Stop Brazil’s Genocide

President Bolsonaro has “declared war” on Brazil’s indigenous peoples

President Jair Bolsonaro is trying to turn back the clock on indigenous rights. He wants to strip their autonomy, sell off their territories for logging and mining and “assimilate” them against their wishes.

He once said: “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.” Under his administration, an area of Amazon rainforest the size of a soccer pitch is destroyed every minute.

President Bolsonaro’s government is:

- encouraging the theft and destruction of indigenous territories, attacks against communities and killings of indigenous people;

- calling for forced contact and the “integration” of uncontacted tribes. This could wipe them out;

- pushing a notorious mining bill which would open up indigenous territories to large-scale mining, and schemes to steal indigenous land for agribusiness;

- backing the deadly "time limit trick” which says that if indigenous peoples were not living on their land on 5 October 1988 – the date of the signing of Brazil’s constitution – they don’t have the right to live there. If approved, dozens of uncontacted tribes and hundreds of indigenous territories could be affected, and tens of thousands of people’s lives destroyed;

- encouraging the spread of COVID-19 in indigenous territories by failing to protect them from invaders and blocking health care plans to combat the virus in indigenous communities;

- strangling crucial government bodies – including the indigenous affairs department FUNAI and the environment agency IBAMA – responsible for defending indigenous peoples’ lands and lives.

Is the air the President breathes different to the air we breathe?

Reginaldo Apyawa

Stop Bolsonaro’s plan to wipe out the world’s most vulnerable uncontacted tribes

Authorities in Brazil are planning to scrap a vital safeguard for uncontacted tribes in Brazil – land protection orders.

These emergency orders are used to protect uncontacted tribes’ territories that have not been through the long process of official demarcation.

They make it illegal for loggers, miners and other invaders to enter the tribes’ lands. Without this protection, the forests would be completely destroyed – and the tribes who look after them and depend on them to survive could be wiped out.

The orders have to be renewed every few years. But anti-indigenous politicians and ranchers have hatched a secret plan to scrap them so they can steal these lands for ranching, logging, mining, and more. If they succeed, it could result in the extermination of whole tribes in a massive and illegal land grab.

Seven uncontacted tribes’ lands are currently shielded by the orders. Three of them are due to expire in 2021, and will need to be renewed.

One of these protects the forest home of the last of the Piripkura tribe – after a series of massacres only three members of this tribe are known to exist, though others may still survive in the depths of the forest.

More than 1 million hectares of Amazon rainforest is currently being shielded by the orders.

This is all part of President Bolsonaro’s deliberate policy to destroy the country’s indigenous peoples and take their land for “economic development.”

Your support is vital if the orders – which are all that stand between these uncontacted tribes and certain death – are to be saved. Please email the Brazilian authorities now.

Piripkura men Tamandua and Baita, photographed during an encounter with a FUNAI unit. The two men, who are nephew and uncle, have had sporadic interactions with the local FUNAI team, but returned to live in the forest. Their territory is shielded by the land protection orders, but at imminent risk of being overrun by loggers and landgrabbers.

This is undoubtedly one of the worst moments for indigenous peoples since the military dictatorship.

Beto Marubo

“We’re not afraid.” Indigenous people protest in Brasília, April 2019
© Sarah Shenker/Survival International

Brazil today is home to around 305 distinct indigenous peoples, including around 100 uncontacted tribes. All of them are now in danger.

Survival International has stood in solidarity with Brazil’s indigenous peoples for 50 years – for their survival, for the protection of some of Earth’s most biodiverse territories, for the health of our planet, and for all humanity.

We are fighting alongside them to defend their lives and lands. You can join the fightback against Brazil’s genocide now.

Watch and share indigenous people’s urgent messages and follow #TribalVoice!

Download our activist pack of key resources you can use to take action.

Across Brazil, indigenous peoples are fighting back

© Sarah Shenker/Survival International

APIB, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, said: “We have the right to exist. We won’t retreat. We’ll denounce this government around the world.”

Brazil’s indigenous peoples, their supporters and allies, and Survival International are fighting back as the President plots to steal their land, destroy their lives and annihilate them as peoples.

The biggest ever international protest for indigenous rights took place in Bolsonaro’s first month in office, and raising our voices together has already make a difference.

Tribal peoples thwart Bolsonaro’s attempts to dismantle FUNAI

Bolsonaro has tried to cripple FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs department, and moved to make it easier for agri-business and extractive industries to exploit resources in tribal territories.

On his first day in office:

He moved FUNAI out of the Ministry of Justice and into his newly-created Ministry of Family, Women and Human Rights, where Minister Damares Alves, an evangelical preacher with a history of pursuing anti-indigenous policies, would have much influence over indigenous affairs.
He took the responsibility for demarcating indigenous land away from FUNAI and gave it to the Ministry of Agriculture. The department official in charge of land issues is Nabhan Garcia, who has fought against the demarcations of indigenous territory for decades.

But Bolsonaro failed and these measures were struck down by congress in June 2019.

It was a big victory for indigenous peoples and partners who support the indigenous fight, through the lobbying and activism we’ve done since the beginning of this anti-indigenous government.

Paulo Tupiniquim

© Fabio Nascimento / Mobilização Nacional Indígena

Indigenous peoples prevent the abolishment of Sesai

Bolsonaro’s administration wanted to abolish the indigenous healthcare system, Sesai.

He failed again. Indigenous groups protested in many parts of the country, occupying public buildings and highways in support of Sesai.

Only a week or so after the proposition was first floated, the government backed down and said that the indigenous healthcare system would not be abolished after all.

Indigenous people protest in Maranhão state
© Mídia Índia

Guarani indigenous people protest in Mato Grosso do Sul state

We will resist. If we’re the first people to be attacked, we’ll also be the first to react.

Sonia Guajajara

It’s time to amplify indigenous voices, to speak out and act in solidarity.

We won’t give up until tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies, in control of their lives and lands, and free to determine their own futures.

Survival has 50 years’ experience of effective campaigning that gets results. Since 1969, in partnership with indigenous peoples, we have run more than 50 successful campaigns in Brazil alone, and hundreds more worldwide.

We’ve stopped loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods. We’ve persuaded governments to recognize indigenous rights. We continue to document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. With your help, we can end Bolsonaro’s war on indigenous peoples: For tribes, for nature, for all humanity.