Tag Archives: indigenous peoples

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: ‘The Amazon is the entry door of the world’: why Brazil’s biodiversity crisis affects us all

Ɖ ej v xtñśn
Bṛzil

The Brazilian tribe leader Célia Xakriabá, November 2019. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images
Ɖ Bṛziłn trîblīdr Célia Xakriabá, Nvmbr 2019. Foṭgraf: Toṃs Samsn/AFP via Geti Iṃjz

‘Ɖ Aṃzn z ɖ vjîna v ɖ wrld’: ẃ wimin r ci t sevñ Bṛzil’z forists

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 10 August 2020)

Indijṇs līdr Célia Xakriabá n Vjîṇmoṇlogz oʈr V dscus Bṛzil’z bîoḍvrṣti crîsis n ẃ ɖs z ɖ snćri v ɖ indijṇs wmn

Munde, 10 Ōġst 2020

‘Ɖ Bṛziłn guvnmnt z cmitñ jeṇsîd’, sz indijṇs līdr Célia Xakriabá – vidio

Célia Xakriabá z ɖ vôs v a ny jeṇreśn v fīmel indijṇs līdrz hu r līdñ ɖ fît agnst ɖ dstrux́n v Bṛzil’z forists bʈ in ɖ Aṃzn n ɖ lesr-noun Cerrado, a svana ɖt cuvrz a fifʈ v ɖ cuntri. “V”, formrli Īv Enslr, z ɖ aword-winñ oʈr v ɖ Vjîṇmoṇlogz, an acṭvist n fǎndr v V-De, a globl muvmnt t end vayḷns agnst ol wimin n grlz n ɖ Rʈ. Ɖ tū rīsntli hld a convseśn in ẃć V asct Xakriabá abt ẃt z haṗnñ t Bṛzil’z bîoḍvrṣti n indijṇs pplz, n ẃ wimin r ɖ ci t ćenj.

V: Mni ppl, ispeṣ́li in ɖ wst, d’nt riyli unḍstand ẃt’s haṗnñ t ɖ Cerrado in Bṛzil. Cn y tel s ẃt’s haṗnñ t ɖ forists?

C: It’s vri tuf at ɖs momnt. Evri minit wn prsn dîz v Covid-19, bt olso evri minit wn tri z cut. N ẃnvr a tri z cut, a part v s z cut, a part v s olso dîz, bcz ɖ teritri dîz n wɖ no teritri ɖr z no er, no gd er fr evrwn in ɖ wrld. Ppl c’nt briɖ. So ol ɖs Covid cntaṃneśn, it gts t ɖ teritri ʈru ɖ mainrz, ɖ goldmainrz, ɖ logrz n ɖ renjrz. N nǎ ɖt w r gtñ t Ōġst, w gt īvn mor wurid abt ɖ fîrz, ol ɖ fîrz ɖt brnt ɖ Aṃzn last yir. It’s gwñ t cm bac.

N ẃt hapnz t ol ɖ animlz, n t ɖ brdz n t evri livñ ʈñ in ɖ forist? Ẃt hapnz t ɖm?

Ẃn ɖ forist z brnt, ɖ brdz n ɖ animlz, ɖe r îɖr brnt or ɖe g awe. N ɖs dz’nt afct onli ɖ animlz, bt it olso afcts s. W rlî on ɖm t īt. So wɖ no animlz, w hv t rlî on fūd fṛm ɖ ǎtsd, n ɖs endz p mcñ ǎr ćildṛn n ǎr wimin sic, hir wɖ ɖ Xakriabá ppl. I cn hír ɖ soñ v ɖ brdz nǎ, bt it’s olso a soñ v miẓri, v sadnis, bcz most v ɖm, ɖe r alon. Ɖe hv lost ɖer partnrz. Ɖ brdz, ɖe yẓ́li sñ az a cupl. N mni v ɖm r nǎ sññ alon. N w, ɖ indijṇs, r bcmñ mor alon, bcz ɖ’r tecñ ppl fṛm s.

Ẃn I frst met y, w laft bcz w wr tōcñ abt vjînaz n y tld m ɖt ɖ Aṃzn wz ɖ vjîna v ɖ wrld. So cn y tōc a litl bit abt ɖt?

Ɖ Aṃzn’z lîc ɖ vjîna v ɖ wrld bcz it’s ẃr ppl cm fṛm. It’s lîc ɖ entridor v ɖ wrld. Ẃn ɖs oṗnñ z sic, ɖ fyćr jeṇreśnz, ɖe wl b sic olso. Ppl lost ɖs cnx́n t ɖ Rʈ bcz ɖe d’nt si Rʈ n land az a reḷtiv. Fr m, ɖ Rʈ z lîc a granmuɖr, bcz it’s Rʈ hu gev brʈ t ol v ɖ muɖrz v ɖ wrld. Rʈ z lîc ɖ frst indipndnt wmn ɖt crietd hymaṇti, n Rʈ nīdd rivrz n wōtr t criet hymaṇti. Bt nǎ ppl jst si Rʈ az a ʈñ. Ɖe cn dzîn big sitiz, bt ɖe c’nt si ɖs cnx́n t Rʈ. Ɖe g t ɖ sūṗmarcit, t ɖ groṣristor, n ɖe d’nt nǒ ẃr ɖt fūd cmz fṛm.

It’s so pǎrfl t si hǎ mni indijṇs wimin r līdñ ɖ strugl t dfnd ɖ forists n ɖ land. Ẃ d y ʈnc ɖs z importnt?

I’v bn seyñ ɖt ɖs 21st snćri, it’s ɖ snćri v ɖ indijṇs wmn, bcz y c’nt kr wɖ ɖ sem īvl ɖt frst cōzd ɖ sicnis. Y hv t oṿcm ɖs coḷnîzñ pǎr ɖt z mnli mel. I lîc t se abt ɖ metrix v dstrux́n ɖt it’s nt metrix, it’s ɖ petrix bcz it’s best on petriarci, nt metriarci. N ɖ wimin, ɖe r ɖ wnz hu r in ɖs snćri rīgenñ pǎr ovr ɖ land, bcz ɖe nǒ hǎ t kr ɖ Rʈ. Wimin hv ɖs nolij n ɖt’s ẃ w r on ɖ fruntlîn rît nǎ. I am fîtñ t nt onli streñʈn ɖ rǒl v wimin in ɖ teritri n in ɖ fît, bt olso in poḷtics, wɖ indijṇs wimin runñ fr pziśnz in parḷmnt, in ɖ Bṛziłn Congres. Hu cn tec betr cer v hymaṇti, f nt wimin?

Cn y tōc a litl bit abt hǎ petriarci hz disc̣nctd s fṛm ɖ land n ɖ cnx́n v petriarci n capiṭlizm?

Ẃn Pedro Álvares Cabral frst invedd Bṛzil in ɖ 1500z, ɖ frst ʈñ ɖt got hiz atnśn wz ɖ wŭd fṛm ɖ pau-Brasil, ẃć z ẃr ɖ nem Bṛzil cmz fṛm. In 1511, ɖs gai nemd Fernando de Noronha xportd 5,000 pau-Brasil t Yṛp. So ɖt’s ẃn it ol bgan. Sins ɖen, ɖe d’nt rspct ɖ rleśn v ɖ indijṇs ppl wɖ tîm. Ɖt’s ẃ capiṭlizm siz indijṇs ppl az a ʈret. Y hv t tec evrʈñ y cn in az litl tîm az poṣbl, bt ɖt’s nt hǎ indijṇs ppl rlet t tîm n t lebr. Yea, ɖ indijṇs ppl wr’nt cīpñ p wɖ ɖ “progres” v hymaṇti bt it’s nt ɖt w r lêt, it’s bcz ɖ’r cilñ s. In ɖ last yir ɖr wz mor ɖn a miłn hecterz v dstrux́n in ol ɖ six bîomz v Bṛzil. Sins ɖ 1500z, untl nǎ, no Rʈ, no land, no muɖr, no wmn cn s’port ɖs cnd v dstrux́n.

A fire in the Cerrado, October 2018. The area is one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems. Photograph: David Bebber/WWF-UK/PA
A fîr in ɖ Cerrado, Octobr 2018. Ɖ eria z wn v ɖ wrld’z oldist n most dvrs tropicl ecosistmz. Foṭgraf: Devid Bebr/WWF-YC/PA

Cn y tel m ẃt z ɖ livd xpirịns v ɖ strugl fr lîf n ɖ strugl v ɖ indijṇs pplz in ɖs fêz v ɖ onslōt v ɖ xtractiv inḍstriz, n nǎ wɖ Covid xaṣbetñ ɖ sićueśn? Ẃt z haṗnñ?

Jrñ ɖs pandemic w r mcñ ɖs ef̣t t rmen in ǎr teritriz, in ǎr hǎzz, in ǎr homz, bt olso at ɖ sem tîm, w hv t ćalinj, t fît, bcz vri far awe in Bṛzil, in ɖ Congres, ɖe r ngośietñ ǎr teritriz, ǎr homz n ǎr hǎzz. Jrñ ɖ pandemic, hundṛdz v indijṇs ppl hv daid. Bt w hv t ʈnc abt hǎ mni ppl wd dî f w d’nt fît. Y hv t ʈnc abt ɖ pandemic ɖt z cilñ s, abt ɖ resizm ɖt z cilñ s, abt ɖ macropoḷtics, abt ɖ coḷnîześn, ɖ absns v ɖ stet. It’s hard t tel ẃć wepn z mor denjṛs, bcz w r gtñ cild bî mni difṛnt wepnz.

‘Lîc a bom gwñ of’: ẃ Bṛzil’z larjist rzrv z fesñ dstrux́n

It apirz vri clir ɖt Prezidnt Jair Bolsonaro hz weṗnîzd Covid agnst indijṇs pplz. Cn y tōc a litl bit abt ɖs?

Indijṇs pplz in Bṛzil, ɖe r 1% v ɖ jenṛl popyleśn, bt ɖ’r olmst 9% v ɖ victimz v Covid-19. Ẃn ppl se ɖt Covid-19 dz’nt ćūz clas or rês or jndr, it’s cnd v a lî, bcz ɖ stet, ɖe ćūz hu wl dî. Ɖ guvnmnt, it cn jusṭfî ol v ɖs, seyñ ɖt it’s jst a dziz, it’s a ftaḷti. Ẃn an eldr, ẃn an importnt līdr v indijṇs pplz dîz, a part v s olso dîz wɖ ɖm. It’s lîc ɖ ansestrz n ɖ eldrz, ɖ’r ɖ handz ɖt hold ɖ ratlz ẃn y’r sññ. It dz’nt matr f I ste alîv, a part v m, or sm parts v m hv daid in ɖs pandemic.

Brazilian indigenous women march in Brasilia on 13 August 2019, to denounce the ‘genocidal’ policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. Photograph: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images
Bṛziłn indijṇs wimin marć in Bṛziła on 13 Ōġst 2019, t dnǎns ɖ ‘jeṇsîdl’ poḷsiz v Prezidnt Jair Bolsonaro. Foṭgraf: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Geti Iṃjz

I luv ɖ campen #CuraDaTerra [Kr v ɖ Rʈ], bcz it xpresz ɖs îdīa v indijṇs pplz az ɖ kr, ɖ antidot, ɖ groʈspes past capiṭlizm ʈru livñ in simbiosis wɖ nećr, indijṇs stywdśp v land, tṛdiśnl indijṇs invîrnmntl nolij. Hǎ z ɖs biyñ rsivd in Bṛzil?

Wn ʈñ ɖt z vri importnt z w pe atnśn t ɖz ʈñz lîc rīc̣nx́n, rītecñ, riinćantmnt, bcz ɖt’s wn ʈñ ɖt indijṇs ppl d t hop fr a betr wrld. It’s nt ɖ cemiclz or ɖ activ prínsiplz jeṇretd in l’boṛtriz arnd ɖ wrld ɖt r gwñ t kr ɖ Rʈ. Ẃt z gwñ t kr ɖ Rʈ z ǎr cpaṣti, ǎr abiḷti t riacṭvet ǎr cnx́n t ɖ Rʈ, t riacṭvet ǎr culćr n t riacṭvet ɖ pǎr v ǎr ansestrz. W hv ɖs culćr dīp insd s, n y c’nt ćenj ɖt. W c’nt kr īvl wɖt krñ ɖ Rʈ, bcz ɖ Rʈ z blīdñ. It’s fl v scarz bcz v its ćildṛn. N f y d’nt lisn t ɖ Rʈ, w wl ol dî. Sm ppl me nt dî d’recli in teritriconflicts, bt ɖe wl dî, bcz ɖe w’nt hv enʈñ left t briɖ. Ol ɖe wl hv left z pôzn.

Lîc in ɖ YS, Bṛzil z gwñ ʈru a cnd v darc nît v ɖ soul wɖ Bolsonaro in pǎr.

Bolsonaro lîcs t se ɖt indijṇs pplz r bcmñ mor hymn, bt ɖ indijṇs pplz d’nt lîc ɖ cnd v hymaṇti ɖt dz’nt rspct ɖ Rʈ, dz’nt rspct ɖ animlz, bcz y cn onli nǒ hǎ t b a hymn f y nǒ hǎ t b a plant, hǎ t b a sīd, hǎ t b fūd. N so acć̣li ɖs project, it’s an anti-hymaṇterịn project v ɖ guvnmnt. It repriznts a sic luñ, a sic orgn v ɖ bodi v ɖ Rʈ.

An indigenous woman looks at dead fish near the Paraopeba river in the Cerrado. Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters
An indijṇs wmn lcs at ded fiś nir ɖ Paraopeba rivr in ɖ Cerrado. Foṭgraf: Adriano Machado/Rôtrz

N ẃ d y ʈnc at ɖs momnt ɖt w hv so mni līdrz in ɖ wrld lîc Trump or Dūterte or Modi or Pūćin or Bolsonaro?

Ol v ɖs z bcz w r livñ in a momnt v dspyts, dspyts v valyz. Ɖe r nt part v ɖs project v rīgenñ n rītecñ ɖ valyz v lîf. Ɖe r lîc bôlz on yr scin, n ɖe imrj wɖ ol ɖ fyri, ɖz bôlz, lîc a cansr t ɖz valyz v lîf. Ɖe imrj wɖ ɖs fyri bcz ɖe apir t hv ɖ dzîr t xtnḡś ol dvrṣti – ɖ dvrṣti v lîf, ɖ dvrṣti v culćr, ɖ dvrṣti v sīdz, ɖ dvrṣti v teritri.

Ẃt z ɖ mūd n ɖ fīlñ in Bṛzil rît nǎ?

Sm ppl hu ʈt w wr inviẓbl, ɖe dd’nt lc, dd’nt pe atnśn t ɖ indijṇs popyleśnz, nǎ ɖ’r startñ t pe atnśn t s. N ɖ indijṇs ppl, ɖe hv wɖn ɖmslvz ɖ sns v soḷdaṛti n v cnx́n ɖt uɖr pplz d’nt hv. N ɖt’s smʈñ ɖt cn hlp hīl ɖ Rʈ n hīl ǎr wrld bcz hymaṇti, wɖt luv, it’s a ded hymaṇti.

N hǎ d y ste grǎndd in ɖ mdst v ol ɖz ćenjz haṗnñ in ɖ Cerrado n ɖen ɖ planit at larj?

Ɖ fît z ẃt fīdz m. So evri tîm I ʈnc abt tecñ a step awe fṛm ɖ fît, I c’nt. N az an indijṇs prsn, y fît t svîv. Y d’nt riyli hv anɖr ćôs. I ʈnc abt ɖ fît az ɖ ćildṛn ɖt I hv’nt jeṇretd yt, ɖ ćildṛn ɖt I n ɖ indijṇs pplz wl gv brʈ t in ɖ fyćr. I rmembr ɖt sm tîm ago in anɖr jeṇsîdl proses ɖt wz gwñ on, ɖ līdrz n ɖ indijṇs pplz wr’nt alaud t pent ɖmslvz. So ɖ wimin wd cīp ɖz pentñpots in ɖer hǎzz. It wz a we v nt fgetñ ɖ pentñz n ɖ patnz. N nǎ ẃn I ʈnc abt ɖt, I ʈnc abt mî bodi az a pot. I lîc t pent mslf bcz it’s a we v gtñ ol ɖs meṃri itrṇlîzd, n nt fgetñ, bcz mor ɖn fîtñ, pentñ mslf z a we v cntinywñ ẃt mî ansestrz wr dwñ. Sm fīl priti ẃn ɖe pt on ɖer bst dres. I fīl priti ẃn I pent mslf. N it’s nt onli ɖt. Ẃn I pent mslf, I fīd mî spirit n I cīp mî mînd stroñ. N mî hedres gvz pǎr t mî ʈts n t mî fît. So, ẃn I pent mslf, ẃn I pt mî hedres on, I’m nt onli dwñ ɖt t śo uɖrz, I’m dwñ ɖt t cīp mslf, mî mînd n mî spirit stroñ n féd, t cīp sññ.

A Kayapo indigenous woman paints her daughter with a traditional drawing. Photograph: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters
A Kayapo indijṇs wmn pents hr dōtr wɖ a tṛdiśnl drw̃. Foṭgraf: Amanda Perobelli/Rôtrz

Ẃt cn alîz in ɖ globl norʈ d t b in soḷdaṛti wɖ y, yr cḿṇti, n ɖ afctd cḿṇtiz v Bṛzil?

Ppl cn fît alñ wɖ ɖ Indijṇs pplz az f ɖe wr fîtñ fr ɖer ǒn ćildṛn. Bcz ẃn y fît tgɖr wɖ indijṇs pplz, it’s nt jst a matr v soḷdaṛti. It’s lîc y’r fîtñ fr yr ǒn faṃli, yr ǒn ćildṛn, yr ǒn granćildṛn, bcz ɖ indijṇs popyleśnz, ɖe pṛtct arnd 82% v ɖ wrld’z bîoḍvrṣti.

Ẃt’s yr viźn v ɖ fyćr?

Mî hop fr ɖ fyćr z biyñ alîv. N bî ɖt I d’nt mīn jst mî bodi biyñ alîv. Bt ǎr vôs hz t b alîv. Ǎr meṃri, ǎr ćants, ǎr sññ, n ǎr wūm, bcz y c’nt b alîv in yr bodi f ɖ wūm v ɖ Rʈ z sic, bcz ẃn ɖ Rʈ z sic, w c’nt gt fūd. N ẃt’s ɖ pônt v cīpñ yr bodi alîv f ol arnd y z ded?

N lastli: plīz dscrîb yr viźn v ẃt ɖ “riinćantmnt” mīnz.

Riinćantmnt z wɖn s. Ppl r vri wurid abt ɖs Covid imrjnsi, abt biyñ ebl t tuć uɖr ppl n t fīl an ifct, a luv v afx́n fr uɖr ppl. Bt ẃt riyli z ɖs riinćantmnt? It’s ɖ luv ɖt w fīl fr ɖ rivrz, fr ɖ forist, fr fūd. W hv t ʈnc ɖt ɖ riyl bordrz v ɖ wrld, it’s nt ɖ bordrz btwn Bṛzil n ɖ Ynîtd Stets, or btwn ɖ Aṃzn n ɖ Cerrado. Ɖ riyl bordrz v ɖ wrld r ɖ bordrz btwn resizm n bîoḍvrṣti. W c’nt drop ɖs fît. W hv t cīp fîtñ fr ɖ bîoḍvrṣti, fr ɖs kr v ɖ Rʈ, n fr ǎr teritriz, bcz wn hu hz teritri hz a ples t rtrn, n wn hu hz a ples t rtrn hz refyj, hz wormʈ. N ɖt’s ẃ w nīd t cīp fîtñ.

Instroduction to Ñspel

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: GENOCIDE OF ISOLATED INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN BRAZIL

Below is my translation of an article from the Brazilian Instituto Socioambiental about the genocidal policy of President Jair Bolsonaro. It’s important the world should know.

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DEADLY CONTACT

5 February 2020

“The appointment of a missionary to co-ordinate the territory of the isolated indigenous peoples overseen by the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (‘Funai’ in the Portuguese acronym) is a significant step in Bolsonaro’s genocidal policy,” according to the Instituto Socioambiental.

The appointment this Wednesday, 5 February, of Ricardo Lopes Dias, a pastor who has previously been associated with the North American sect Ethnos360 (previously known as The New Tribes Mission), to exercise the Funai Coordination of Isolated Indians and of Indians of Recent Contact (“CGIIRC” in the Portuguese acronym) puts indigenous peoples who prefer to remain isolated in danger of being the victims of genocide. There are 115 records of such groups in Brazil, 28 of which have been confirmed. The appointment of a missionary to run the CGIIRC indicates the return to a policy of forced contact which, when it was government policy in the 1970s, led to the death of thousands of Indians through diseases brought, and violence perpetrated, by the government agents themselves. All of this could happen again with the return of religious proselytising.

View of an isolated Moxihatëtëma village in the Yanomami territory
View of an isolated Moxihatëtëma village in the Yanomami territory

The indigenous peoples who prefer to live in isolation are survivors of massacres that happened throughout the 20th century, the largest of them during the 1970s when Brazil was a military dictatorship and implemented a policy of “coaxing out” indigenous peoples, supposedly to make contact with and “pacify” their communities, but in reality to occupy their lands. In addition to outright violence – there were innumerable reports of massacres, including aerial bombardment of villages –, those communities fell victim to epidemics brought by non-indigenous people as part of official expeditions to enforce contact. Some indigenous populations lost 90% of their people as a result of diseases against which they had no antibodies.

This was the case, for instance, of the Nambikwara people, whose territory covered parts of the states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia. Nine thousand of them died as the result of epidemics of measles, flu, whooping cough and gonorrhoea. Similarly, in the case of the Panará people, in the north of Mato Grosso: between 1973 and 1976, 75% of the population died as a result of flu and malaria. Of 400 people, only 79 remained. Such cases are endless. In 1982, missionaries of the New Tribes of Brazil Mission, the sect to which the new Funai coordinator belongs, implemented a policy of forced contact with the remaining members of the Zo’é people, in the north of Pará. This contact resulted in an epidemic and many deaths. In the end, the missionaries were driven out of the territory.

Putting an end to the genocide of whole communities was the principal reason for the implementation of Funai’s no-contact policy in 1987. That policy, which had the backing of regional experts, anthropologists and other formulators of public policy, led to the establishment of the CGIIRC. The main motive was to guarantee protection of the territories where those peoples live by keeping out interlopers and harmful business enterprises. Up until now that has been CGIIRC responsibility, as set out in Funai Directive 281/2000.

With the appointment of this missionary to run the CGIIRC, there is again a threat of forced contact and, with it, the imminence of yet more tragedies.

The Brazilian government is obliged, under the Constitution, to guarantee the physical and cultural survival of these peoples in the lands they occupy. That means protected territories where they can organise themselves in accordance with their customs, languages, beliefs and traditions.

Forced acculturation of indigenous peoples is an affront to the Constitution, but is a regular practice of evangelical fundamentalism, including of the sect to which the new coordinator belongs, catechesis being its principle mission. Article 129(v) of the Constitution makes clear that judicial defence of the rights and interests of the indigenous peoples is an institutional responsibility of the Office of Public Prosecutions. It is high time that the Public Prosecutor, Augusto Aras, did something. Up until now, not a word has been heard from him about this deplorable situation. This omission has brought into disrepute the reputation of an institution that is meant to defend society – and minorities in particular – against any arbitrary measures by the government.

Non-contact should be seen as a manifestation of the desire of these peoples for self-determination, a right that is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The choice of isolation is protected by Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation, to which Brazil is a signatory, and which guarantees minimum rights to indigenous peoples in respect of preserving their cultures and identities in the context of the societies of which they form part.

The anti-indigenous policy of Jair Bolsonaro infringes the Constitution and disgusts the whole world. Scrapping the no-contact policy means ending a strategy that has helped to save lives during the last 30 years. Brazil has already seen the result of forced contact – contact with death. We sincerely hope the tragedy is not about to be repeated.

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