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Mining in the Yanomami Indigenous Land, CC-BY Bruno Kelly/Amazonia Real https://amazoniareal.com.br/garimpeiros-silenciam-indigenas/

As journalist Josué Júnior warned in an April 30, 2022 post, the indigenous Yanomami of the Amazon need help. He reports on a Brazilian Senate Human Rights Commission hearing where Senator Paulo Paim (PT-RS) says that the next President of Brazil needs to govern for everyone, including the indigenous peoples. At the hearing was Júnior Hekurari Yanomami, president of the District Council for Yanomami and Ye’kwana Indigenous Health (Condisi-YY), who testified to a long list of atrocities committed by (illegal) gold miners, such as rapes of indigenous girls between the ages of 10 and 12, as well as assaults and murders of Yanomami citizens. There are an estimated 24,000 miners who both terrorize the people and destroy the environment. The evening of the hearing, a 12 year old Yanomami girl, in the Arakaca community, was raped and killed by gold prospectors. Josué Júnior adds that the indigenous people have been living with this terror since the beginning of the Bolsonaro administration, when Bolsonaro called for more exploration and mining of indigenous lands. However, these lands are owned by the indigenous peoples. See: “Os Yanomami pedem socorro!” Publicado em 30/04/2022 por Josué Júnior https://linkezine.com.br/2022/04/30/os-yanomami-pedem-socorro/ (videos included at link).

Avoid buying gold! Certainly don’t “invest” in gold! The higher the demand, the higher the price of gold, and the more gold prospectors and gold mining occurs – whether legal or illegal.

Brazilian Bolsonaro is an apparently ardent Putin supporter, having gone so far as to correct his Vice President Mourão regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During a press conference, Mourão stated that Putin should not invade Ukraine and that this is a dangerous return to the past. Bolsonaro acted immediately, using his social networks to disavow Morão and once again signal his support for Putin. See: “Bolsonaro reprova Mourão” Publicado em 26/02/2022 por Josué Júnior https://linkezine.com.br/2022/02/26/bolsonaro-reprova-mourao/

According to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Attorney General’s office:
“APRIL 28, 2022 AT 5:40 PM
MPF monitors investigation of reports of violence against indigenous people in Yanomami territory, says deputy PGR

In the STF, [deputy attorney general of Brazil] Lindôra Araújo reaffirmed the MPF’s commitment to fighting illegal mining, one of the main causes of conflicts in these territories
During the plenary session of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) this Thursday (28) the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic, in the exercise of the position of PGR, Lindôra Araújo, declared that the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) is working with the competent institutions to combat crimes against indigenous people, such as the case of illegal mining in the Yanomami Indigenous Land, in Roraima. Last Monday (25) the Yanomami leadership Júnior Hekurari denounced through social networks the rape followed by the death of a 12-year-old girl, from the Aracaçá community, by miners in the region. The case was pointed out by Minister Cármen Lúcia, who brought to the Court’s attention the fragility of the protection of the rights of these indigenous peoples, and especially of women.

On the occasion, Lindôra Araújo pointed out the barbarity of the case and stressed that situations like this have been effectively monitored by the MPF at all levels, either through the actions of federal prosecutors in the states, or by the Chamber of Indigenous Populations and Traditional Communities (6CCR ) and also by the Attorney General of the Republic. “The MPF has already taken legal action and routinely meets with institutions involved in protecting indigenous territory so that measures to combat illegal mining are implemented,” she said. Among these measures, Lindôra Araújo highlighted the resumption of inspection operations in the region, the strengthening of ethno-environmental protection bases and changes in the procedures adopted by inspection bodies. She recalled that this work has intensified in the last 30 days, based on reports of crimes, such as the one mentioned by the minister. On the increase in cases of violence against women, she regretted the fact, noting that the situation worsened after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.” Original in Portuguese http://www.mpf.mp.br/pgr/noticias-pgr/mpf-acompanha-apuracao-de-denuncias-de-violencias-contra-indigenas-no-territorio-yanomami-informa-vice-pgr/view

Yanomama, are a group of approximately 35,000 indigenous people who live in some 200–250 villages in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Venezuela and Brazil.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanomami

Across the Brazilian Amazon, outlaws of every description—wildlife poachers, wildcat gold prospectors, land-hungry settlers, drug traffickers—are breaching the boundaries of indigenous lands… Critics point to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s strident anti-environmental posture and his blatant disdain for indigenous people as helping fuel a sense of impunity among the outlaws… the reserve most thoroughly infiltrated by outsiders may be Yanomami Indigenous Territory, along the northern border with Venezuela…. When army troops descended on one mining camp earlier this month, they encountered a small town of 600 squatters, with houses, shops, even a prostitution ring…” See: “Murder in the Amazon heightens fears for isolated tribes: Alarm spreads among indigenous rights activists and forest defenders as intruders breach the boundaries of protected lands in Brazil.” By Scott Wallace, 27 Sept. 2019, National Geographic. https://web.archive.org/web/20220113025457/https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/murder-amazon-heightens-fears-isolated-tribes

Garimpeiros [illegal miners] silence indigenous people to avoid reporting the rape and murder of a Yanomami girl” By Leanderson Lima
Published on: 04/29/2022 at 17:51 Original in Portuguese: https://amazoniareal.com.br/garimpeiros-silenciam-indigenas/
Manaus (AM) – The miners who raped and killed a 12-year-old Yanomami girl coerced the indigenous people not to talk about the crime to the authorities of the Federal Public Ministry, the Federal Police, Funai and Sesai. And they offered, in exchange, 5 grams of gold. The complaint is from the Yanomami and Yek’wana Indigenous Health District Council (Condisi-YY), which was also in the Arakaçá village, in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory, in Roraima, and reported a different scenario, until now, omitted by the authorities.

In an interview with Amazônia Real, the president of Condisi-YY, Júnior Hekurari, said that when his team arrived at the scene, there was only smoke from the burned village. It took 40 minutes on site for the indigenous people to appear and tell them about the coercion they had suffered, as well as the gold offered in exchange for silence. “They were too afraid to speak up. They were forced to accept (the gold)”, reveals Júnior.

The crime that shocked authorities such as Minister Cármen Lúcia, of the Federal Supreme Court, also resulted in the disappearance of the 12-year-old girl’s aunt and a three-year-old child, who was thrown into the river by the miners. According to an exclusive investigation by Amazônia Real, the Yanomami girl had her body cremated as part of the people’s tradition, which has even been described by the doctor in anthropology at the Université de Paris x-Nanterre, Bruce Albert. The researcher has worked with the Yanomami of Brazil since 1975.

Júnior says that he was at the site of the possible cremation of the indigenous girl. “The ritual was certainly performed before we arrived. The Yanomami have already performed the ritual, there is a mark of the ritual, the burning of the body, possibly the body of the teenager”, he says.

According to indigenous leaders, who gathered to analyze images of the burned community, this is a Yanomami custom after the death of a loved one. When this happens, the community is burned and everyone who lived there leaves for a new location. “The community was burned, still with smoke. We didn’t land inside the community, we landed in the garimpeiros’ camp, where the police gathered a lot of information”, says Junior.

The last sentence of the president of Condisi-YY explains, in part, the official notes of the MPF and the PF, released on Thursday (28), which say they have not found “indications of the practice of crimes of murder and rape or death”. by drowning”. The MPF added, also in a note, that the “proceedings demonstrated the need to deepen the investigation, for better clarification of the facts”. But the two bodies did not report anything about the whereabouts of the child, the aunt, or that they had found a burned community.

For Condisi-YY, the prospectors’ strategy was to use the indigenous people themselves to make it difficult for the MPF and the PF to investigate the crime. According to Júnior Hekurari, the indigenous people even talked about previous crimes, but always emphasizing that they knew nothing about the teenager’s death, much less about the disappearance of the three-year-old child.

The Yanomami Territory, which this year will celebrate its 30th anniversary, is suffering from the invasion of approximately 20,000 miners. “We get a lot of reports. Miners threaten the Yanomami, and they are always heavily armed. And the miners are also drunk. They kill each other in shootouts among themselves. Communities that have mines nearby are no longer able to hunt or fish, because the fish have died. The hunt has moved away. No more food. Things got out of control. The miners are now the owners of the land. They do what they want”, denounces Hekurari, who demands that the investigations continue.

Amazônia Real has denounced the advance of illegal activity on Yanomami lands and even how criminal factions such as the PCC have infiltrated the mine. The concern of the president of Condisi-YY is that this crime does not go unpunished as in other situations already experienced in that region. “The situation of the Yanomami is one of abandonment. We are hostages. It’s not the first time an investigation hasn’t been completed. The Yanomami Indigenous Land is distant. You can’t investigate in 30 minutes or 1 hour, you can’t complete an investigation. The authorities need to get the miners out of the Yanomami Indigenous Land,” he concludes.
Leanderson Lima
He holds a degree in Social Communication with a major in Journalism from the Centro Universitário Nilton Lins. He has an Executive MBA in People Management and Coaching from Faculdades Idaam. With 18 years of professional experience, he worked for vehicles such as Jornal A Crítica, Correio Amazonense, Jornal do Commercio and Zero Hora (RS). In television he worked at TV A Crítica, Rede TV! Manaus, and on radio A Crítica, as a commentator. He is the winner of the 2015 Petrobras Journalism Award, with the report “Chute no Preconceito”. “Garimpeiros silenciam indígenas para não relatarem estupro e assassinato de menina Yanomami Por Leanderson Lima Publicado em: 29/04/2022 às 17:51 website Amazônia Real está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons – Atribuição 4.0 Internacional. https://amazoniareal.com.br/garimpeiros-silenciam-indigenas/


This is a longstanding problem, apparently exacerbated by Putin’s friend Bolsonaro.

The “stimulus” of mining by Bolsonaro’s decree
By Philip Martin Fearnside Published: 02/21/2022
Original in Portuguese: https://amazoniareal.com.br/o-estimulo-de-garimpagem-pelo-decreto-de-bolsonaro/

On February 11, 2022, President Bolsonaro published a decree [1] establishing the Support Program for the Development of Artisanal Mining – Pró-Mape, which aims to “stimulate” mining “with a view to sustainable development”. In fact, what would be encouraged is neither “artisanal” nor “sustainable development”. The vision of mining being carried out at the individual level is today, to a large extent, mythological: “garimpeira” exploration in the Amazon is generally being carried out with expensive machines and infrastructure, the activity being commanded by entrepreneurs.

Almost all mining is illegal, although there are garimpeiro cooperatives that can obtain licenses to do the activity legally thanks to a 1989 law [2]. President Bolsonaro’s recent decree cites this law to define “artisanal mining”, which means that these legal entities would be “stimulated”. The number of these cooperatives has exploded since the beginning of the Bolsonaro government [3]. Recent investigations have revealed that many of the licenses for garimpeiro cooperatives are just fronts to launder gold taken from indigenous lands and other locations far from the licensed site, and often the licensed sites where allegedly large amounts of gold were taken are in fact, under dense forest without any activity [4]. The shipment of gold abroad is based on an export license in which the supposed source of the product is self-declared, without any type of inspection [5].

Gold mining in the Amazon is one of the main sources of impact on indigenous peoples, destroying waterways, along with the fish that sustain populations, spreading diseases and disrupting groups both physically and culturally [6-8]. Gold mining releases large amounts of sediment into waterways, and also releases mercury, which affects both human population and aquatic life [9]. Mining on indigenous lands is currently illegal, but bill 191/2020, if passed by the National Congress, would open indigenous lands to mining, in addition to dams, agribusiness, logging and other activities done by non-indigenous people. Hundreds of requests from garimpeiro cooperatives and other companies are pending at the National Mining Agency (ANM), awaiting the opening of indigenous lands for this activity [8, 10-12]. PL 191/2020 is one of the bills for which President Bolsonaro asked the presidents of the two houses of the National Congress for priority in February 2021 when control of both houses was captured by the “Centrão” coalition that supports the environmental agenda of the National Congress. President [13, 14].

Furthermore, there is an impact on the country as a whole, and especially on the mining sites, through the “natural resource curse”. It is not by chance that the countries with the most fabulous mineral resources, such as Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are also the most miserable. There is a rich literature that explains this phenomenon (see [15]). Garimpagem, along with the other types of mining that are increasingly strong in the Brazilian economy, tend to push the country in this direction.

The social and environmental impacts of mining alone take “artisanal mining” off the list of sustainable development. In addition, mining of any kind is inherently unsustainable as mineral material is being removed without replacement. The way around this problem proposed by the Brundtland Commission, which promoted the concept of “sustainable development”, was to suggest that the income from the sale of ores would have to be invested in programs that would give an activity generating a source of sustainable income for the population after ore depletion ([16]; See [17]). Unfortunately, this basically never happens in reality. See the example of the depleted manganese mine area in Amapá [18].

President Bolsonaro’s new decree has been roundly condemned due to its likely impacts on the Amazon [19-21]. However, miners, both workers and businessmen, form a favored part of President Bolsonaro’s electoral base and have received repeated benefits throughout his government. These include warm receptions by the President, who then launches criticisms of environmental agencies that try to curb the invasion of conservation units and indigenous lands by these groups (eg, [22-24). The president has tried to prohibit the destruction of machines when illegal exploitation is caught [25] and has interfered with environmental agencies, removing employees who repress mining [26-28]. A huge “cattle” of internal rules instituted by the pen within federal agencies makes it difficult to repress illegal mining and other environmental infractions [29-31]. The result has been a presumption of impunity and a massive outbreak of invasion of indigenous lands by garimpeiros [32-35]. It remains to be seen what can be done to mitigate the impact of the current decree, and to reverse the decree once Pro-Mape becomes a fait accompli.

Notes [links for notes at original- https://amazoniareal.com.br/o-estimulo-de-garimpagem-pelo-decreto-de-bolsonaro ]
[1] Presidência da República. 2022. Decreto Nº 10.966, de 11 de fevereiro de 2022. Diário Oficial da União, 14/02/2022, Edição 31, Seção 1, Página 4.
[2] Presidência da República. 1989. Lei nº 7.805, de 18 de julho de 1989.
[3] Wenzel, F., N. Hofmeister & P. Papini. 2021. Cooperativas quase dobraram pedidos para garimpar ouro na Amazônia desde 2019. Folha de São Paulo, 01 de dezembro de 2021.
[4] Paraguassu, L. 2021. Quase 30% do ouro exportado pelo Brasil pode ser legal mostra estudo. Folha de São Paulo, 02 de agosto de 2021.
[5] Wenzel, F. & O. Christe. 2022. Amazon to Alps: Swiss gold imports from Brazil tread a legal minefield. Mongabay, 21 de janeiro de 2022.
[6] Barbosa, L.G., M.A.S. Alves & C.E.V. Grelle. 2021. Actions against sustainability: Dismantling of the environmental policies in Brazil. Land Use Policy 104: art. 105384.
[7] Fearnside, P.M. 2019. Exploração mineral na Amazônia brasileira: O custo ambiental. p. 36-43. In: E. Castro & E.D. do Carmo (eds.) Dossiê Desastres da Mineração em Barcarena: Disputas no Território e Comunidades Atingidas. Editora do Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos (NAEA), Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA), Belém, Pará. 253 p.
[8] Villén-Pérez, S., L.F. Anaya-Valenzuela, D.C. da Cruz & P.M. Fearnside. 2022. Mining threatens isolated indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon. Global Environmental Change 72:  art. 102398.
[9] Fearnside, P.M., E. Berenguer, D. Armenteras, F. Duponchelle, F.M. Guerra, C.N. Jenkins, P. Bynoe, R. García-Villacorta, F.M. Guerra, M. Macedo, A.L. Val & V.M.F. de Almeida-Val. 2021. Drivers and impacts of changes in aquatic ecosystems.Chapter 20 In: C. Nobre & A. Encalada (eds.) Amazon Assessment Report 2021. Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA). United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, New York, USA. Part II, pp. 305-343.  
[10] Branford, S. & M. Torres. 2019. Brazil to open indigenous reserves to mining without indigenous consent. Mongabay, 14 de março de 2019.
[11] Amato, F. 2020. Pedidos de pesquisa mineral em terra indígena são quase 3,5 mil, embora atividade seja proibida. G1, 20 de fevereiro de 2020.
[12] Siqueira-Gay, J., B. Soares-Filho, L.E. Sanchez, A. Oviedo & L.J. Sonter. 2020. Proposed legislation to mine Brazil’s indigenous lands will threaten Amazon forests and their valuable ecosystem services. One Earth 3 (3): 356–362.
[13] Angelo, M. 2021. Jair Bolsonaro pede a Arthur Lira prioridade na aprovação do PL que libera mineração em terras indígenas. Observatório da Mineração, 03 de fevereiro de 2021.
[14] Ferrante, L. & P.M. Fearnside. 2021. Reviravolta no Congresso Nacional ameaça Amazônia. Amazônia Real, 09 de março de 2021.
[15] Fearnside, P.M. 2016. Alumínio e Barragens: 4 – A “maldição dos recursos naturais”, Amazônia Real 25 de janeiro de 2016.
[16] World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, Oxford, Reino Unido.
[17] Fearnside, P.M. 2019. Sustainable development. In: David Gibson (ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, U.S.A.
[18] Pinto, L.F. 2007. Na Amazônia, o desenvolvimento deixa um buraco. Gramsci, abril de 2007.
[19] Pontes, N. 2022. Decreto sobre mineração pode gerar catástrofe na Amazônia. Deutsche Welle (DW), 16 de fevereiro de 2022.
[20] Angelo, M. 2022. Na canetada, Bolsonaro cria programa para estimular o garimpo e altera o Código de Mineração. Observatório da Mineração, 14 de fevereiro de 2022.
[21] G1. 2022. Governo lança programa de ‘mineração artesanal’ na Amazônia; ONG vê ‘licença política’ para garimpo ilegal. G1, 14 de fevereiro de 2022.
[22] Pontes, N. 2021. “Governo está do lado dos bandidos em ataques aos yanomami”. Deutsche Welle (DW), 21 de maio de 2021.
[23] Oliveira, J. 2021. Bolsonaro inaugura ponte às margens de terra Yanomami e ignora crise que põe povo indígena na mira de garimpeiros. El País, 27 de maio de 2021.
[24] Maisonnave, F. 2021. Bolsonaro prepara visita a comunidade Yanomami, e líderes indígenas publicam carta de repúdio. Folha de São Paulo, 24 de maio de 2021.
[25] Gonzales, J.2020. Brazil sacks officials who curbed deforestation on Amazon indigenous lands. Mongabay, 05 de maio de 2020.
[26] Gonzales, J.2020. Brazil dismantles environmental laws via huge surge in executive acts: Study. Mongabay, 05 de agosto de 2020.
[27] Maisonnave, F. 2020. Ministério da Defesa barra fiscalização do Ibama contra garimpo ilegal no PA. Folha de São Paulo, 06 de agosto de 2020.
[28] Ferrante, L. & P.M. Fearnside. 2021. Brazilian government violates Indigenous rights: What could induce a change? Die Erde 152(3): 200-211.
[29] Ferrante, L. & P.M. Fearnside. 2019. O novo presidente do Brasil e “ruralistas” ameaçam o meio ambiente, povos tradicionais da Amazônia e o clima global. Amazônia Real, 30 de julho de 2019.
[30] Vale, M.M., E. Berenguer, M.A. de Menezes, E.B.V. de Castro, L.P. de Siqueira & R.C.Q. Portela2021. The COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to weaken environmental protection in Brazil. Biological Conservation 255: art. 108994,
[31] INA (Indigenistas Associados). 2019. Nota pública: Centralização e Discriminação na Autorização de Viagens Paralisam a Funai. INA, 02 de dezembro de 2019.
[32] Angelo, M. 2020. Mineração e garimpo ameaçam povos indígenas e territórios na Amazônia brasileira – ATL 2020. Observatório da Mineração, 30 de abril de 2020.
[33] Branford, S. 2020. The Amazon’s Yanomami utterly abandoned by Brazilian authorities: Report. Mongabay, 19 de novembro de 2020.
[34] ISA (Instituto Socioambiental). 2021. Bolsonaro promove a mineração predatória. ISA, 16 de dezembro de 2021.
[35] Tollefson, J. 2021. Illegal mining in the Amazon hits record high amid Indigenous protests. Nature 598: 15-16.
Artigos de Opinião ou colunas
Philip Martin Fearnside
É doutor pelo Departamento de Ecologia e Biologia Evolucionária da Universidade de Michigan (EUA) e pesquisador titular do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Inpa), em Manaus (AM), onde vive desde 1978. É membro da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. Recebeu o Prêmio Nobel da Paz pelo Painel Intergovernamental para Mudanças Climáticas (IPCC), em 2007. Tem mais de 600 publicações científicas e mais de 500 textos de divulgação de sua autoria que podem ser acessados aqui. https://philip.inpa.gov.br
Translation of “O “estímulo” de garimpagem pelo decreto de Bolsonaro” Por Philip Martin Fearnside Publicado em: 21/02/2022 https://amazoniareal.com.br/o-estimulo-de-garimpagem-pelo-decreto-de-bolsonaro/ website Amazônia Real está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons – Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.

Bill status: https://www.camara.leg.br/propostas-legislativas/2236765
Bill PL 191/2020
Regulates § 1 of art. 176 and § 3 of art. 231 of the Constitution to establish the specific conditions for carrying out research and mining of mineral and hydrocarbon resources and for the use of water resources for the generation of electric energy in indigenous lands and institutes compensation for the restriction of usufruct of indigenous lands.
Bill 191/20 regulates the exploitation of mineral, water and organic resources in indigenous reserves. The federal government’s initiative is in line with statements by President Jair Bolsonaro, who since taking office has defended the economic use of indigenous territories. “In Roraima, there are (…) Learn more
Awaiting the creation of the special commission by the Board of Directors; Ready to enter the Plenary voting agenda https://www.camara.leg.br/propostas-legislativas/2236765




Bolsonaro’s European allies have gotten money from Putin: “Aliados europeus de Bolsonaro são acusados de receber dinheiro de Putin… – Veja mais emhttps://noticias.uol.com.br/colunas/jamil-chade/2022/04/29/aliados-europeus-de-bolsonaro-sao-acusados-de-receber-dinheiro-de-putin.htm

Legal Canadian registered mine permanently suspended:
29 DE ABRIL DE 2022 ÀS 15H30 Decisão suspende leilão do Parque Linear do Belvedere, entre Belo Horizonte e Nova Lima (MG)

Part of the resource curse is explained here:
in Russia, wealth comes right up out of the ground! The problem for authoritarian regimes is not economic growth. The problem is how to pay the patronage for their élites, how to keep the élites loyal, especially the security services and the upper levels of the officer corps. If money just gushes out of the ground in the form of hydrocarbons or diamonds or other minerals, the oppressors can emancipate themselves from the oppressed. The oppressors can say, we don’t need you. We don’t need your taxes. We don’t need you to vote. We don’t rely on you for anything, because we have oil and gas, palladium and titanium. They can have zero economic growth and still live very high on the hog…” Stephen Kotki, as interviewed in “The Weakness of the Despot: An expert on Stalin discusses Putin, Russia, and the West.” By David Remnick, The New Yorker, March 11, 2022 https://web.archive.org/web/20220318010635/https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/stephen-kotkin-putin-russia-ukraine-stalin