• Categories
  • Archives

Brazil Logging Mafia Kills Another Guardian of the Amazon

The Guardians of the Amazon recently destroyed a logging truck they discovered in their territory. The Guardians of the Amazon recently destroyed a logging truck they discovered in their territory.

A leader of an Amazon tribe acclaimed for its environmental defenders has been killed, the latest in a series of deaths among the tribe.

The body of Jorginho Guajajara was found near a river in the Brazilian state of Maranhão. He was a leader of the Guajajara people, acclaimed internationally for their work as the ‘Guardians of the Amazon’ in the most threatened region in the entire Amazon.

It is not yet clear who killed him, but a powerful logging mafia supported by some local politicians has repeatedly targeted the tribe for its work protecting both its rainforest home, and the uncontacted members of a neighboring tribe, the Awá, who also live there, and face catastrophe unless their land is protected.

Confronted with official inaction, the tribe formed an environmental protection team named the Guardians of the Amazon to expel the loggers. Some estimates suggest up to 80 members of the tribe have been killed since 2000.

The murder of Jorginho Guajajara is further indication of the increasing volatility in this area. In May this year, a team from Ibama (Brazil’s environmental protection agency) and environmental military police were dispatched to the Guajajara’s Arariboia reserve, a rare move from the authorities.

The Guajajara say: “Our uncontacted Awá relatives cannot survive if their forest is destroyed. As long as we live, we will fight for the uncontacted Indians, for all of us, and for nature.”

Survival International has protested to the Brazilian authorities about the wave of violence against the Guajajara, which has gone almost entirely unpunished.

Survival International Director Stephen Corry said: “The Guardians of the Amazon face an urgent humanitarian crisis, and are fighting for their very survival. This small tribe of Amazon Indians are confronting an aggressive, powerful and armed logging mafia with close ties to local and national politicians. And they’re paying with their lives for standing up to them. They urgently need public support to make sure they survive.”

Guajajara people who found the body report that the neck was broken and almost detached from the body, in a location where the bodies of other Guajajara people killed in a similar way by loggers have been dumped. The Guajajara have reported the murder to the authorities and demanded an inquest.

Guardians of the Amazon

The “Guardians of the Amazon” are men from the Guajajara tribe in Brazil’s Maranhão state who have taken it upon themselves to protect what remains of this eastern edge of the Amazon rainforest.

They want to save the land for the hundreds of Guajajara families who call it home, and their far less numerous neighbors: the uncontacted Awá Indians.

The Guardians say of their work: “We patrol, we find the loggers, we destroy their equipment and we send them away. We’ve stopped many loggers. It’s working.”

The Arariboia indigenous territory comprises a unique biome in the transition area between the savannah and the Amazon rainforest. There are species here not found elsewhere in the Amazon. The land inside the indigenous territory is under threat from illegal loggers

Brutal cuts in government funding to its indigenous affairs department FUNAI and tribal land protection mean the dangers are now even greater, as the area is not properly monitored or defended by the authorities.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Uncontacted Indians Lives Threatened by Amazon Fires in Brazil

Forest fires are raging in an indigenous territory on the edge of the Brazilian ...

Brazilian Army and indigenous soldiers of Tiriós ethnicity work side by side in the border with Suriname - Photo: Brazilian Army

Army and Indians Work Together to Protect Brazil’s Borders

Since its founding in 1648, the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) has maintained a ...

US$ 1.2 Billion for Brazil’s Environment

The World Bank will lend Brazil US$ 1.2 billion over the course of four ...

Brazilian Indian ritual

Indians To Sue Brazil President After He Says They’re Becoming More Human

The main organization representing Brazil’s 300 indigenous tribes announced it would sue Brazilian President ...

Tree trunks loaded on a truck in the Brazilian Amazon

Zero Deforestation Is the Only Answer in this Side of the Amazon

Perched at the easternmost edge of the Amazon rainforest is Maranhão, one of Brazil’s ...

Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco - Photo: Mídia Ninja

Linked to Death of Politician, Brazil President Threatens to Cancel Globo TV’s License

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, deplored a TV network’s report linking him with a former ...