The Munduruku Ipereg Ayu Movement Repudiates the Invasion of Gold Miners throughout our Lands

From Mundurukânia – 17 April, 2021

We are the members of the Munduruku Ipereg Ayu movement from the upper and middle Tapajós River and the lower Teles Pires River: the warriors, chiefs, leaders, women, men, children, shamans of the Munduruku people. We are joined by the Wakoborun, Da’uk, Arikico, and Pariri Associations of our people, as well as the Munduruku Indigenous Council of the Upper Tapajós (CIMAT). All of our people are demonstrating, to say collectively: we do not authorize the Pusuru Association to represent the Munduruku in any matter with the federal government. This association does not represent the interests of our people, it represents only the interests of gold miners and prospectors.

We repudiate the proposed Bill 191, a law of death that will only bring more destruction to our people and our forest by “legalizing” mining in Indigenous Territories. We also repudiate all railroad and hydroelectric projects in our territory. We need to guarantee our lives. We will not allow these things to happen.

We are under attack and constantly threatened by invading pariwat (non-indigenous, white) miners, and the devastation is only increasing. The chiefs who fight for the life of their people are all threatened with death.

Two buses with children, elderly Munduruku, have been sent to Brasilia by the Pusuru Association. They were deceived into thinking that they would discuss improvements to the lives of the Munduruku people, but they will help to further destroy our territory. This caravan is funded by gold mining money, money made from the destruction of our river and forest, blood money wrought from the slave labor of people in our region. They have been driven by the greed and short-sightedness of our relatives who are taken in by the lies of this government.

Since Bolsonaro came to power in 2019, the number of invasions has exploded throughout our territory, bringing more destruction and disease. With the prospectors came the evangelical church, the pastors who say that Jesus is coming back and that is why it is not a problem to spoil our water, our game, and our fish.

This time, there was no Brazilian Air Force plane to take the coordinators of the Pusuru Association to Brasilia. But, there is financial support for the bus caravan from the government and many local businesspeople. We have the whole list–known people. They are all involved in this.

They are sponsoring all this: calling on Indigenous communities to make this demonstration in front of the National Congress. Miners are behind it all, calling on the whole city to demonstrate. All while the Covid-19 pandemic is at its peak, with at least 31 Munduruku relatives dead from the disease. These sponsors ask hotel owners not to host the Federal Police, IBAMA, or ICMBIO (environmental authorities). They conspired by sharing audio clips through the entire community in Jacareacanga.

We have just come from a mobilization in the villages of our territory, fifteen days of travel to talk to our people, to share information and hear from people in all of our villages. We know that those in Brasilia did not do this. They don’t know what the Munduruku people want. They did not discuss this agenda that they are taking to the Ministries, and we know that those who are speaking for them are lawyers, pariwat miners.

The headquarters of our associations were destroyed recently as a way to intimidate and retaliate against the Ipereg Ayu. Our warriors have not allowed heavy machines and backhoe shovels into the streams that have not yet been polluted or into the rivers that still have fish. Much has been polluted, and almost ten villages have been lost.

This vandalism of our offices happened in front of the authorities of the municipality of Jacareacanga, who did nothing. On the same day on social media, the deputy coordinator of the Pusuru Association embraced these feckless leaders in front of the Association offices that had been attacked.

They wanted to attack all of us from the Munduruku Ipereg Ayu Movement by attacking our headquarters. But they only helped to strengthen us and bring us together.

What we demand is this:

  • Accountability for those guilty of the depredation of our collective headquarters;
  • Withdrawal of the police command that was there;
  • Investigation into the unfair actions of the Pusuru Association and the whites involved in it;
  • Expulsion of invaders from our territory; and
  • Accountability by the federal government for the destruction of our territories.

                                                                                               Tr. Jeremy M. Campbell 17/04/21

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