Against mining, in defence of the lives of the Yanomami indigenous people

(Castellano) (Euskera)
Main photo: Yanomami indigenous person receiving care, suffering from malnutrition. Photo: Divulgation/Condisi-YYY

We reproduce here the denunciation by the MAB (Movement of People Affected by Dams) from Brazil regarding the drastic situation of the Yanomami people caused, among other things, by the advance of illegal mining, which advanced 3,350% in their territory from 2016 to 2020. The other major culprit was the Bolsonaro government, which governed during that time and which, as is well known, ignored the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment.

In defence of the lives of the Yanomami indigenous people

by MAB

It is necessary to act quickly to guarantee the life of the indigenous peoples and the protection of the forest.

«In Yanomami Land, xawaras [diseases] have increased and so have the number of invaders. More than 20,000 miners ravage our communities every day to extract gold and make easy money. Wherever they go they leave a trail of destruction, violence, drugs, prostitution and death.»

Yanomami shaman and leader, Davi Kopenawa.

Throughout the four years of Bolsonaro’s government, Brazil’s indigenous populations have been attacked on different fronts, seeing their survival and their physical and cultural integrity challenged. The increase in infant mortality and malnutrition in Yanomami territory, revealed this week by Sumaúma, is a portrait of the war against the Amazon and its peoples waged by this government and the sectors of the ruling class that have historically benefited from the destruction.

In the Covid-19 pandemic, Brazil’s indigenous peoples suffered from a lack of state assistance and protection. Bolsonaro vetoed the government’s obligation to guarantee access to drinking water and beds to indigenous people in the pandemic, and did not guarantee the isolation of these populations, leaving all care to the indigenous organisations and communities themselves.

At the same time, the Bolsonaro government handed over the National Indian Foundation (Funai), responsible for the protection and management of Brazil’s indigenous lands, to the military, and obstructed – if not prevented – monitoring and control actions. In the face of neglect, illegal mining, illegal land grabbing, timber theft and even drug trafficking have made inroads into these territories, causing disease, river pollution and increased conflict.

In 2022, the Hutukara Associação Yanomami launched the report «Yanomami under attack: illegal mining in Yanomami indigenous territory and proposals to combat it», an overview of the advance of mining destruction in the country’s largest indigenous land.

According to data extracted from the report, in 2021 illegal mining advanced by 46% compared to 2020. From 2016 to 2020, mining in TIY grew by no less than 3,350%, says the Hutukara study. Also according to the document, the number of communities directly affected by illegal mining stands at 273, covering more than 16,000 people, or 56 % of the total population. There are more than 350 indigenous communities in Tierra Indígena, with a population of approximately 29,000 people.

We, of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), express our deep consternation and solidarity with the situation experienced by the Yanomami and other indigenous peoples of Brazil, who are engaged in a just struggle for the defence of their territories. We join those who are now demanding that the Federal Government quickly fulfil its promise to put an end to the process of dispossession, conflict and death that marked the previous administration.

Swift action is needed to guarantee the lives of indigenous peoples and the protection of the forest by interrupting this cycle of destruction.

All our solidarity to the indigenous peoples!

In defence of life in the Amazon and the indigenous peoples of Brazil!

*With information from the Instituto Socioambiental and the Hutukara Associação

Destruction by ilegal mining in Yanomamiland (

Blog de

Subir ↑

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: