Violence against indigenous peoples is on the rise. On Friday, April 17, Ari Uru-eu-wau-wau was brutally murdered in Jaru, in the state of Rondônia. He was a community monitor in his territory, the Terra Indígena Uru-eu-wau-wau, which is one of the most threatened by the criminal activity of illegal loggers.
Ari’s murder is the second, in less than 20 days, of leaders who work to monitor and protect their territories. Zezico Guajajara was also killed, on March 31 2020, for fighting to defend the rights of his people. Both Ari and Zezico had been threatened, and were working to protect their communities from invasion in order to prevent Covid-19 from arriving on their lands.
The Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) reinforces what we have been saying since the beginning of this pandemic: the Coronavirus is not the only thing attacking us. It is impossible to protect our communities just by isolating ourselves, as the invasions of loggers, miners and land grabbers continue to violate our rights, destroying the environment and increasing the chances of infection by Covid-19.
According to data from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), published this Friday (April 17) as part of Red April, in 2019 49,750 indigenous families suffered some type of violence in land conflicts in Brazil. This already alarming situation is only getting worse.
There is an urgent need for action from international human rights organizations to pressure the Brazilian Government to respect the Constitution and to adopt measures to guarantee the protection of indigenous peoples. We will continue to demand an emergency action plan from the Federal Government to protect people’s lives and a serious response from the governors of each state to adopt the measures suggested by APIB, in order to prevent another genocide.
We demand justice for Ari Uru-eu-wau-wau. We extend our sympathy to the family and all the Uru-eu-wau-wau people in this moment of pain. We will continue to fight for NOT A SINGLE DROP MORE of indigenous blood to be shed.