A shocking crisis unfolded last week on the Kapot Nhinore ancestral territories of the Kayapo people in the Xingu River Basin in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso – the birthplace of legendary Kayapo Chief Raoni. Please take action today to stop this attack!
Crooked ranchers and illegal settlers have sent armed thugs to try to intimidate Kayapo and Juruna communities in attempts to encroach upon their lands. However, rather than being intimidated, armed Kayapo warriors have gathered in a nearby village, heightening the specter of violence and bloodshed. Yet legendary Chief Raoni and his people want to avoid violent confrontation at all cost. He has called for support from people around the world to pressure the Brazilian government to respect their rights and protect their lands.
For several years, Marcio Meira, the President of the Brazilian government’s National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI), has assured the Kayapo that this land would be demarcated as an indigenous territory, but the Kayapo have only seen broken promises and persistent threats to their territory, including land invasions, illegal fishing and logging activities. To make matters worse, government-sanctioned repression has begun: Recent reports have emerged that rather than disarm armed thugs, local police have badly beaten two indigenous Juruna men peacefully demonstrating the land invasions before themselves being driven away by Kayapo warriors.
These tragic events follow an alarming and growing pattern of violations of the rights of indigenous peoples aided and abetted by the Brazilian government, such as its illegal and authoritarian decision to proceed with the disastrous Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River. As is their determined way, the Kayapo have chosen to defend their rights and their land but they need your support today.
The threat to territory is not a simply an affront to the integrity of the protected areas, forests and rivers, that the Kayapo steward, it’s an affront to their enduring physical and cultural survival. Land is life, and the loss of these lands is paramount to a condemnation of cultural disintegration.
In solidarity with the Kayapo, Juruna and all of the Xingu’s indigenous peoples,