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Indigenous Rights in Brazil’s Amazon Rain Forest: 113 Indigenous people killed

September 1, 2021

VOX – According to data from the Brazilian government’s Indigenous health service, in 2019 at least 113 Indigenous people were killed in the country, a majority of whom were “committed to the protection of the borders of their territories and fought against logging and mining.”

The Guajajara Guardians patrol their reserve, Araribóia, on foot, and occasionally on boats and motorcycles, constantly monitoring for signs of illegal activity — from deserted machinery to other indications of active logging — a guardian and chief from one of the Araribóia villages explained to Vox. Araribóia lies in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhão and is one of the nearly 400 Indigenous reserves carved out under the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, which granted land rights to Indigenous groups. Many of these territories sit inside Earth’s largest rainforest: the Amazon.

Brazil’s current political climate emboldens land grabbers and environmental corruption, which is intensifying the assaults on Indigenous communities. Things have gotten so bad because Bolsonaro’s rhetoric and pro-agriculture policies have undermined environmental agencies and law enforcement, according to organizations like the World Resources Institute