May 26, 2021
The Munduruku people ask that the state security forces take responsibility to protect the people, our leaders, and our chiefs who are all opposed to the invasion of gold miners in our region.
This morning, demonstrations in favor of mining, which were encouraged by the municipal government of Jacareacanga, launched targeted attacks on National Guard and Federal Police stationed in the region. They tried to burn the troops’ equipment and were answered with gas bombs. Since the miners and their co-opted Indigenous groups were unable to reach the police, they instead went to attack the homes of our leaders.
It was then that the violence against our people crossed all imaginable lines. This afternoon, on May 26, around 12:30 pm, Fazenda Tapajós village, where Maria Leusa Kaba (coordinator of the Wakoborun association) lives, was invaded by armed miners who shot at the houses and attacked the people. Two houses were set on fire – Maria Leusa’s own home and that of her mother, the chief of the village. Reports are that no one was hurt, but everyone is in shock.
Their plan now is to go to the villages of Ademir Kaba and Ana Poxo, prominent leaders of our people, and do the same. We need police operations to arrest the criminals who are attacking us and to keep our leaders safe so they can carry out their work and expel these invaders from our lands. Otherwise it will never end.
It is unacceptable that even with the presence of the National Guard in the region, the village of one of our main leaders has been invaded by armed men, carrying gallons of gasoline ready to set aflame. This encourages hatred against all of us. We fear for the lives of those who struggle tirelessly to defend the lives of the Munduruku people and the future of everyone on this planet.
For simply defending our river and the still-standing forest, we have become victims of the death-policies of this government, a government which leaves us at the mercy of armed miners within our own territory.
We urgently call for the presence of the Federal Police to prevent further violence, murders, and massacres that will continue so long as illegal mining activities are encouraged and impunity for these criminals is assured. We see this happening throughout Yanomami and Munduruku territories.
Our people just want to LIVE IN PEACE and HAVE OUR RIGHTS RESPECTED. We are not the ones who have asked for violence. We only ask for the protection of our Indigenous lands and lives by the State, as mandated by the Federal Constitution.
We cry out for help.
Movimento Munduruku Ipereg Ayu; Associação das Mulheres Munduruku Wakoborun; Associação Da’uk; Associação Arikico; Conselho Indígena Munduruku do Alto Tapajós (CIMAT)
-Tr. Jeremy M. Campbell, May 26, 2021
The house of Maria Leusa Kaba, set flame in Fazenda Tapajós Village. May 26, 2021