“The Bolsonaro government has the blood of natives on their hands. The increase in violence in native areas is a direct result of his hate-filled speeches. “
A young tribal leader was murdered in the Amazon Rainforest on Friday in an ambush by illegal loggers who also wounded another Guajajara member in northern Brazil.
The 26-year-old Paulo Paulino Guajajara was shot in the head in the Araribóia native sanctuary attack. The area is increasingly threatened by illegal loggers and miners trying to steal and exploit the indigenous land.
Paulo was a prominent defender of the country and a member of the ‘Guardians of the Forest’ National Defense Group of Natives.
Paulo Paulino Guajajara was a part of Guardians of the Forest – a group set up buy his Guajajara tribe to protect the Amazon rainforest. On Saturday, he was shot dead by illegal loggers https://t.co/SOoKlNk8ec pic.twitter.com/8yvf3UFxjk— Reuters (@Reuters) 3 november 2019
His colleague Laércio Guajajara was hit during the ambush by two shots that brushed his back and arm, but he was able to escape, Mongabay reports.
Bolsonaro blamed for the attack
The Brazilian organization APIB, a group representing some 900,000 natives across the country, blames the right-wing extremist government, Jair Bolsonaro, for the attack. In a statement quoted by Reuters news agency, APIB stated:
“The Bolsonaro government has the blood of natives on their hands. The increase in violence in indigenous areas is a direct result of his hate-filled speeches and strikes against our people. “
The federal law enforcement agencies are investigating the case allegedly killing a lumberjack, but Paulo’s body is still missing.
The case is also being investigated by a special technical adviser and a retired federal police officer, as the indigenous federal agency FUNAI informs. In a tweet, Justice Minister Sergio Moro promised to “bring those responsible for this serious crime to justice”.
Paulo Paulino Guajajara
APIB leader Sonia Guajajara denounced the dismantling of environmental and indigenous authorities by the Bolsonaro government, leaving Brazil’s indigenous nations – many of whom have lost their property rights to their ancestral lands since the foundation of the country – defenseless against illegal landmowers , In a Twitter post, Sonia said:
“It is time to put an end to this institutionalized genocide.”
Bolsonaro and his officials regularly blame environmental laws, activist groups, non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples for allegedly damaging Brazil’s economic potential.
After his inauguration last year, the right-wing president vowed to cancel the protection, which ensures that 15 percent of Brazilian territory is subject to indigenous tribes.
At that time Bolsonaro tweeted:
“Let us integrate these citizens and create a benefit for all Brazilians.”
While Bolsonaro has not yet implemented its brandgefährlichsten threats against indigenous peoples, his fanatical racist language has yet been promoted illegal interventions in local areas of the natives.
The Guajajara Indians, one of the largest in the country with about 20,000 inhabitants, founded the Guardians in 2012 to patrol their vast reserve and drive illegal loggers from the reserve. The tiny indigenous group of the Awá Guajá also lives deep in the forest and has no contact with the outside world.
Talking to Democracy Now, program director for Amazon Watch Christian Poirier said:
“[The Guajajara] are doing this in the name of all humanity because they protect the vital Amazon forests that sustain our climate, our climate, our power or, I would say, rainfall throughout Brazil, but also here in this country, to care. In the US state of California, the precipitation decreases, as the Amazon is decimated today.
And so the Guardians of the Forest do this work on behalf of all of us, but without the support they deserve.
Their rights are enshrined in the Brazilian Constitution – their right to territory and their traditional way of life … Yet they are systematically deprived of these rights.
And what we have seen today – or two days ago by the murder of Paulino – was an example of this, a manifestation of violence that is increasing in these communities. “