencies to ensure the maintenance of security in the region.

Yours sincerely,

Dário Vitório Kopenawa Yanomami

Vice-president Hutukara Yanomami Association

Share

Related Multimedia

Features

Yes, I will donate to protect the Amazon!

"The work you do is vital, and I am happy to support it."
– Charlotte R. A.

DONATE NOW