Statement by the Coordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon – COIAB

English translation

The protection and recognition of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation

In recent decades we have seen new challenges in terms of the protection of indigenous peoples, especially peoples who have chosen to live in isolation. The Coordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), is concerned about contact between these peoples and other societies, owing to the vulnerability of uncontacted Indians to diseases with which they have had little experience, the advance of large-scale projects which pass through their lands, and other challenges.

COIAB, which works in various areas and dedicates itself to social change and the improvement of the quality of life of indigenous peoples, is concerned about the protection of their lives, and the survival of their environmental, cultural, social and immaterial patrimony. For this reason we are calling out for their lands to be protected, in order to guarantee their physical and cultural survival.

It is necessary to reaffirm that these peoples exist, so we support the use of images that prove these facts. These peoples have had their most fundamental rights, particularly their right to life, ignored throughout the history of supposed civilizing brutality in the occupation of land in Brazil. It is therefore crucial that we protect them.

Manaus-Amazonas, 11 January 2010.

Indigenous regards,

Coordinator of COIAB

Portuguese original (PDF)