Indigenous voices

Indigenous leaders go to Europe on awareness tour

Indigenous people seek help in Europe to fight threat at home

Brazilian indigenous leaders go on awareness tour in Europe

Image credit: Apib

On Thursday (19) a delegation of indigenous leaders from Brazil will start a tour of 12 European countries that will last until November 20. The goal of the tour is to report violations against Brazilian indigenous people since the new extreme right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, took office.

According to Amazon Watch, the tour is organized by the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) in conjunction with civil society organizations. Called “Indigenous Blood: Not a Single Drop More”, the goal is to pressure the Brazilian government and agribusiness companies to fulfill international agreements on climate change and human rights signed by Brazil, including the Paris Agreement, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the New York Declaration on Forests, and others.

The delegation is formed by several prominent indigenous leaders, including Sonia Guajajara, Elizeu Guarani Kaiowá, and Kretã Kaingang, among others.

Besides making Europe aware of the atrocities carried out by the current fascist government, the delegation will raise awareness of Brazilian products produced in conflict areas or in Indigenous lands, besides raising awareness of the threat to the lives of indigenous people and, consequently, the very existence of the forest and the wildlife it harbors.

The tour will kick off at the Amazon synod in the Vatican. From there, the delegation will go to Bologna,, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Portugal, the UK and Spain. They will be meeting with government representatives, EU congress members, international courts, activists, artists and environmentalists.

Recent data shows that invasions of Indigenous territories exploded in 2019. Heavily armed intruders terrorize Indigenous communities to enter their lands illegally in order to mine, log and grab the land on behalf of interest groups. The Indigenous Missionary Council estimates that, from January to September, there were 160 invasions in 153 indigenous lands, while in 2018 the numbers were 111 invasions in 76 territories.

The role indigenous people play as guardians of the forests that help regulate the climate is officially recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Indigenous people and their land are the primary targets for the current Brazilian government since their land is rich in precious metals. The genocide is real and they need support in this battle for life. Not just their lives, but everyone else’s, human and non-human.

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